Can I be real? I feel like I should whisper this... motivation for running can fizzle faster than an open bottle of bubs this time of year. But getting out the door is 98% of the battle, once you're running a few minutes it's all so clear! This is great! Why did you ever dread it?! Ahh hooray! Until the next day comes. We tapped our Haute Volée for some of their go-tos to get out the door despite the weather and to-do lists. Lots of reasons to say yes to running. And be sure to check out last year's funning ideas. So many goodies!
Dash through the Snow
I love headlight runs and a nice little jaunt through fresh powder. Yaktrax make everything runnable. Just make sure the snow isn't so deep that you can't see the terrain! And, my new excuse for getting out the door: taking the dog to the park or for a walk/run. He won't go that far, but it gets me out, and I can take it from there.
Find Your Flock
To me Funning is all about who you share it with! My favorite thing to do is sharing the experience with the people that matter the most in my life! I love running next to my husband, mother, sister, etc. And please note-they can be on a bike too! The experience is still wonderfully awesome. Movement is simply euphoric and can even strengthen relationships!
Play the Category Game
Pick a category, it can be anything (famous runners, holiday food, fruit, movies, songs) have someone start and say the first thing, the next person has to either use the last letter of that word they said, or use the first letter of the 2nd word they said. So if the category is runners, and the first one is Jenny Simpson, the next person would say a runner that starts with the letter S. Before you know it your run is over!
Holiday Spirit Competition
As the days get shorter, the lights come on sooner. Have a group of runner friends meet in a central location. Give everyone one hour to go for a run and come back with a photo of the best decorated house!
Look for Sparkle
Not that I am running, but my favorite thing to do around the holiday season when I am not feeling motivated to run is go for a "Christmas Lights Run" and run a route where there are lots of houses decorated with lights. There is something so beautiful and inspiring about the twinkling lights, cold air in your lungs, and silent moments that always refresh and inspire me.
When the heavy snow hits, dogs seem to get an extra boost of energy to romp around. Use their enthusiasm for the weather to give yourself canine-assisted turnover. Find an easy path or trail with freshly fallen snow and let your pup pretend to be a sled dog for a few miles.
Mix Up Your Routes
Come November, a lot of the cool trails up in the mountains of Bend are covered in snow. This forces us to start getting creative with the loops we do know. Hodge podging parts of old loops to create a new one can be fun. It has the familiarity to be comfortable enough when you're tired and struggling to get out the door, but enough new excitement for the same reason. It is familiar enough to be comfortable when you're tired and struggling to get out the door, but has enough new excitement to keep you interested though a long cold winter.
Come in Costume
I train with the West Virginia University track team and thanks to West Virginia's cold, snow and ice during the winter we are usually confined to the "lovely" indoor track. Not to many distance runners love running 200 meters inside so to make things fun while it's chilly outside we have theme workouts! Each workout someone picks a creative theme for us to dress up. Some of them include; Christmas, Valentine's Day, black out, blue (or any color), rainbow day where each class wears a certain color and throw back jersey day. We always take a group picture as well! It's fun and keeps things interesting while it's cold outside and we are stuck inside!
Find the Love
I love winter running. Have you ever stopped to notice how quiet it is in the winter? I got myself some StabilIcers last year and can go play on the trail network near home. I enjoy the white, the quiet, and the peaceful trail networks right outside my door. If you live in a city that has winter, life is so much better when you embrace winter as opposed to fighting it.
Jingle all the Way
Every year a group of my friends and I get together in downtown Toronto and we do a run to all the best holiday lights and holiday shopping windows. And after our run we sit down together at a cafe and enjoy some treats and hot chocolate.
Break Your Routine
Everyone has their ingrain routes stuck in their heads. They know exactly which loop they will run, or where they will go. I like to go out and improv occasionally. In the city it means, never stopping at a light. Hit a red light in the direction you were going, you have to turn. Hit a green light keep going! Take random turns, go the opposite direction you usually do at a juncture and improv your way through the run. May find a new favorite routine.
Connect the Dots
If I am in the mood for a big adventure I will try to connect trail run sections in a new way. One year, my friend Larissa and I, connected up a bunch of routes we knew to make one big (50 mile) point to point run from Point Reyes to the Golden Gate bridge. It was new years and fun to travel a distance on trails we knew, but seen in a different way.
Two Birds Holiday Run
Let's be honest. It's pure craziness around the holidays. Everyone is busy, and Christmas shopping can be time consuming and exhausting! If you want to kill two birds with one stone, grab a friend, and run through your local shopping area or a runner friendly street lined with fun shops. You can get some great ideas from window displays or you might even snag a glimpse of something inside that you'd like to go back later for. When you're done with your run, stop in the nearest coffee shop with your friend, grab a hot drink, and write down the things you saw or were inspired by.
Sunset Doggie Walks
My funning doesn't including much running but more walking and my pup sniffing every smell along the way. I love doggies walks in the evening because I usually have something pretty to look at. Pick a time to be active and not only reward yourself with a goodie but with what Mother Nature paints in the sky.
Hot Chocolate Run
Add caroling if desired! Get a group of friends and head out around the hood. Do a loop then sing a Christmas carol at a house. Do another loop then pick a different house to carol at. You could have the loop be as fast or slow as you want, i.e. could be treated as intervals or just a fun run. Do as many loops as you like and spread the love at as many houses as possible. At the end have a destination with yummy hot chocolate and warm goodies with your friends.
On cold winter days, I kick my regular warm up routine up a notch. I throw my favorite running layers in the dryer to infuse them with warmth while I perform a short warm up routine indoors. My clothes are toasty by the time I finish my dynamic stretches and drills. I layer up with warm clothes and run into my winter wonderland.
Make a Mini Adventure
I love planning my winter running routes around Christmas light displays. For example, I live a few miles from an outdoor ice skating rink. When I need extra motivation, I run laps around the rink and take in the sights and sounds of the season.
Alright, now you're equipped to argue yourself out the door. Because baby, it's cold (and dark) outside and it's time to go funning! Light it up!