How to Stay Motivated to Run in Winter

Going out for a long run on a warm day, with a lovely breeze, is a wonderful thing. But, there aren’t that many of these days are there? Sometimes, it’s too hot to run outdoors comfortably, and on other days it’s far too cold to want to go outside, especially the days where it’s dark, grey and wet. It’s exceptionally hard to find the motivation you need to put on your trainers and head out of the front door. In very bad weather, I’d recommend indoors treadmill running, but nothing beats an outdoors run, so here are some tips to help you stay motivated through the winter.

Photo Credit: @FabricForward (IG)

Have a Big Goal
The best way to motivate you to keep training is to have something to work towards. Sign up for a big race, perhaps a 10k or a half marathon. Make yourself a training program or download an app. You’re more likely to stick to something if there is a target in sight.

Set Small Targets
Big goals are good, but if you are training towards something a few months, or more, in the future, it can take a while before you start to see results. This can be de-motivating. To give yourself a confidence boost, set smaller, achievable goals.

Remind Yourself of Why You Run
It’s easy to forget. When you are busy and it’s cold outside, you can easily forget why it was you started running. It might have been to lose weight or gain fitness. Or it might have been to get some time away from the kids. You may work a stressful job or be studying an online course such as an online HIM degree from the University of Cincinnati, and have started running as a stress release. These reasons are probably still valid, so remind yourself what they are.

Get Some Layers
You are much more likely to want to go out into the cold if you know you’ve got some appropriate clothes to protect you from the elements. Light, thin layers are the best for winter running. You might also want to get thicker socks, a hat, gloves, and a light waterproof jacket.

Run Early
Get it out of the way. Go for a run as soon as it gets light. This is when you’ll have the most energy and haven’t had time to worry about it. Just tell yourself that once it’s done you’ll feel great and have the rest of the day free for your online HIM program. When it’s cold, remember to warm up with some gentle stretches before you leave the house. Then you can run straight out of your front door. You won’t even get the chance to feel the cold.

Reward Yourself
When you get in, have a treat. This might be your favorite snack or drink, or half an hour in front of the TV. Anything you like, as long as it’s healthy, to reward yourself for making it out for your run. You deserve it.

Running is a brilliant exercise. It helps you build stamina, muscles, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce your stress levels. Don’t let bad weather stand in your way.

How do you stay motivated to run in winter?! 


This post was written by Maggie Hammond; She is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.



  1. Hannah
    February 13, 2017 / 16:21

    Awesome post thanks for sharing!

    • Elle Linton
      March 26, 2017 / 19:47

      Thanks Hannah!

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