Winter is here. In the Pacific Northwest that means everything from rain, to snow, to morning thunderstorms(?). And most everywhere it means the days are short and the temperatures are dropping. Add holiday parties, gift shopping and work to this mix, and it can be hard to lace up those running shoes.

I asked our tweeps what got them out the door during these dark, cold (and busy) days. They find motivation in getting to eat dessert guilt-free,  picturing a vacation where they want to be fit, signing up for a race in the spring to give themselves a reason to train, and rewarding themselves with relaxing in warmth afterwards. I pull motivation from all of these! Mmmm and egg nog lattes....and imagining who might be out there pounding the pavement.

But what I find more challenging this time of year is finding the time. I can let days go by with excuses of I need to eat dinner, I am meeting friends, it's too late, it won't be worth it if I can only go for 20 minutes, yada yada. I am breaking the cycle this week by going back to my tried and true method to getting my runs in: planning. I find motivation plus a solid plan eliminates excuses.

This Sunday I planned my week, which days I needed to work early, which nights I have plans with friends, which nights I might have plans, whatever. I make a goal of mileage for the week, and threw in a strength training day. Then I mapped it out and wrote it down. Some days I had to wake up and get my workout in before work, others I could do it after work. After work run days I need an extra afternoon snack, so I don't foil my plan by hitting my front door starving. Of course I have to break the plan sometimes, but I try not to beat myself up too much. Even if I can get 20 minutes in it's better than nothing. I know it's elementary but a week with a written plan gets me out the door. As opposed to a plan floating around in my head.

The holidays is all about maintaining fitness for me, plus winter is a perfect time to rehab any nagging injuries or strength imbalances. But that's a blog for another day.

December 09, 2010 — sarah

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