When simply getting out of bed is ambitious, it’s natural to cry a little at the mere thought of outdoor running. Surviving the menacing winter chill for daily activities is one thing, but to voluntarily unravel your scarf face wrap, drop the eskimo hood, and kick off the Uggs seems, well, insane. However, once you muster the inner mental courage, get past the stream of “you’re crazy” calls, and push open the door into the arctic, you’ll find winter running is the best running. Here are some tips to embracing the wilderness and achieving the supreme runner’s high.
1. Get Pumped!
Having the right attitude is everything. When preparing for your arctic adventure, refrain from continually checking that weather app for a one degree improvement or dressing super slowly because, who knows, maybe a freezing rain storm is set to erupt at the exact second you plan to step outside! Stop wallowing in self pity and turn on your best friend– your speaker. Whether its country hits or Justin Bieber’s latest, turn on a playlist, and crank it! If you can get leggings on while dancing, DO IT. Getting amped before a run is the best way to push past that dreaded starting-out period.
2. Fuzzy Socks. Always.
Expensive, name brand compression socks really aren’t all that necessary for a good run. Here’s the thing- you don’t need to take off what brings every girl the best comfort. Fuzzy socks are warm, fun, and perfectly acceptable to work out in. Embrace them; it’s okay, you still look cute and your toes aren’t frozen!
3. A Warm Head is a Warm Body
I’ve found that even if I’m underdressed, as long as my ears and head are warm, my whole body is ready for what’s ahead. A headband is a must. When the freezing wind gets going, the headband is your savior. And when it doesn’t, no big deal! Just take it off and wrap it around your wrist- this is one layer that you can shed on the move.
4. No Speed Racer
Everyone knows that just starting out on a distance run is, hands down, the hardest part. Don’t be concerned about your speed just yet- thinking you’re going too slowly will only deplete your confidence and motivation. It’s okay to start slow, let your muscles adjust to the cold, and after some time passes, you’ll naturally work up to the pace you know you’re capable of.
5. Mix It Up
The key to a happy run is the absence of boredom. Mix up your playlist, and mix up your route. Music is your best motivator, so let it do its job by switching up the songs. A repetitive route can also kill your vibe, so have as many possible routes mapped out and ready to go. A great route is what makes outdoor running way more entertaining, exciting, and enjoyable than the treadmill.
6. Promises Are For Keeping
Promise yourself a reward that will keep you fighting against that stubborn chill. The thought of tea, hot chocolate, or even just a hot shower right at the end of the road is a great motivator. Remembering what awaits you at home will get those legs moving maybe even faster. Of course, don’t neglect those promises! It’s okay to sit down to something comfortable when you finish. You deserve it!
The amazing beauty of this world can, and should, be used to better your workout! Winter is just the misunderstood season. Embrace the chill and take advantage of the routes in need of your snowy footprints.
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