Here's 10 top tips to help keep you running this winter.
Set a goal to achieve by the end of winter
To help you stay focused, set a realistic target to achieve by the end of the winter. Your goal might be an aim to increase your training speeds and times or distances, but measure yourself against this goal weekly so you can see signs of progress.
Get out training early
This may not sound the most appealing thing to do, especially when it's cold and dark, but if you can manage to get out and have a session early on, this allows you to get your training out of the way so that your evenings are free.
Go shopping for new running gear
Pay a visit to your local sports retailer or running specialist and find out what is new for the winter season. Some new running gear, especially something to keep youwarm, could inspire you to step out of the door when you otherwise mightn't have felt like it.
Add some cross-training to your programme
A bit of variety in your training can make all the difference. Why not avoid the cold weather and take your training indoors? Consider the possibilities open to you – swimming, cycling and gym work are all great opportunities to improve your flexibility, strength and general fitness.
Wear layers to stay warm
Even the most dedicated of runners can find their motivation on the slide during a cold running session. Make sure you layer-up and wear a lightweight hat and gloves when you head out – you can always take them off if you get too hot.
Train with a running buddy
A training partner will help keep you motivated. You can compare performances and use this to motivate each other. Both of you will be less likely to miss a session if you have already made plans to go out running together.
Add variety to your training
Try different places to train to keep you fresh. Treadmill running is gentler on the knees and a perfect training alternative if the weather is miserable, particularly when icy, and an outdoor session is impossible. If it has been snowing, then running on grass is preferably to running on icy roads.
Make your sessions social
After your run, why not arrange a treat for the people you run with? Go for a drink (it doesn't have to be alcoholic!) or a meal, or even check out a movie so that you have a reward system in place after completing a successful run.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a session
If you do miss training, don't allow this to dampen your dedication and enthusiasm. Just get back into training and make sure it does not become a habit. One missed session does not mean all your progress will have been halted.
Have a night off from training
Always make sure you have at least a day set aside for rest. The body need time to recover from the stresses you put it under, and it is during your recovery that your gains are made. Make sure you don’t let training rule your life.