While one half of the country is experiencing its first real chill - including us PNW'ers - and the other half might as well be sitting in an ice box, we can only guess that running can seem a bit unbearable for all of us at times. Regardless of where you're at in training, there's one thing we all have in common this time of the year: we get sick of running! You can dread it in the moment, wish you were snoozing instead, or on a treadmill when it's 12 degrees outside...but to keep yourself motivated with your head and heart in the game, we've got just the ticket for you during these upcoming months: 'tis the season to go funning! Oiselle runners list their favorite ways to keep running fun in the frigid months. Take their advice and share your tips with us @oiselle with #gofunning!
Holiday Run Meet Ups - Becky Leung
Meet up for holiday races or if you don't feel like racing, set holiday-themed runs on days that are convenient for you and your friends! Hot beverages could be a great way for post-run get togethers.
TAG - You're it! - Victoria Freile
Spice things up by playing tag while you run, instead of intervals. This works best in groups of at least 5 with the rules that you are not permitted to tag the person who tagged you. Take breathers (aka go slow) at landmarks.
Change It Up - Sophia Duluk
A few ideas: Fartlek between holiday light houses. Motivate yourself to get out of bed in those hard pre-dawn hours with your favorite hot beverage after. Try a new meet-up like the November Project in your city to spice things up. Set goals for new routes on Strava and try to become the QOM (Queen of the Mountain).
Glow in the Dark Run - Laura Caccavo
Days are getting shorter. Pick up glow sticks from the dollar store - bracelets, necklaces, sticks, etc. all work - and head out for an evening fun run. Bonus points if you blast Ellie Goulding's "Lights."
Camera Camaraderie - Sheila Wordell
Since it's colder weather now meaning more layers and pockets, stuff your phone or camera in your pocket. Set a picture theme with your running buddies (no matter if you get to run with them or solo) such as "frozen" then compare after your run. It will help time pass on your cold run, view your scenery in a different way, and perhaps you'll find a new route via your friend's pictures.
Ugly Sweater Slog 5K Challenge - Melissa Gacek
Ugly Sweater Slog–Get teammates together to wear ugly sweaters and mock "race" a 5K, with pit stops where you endure challenges like sing a Christmas carol, drink eggnog, etc.
Holiday Lights Tour - DC Style - Courtney Dredden Carter
Run from the White House Christmas tree to the Capitol Christmas tree, stopping at the Washington Monument and a Smithsonian Museum or two along to way to snap a picture. No watches, just a camera, warm clothes (may I suggest arm warmers??) and some friends!
Coffee Run - Rebecca Trachsel
Tuck some cash in your pocket. Run a loop ending at your local coffee shop. Meet your friend (running or non) for a quick cup of joe. And then run back home chock full of warm coffee and good conversation. Kills 3 birds with one stone - a run, catching up with a buddy & a caffeine fix.
NYC Holiday Running Tour - Gabrielle Kotkov
Early on a weekend morning (before 8am if possible), run from Macy's up Broadway to Times Square, then across on 42nd Street past the Bryant Park tree to 5th Avenue. Run up 5th Avenue, past the Rockefeller Center tree and the holiday windows on 5th Ave all the way to the Tiffany's Star on 57th Street, across from the Plaza Hotel. Then enter Central Park at 59th Street and continue your run, or run to Columbus Circle to see the holiday stars in the Time Warner Building and get hot chocolate at Bouchon Bakery.
Christmas Hat Group Run - Lynda Trujillo
Get a bunch of your friends or running group to meet up wearing any type of Holiday themed hat. I participated one year with my running group and it was so much fun!! Some people made their own hats light up or bought pre-made silly ones. Bonus if you wear jingle bells on your shoelaces so people can hear you coming to spread the holiday cheer!
Random Relay - Ayesha Sundram
Pick your favorite long run route and divide it into segments, then gather some of your fun-loving running buddies, and divide them into teams. Run your own mini-relay race to get in a speed workout with friends! For bonus points, have goofy homemade white-elephant style prizes for the winning team.
Running in a Winter Wonderland - Emily Brain
If it snows, don't give up and hit the treadmill - invest in some lightweight running crampons, such as YakTrax, so you can enjoy the winter wonderland. Your regular routes will look completely different, and running in snow (with proper traction!) is both peaceful and exhilarating.
Winter RUNway - Emily Brain
In the summer you are pretty much stuck with tanks and shorts, but cold weather means LAYERS! Make runs feel fresh by creating new outfit combinations with all the fun extras like arm warmers, jackets, scarves, vests, compression socks, etc. Fashion show!
Treat Yo' Self - Lorraine Deichert
Pile on the layers and get the run done by thinking about all those post run treats! A hot shower, a hot cup of coffee, hoodies, those are a few of my favorite post run treats that pull me through those cold "I don't want to get out there, it's freezing days." Treat yo' self!
Run With Your Kids - Andrea Hallberg
I'm running with my 7 year old in his first 5K this weekend and I couldn't think of a better way to go 'funning'.
Hit The Trails - Paulette Ference
Check out a new park and run trails. Hike or slow run the hard climbs, enjoy flying on the down and flat, and don't follow your watch for pace. Appreciate the scenery and the great outdoors. The hills will give you a great workout even at a slower pace and trails can really recharge your love for running. And make sure to take running buddies with you to chat and photograph the views!
Karaoke Run - Andie Cozzarelli
Go for a long run talking only in song lyrics. When you pass other runners or people on the street greet them in song.
Appreciate the Beauty - Jessica Clarke
Find a paved trail or bike path that is plowed in the winter. You won't have to worry about cars, and the snowy tree lined trails are beautiful.
Fun-Run Your Next Race - Ellen Moss
Make the goal for your next goal race having as much fun as possible! Choose a fun town, some fun friends, and the most ridiculous outfit you can think of. Then grab your iPhone (but leave your Garmin at home) and take a million selfies with fun, hilarious sign-bearing spectators on the course, enjoy all the bizarre refreshments people are handing out along the way, and just soak up the fun run experience. I wrote a detailed blog post on: How to fun run a race to perfection.
Ice Skate Lake Loops - Natty Plunkett
Meet up at a frozen lake or pond with at least one buddy. Start back to back, run until you meet up (big pace discrepancies = each runner goes farther/shorter). High five with a "Merry Christmas! (or Holiday/Hannukah etc)" and then flip back. Repeat until your workout is done, and enjoy watching the ice skaters on the lake!
Holiday Scavenger Hunt - Lisa Holt
Make a quick list of classic holiday items (lights, trees, etc) and while you’re out running check them off. Running with a group. Follow up with coffee/hot cocoa. Nighttime is best but wear your reflective and be bright!
Turn Running into Family Time - Jocelyn Schroeder
I'll be funning my way through my first ever XC mile this weekend alongside my daughters, ages 8 and 10. They will set the pace and I'll be running and cheering right beside them!
Off to the Treadmill Races - Michelle Witten
Winter training and treadmills kind of go hand-in-hand in Ohio. To liven things up a bit, grab a friend or friends and head to the local gym. Commandeer side-by-side treadmills and have a treadmill "race" to see who can run the farthest in 30 minutes. It's great speed training with some friendly competition that won't freeze your lungs.
Winter XC Races - Leana Keto
In Calgary we have a series of lowkey winter XC races. They are only $10 and there are soups and desserts for runners after the race. Kahtoola Microspikes give you the traction you need to tackle icy, snow packed trails. Great for getting off the road and building up some strength!
Friendly Competition - Sun Torke
In Milwaukee, we have a winter running series with races (5k and 10k) once a month from October-March. It's super fun to see familiar faces at each race and is great for staying motivated to train - you want to stay competitive to try to earn a coveted series prize! It also helps break up the winter months and before you know it, March and spring have arrived!
Group Run and Breakfast - Kelly Wilson
Meet up with some friends that are crazy enough to run in the winter cold as well. Have plans to meet up for breakfast afterwards! Red Velvet pancakes and hot coffee is a great reward and a great way to warm up after a run. The company of friends makes it that much better!
Holiday Liquor Dashes - Michelle Chang
In the spirit of the recent beer mile races & new records, why not incorporate this into a fun workout with some holiday flair? Get some friends together, each brings a special drink and meet at the local track or lake loop. Maybe some Christmas stouts, warm ciders, hot toddy's, mulled wine, or dare I say egg nogg while you run intervals? Drink responsibily, but run your heart out and have a good time while you're at it!
Frosty Face - Lisa Janssen
Every year I try to get a photo of the best frosty face post run! Mascara has nothing on the amazing effect of frost on eyelashes! It may seeem like strange motivation on a cold day, but it works!
Indoor Spring Simulation Run - Krissy Murphy
Check out what kind of temperatures you might expect for a spring race you're training for, and jump on the treadmill so you can get used to that temp! Wear the pieces you are considering wearing for that race - this did wonders when I was training for a FL race in snowy VA.
Headlight Group Runs - Megan Marshall
Where did all the light go?! Now you can run in groups with headlights & admire the lights on houses as well. Light up someone's life.