Runners for the most part are the toughest athletes there are. As many a cross country runner has boasted, “Our Sport is your Sport’s Punishment!”
That being said, even the most hard core runners can lack motivation in the winter. There aren’t as many races, and the races we do sign up for we don’t expect to pr at. It’s rainy and cold. There are less hours of daylight and running in the dark isn’t ideal.
Here are 4 ways runners can take advantage of winter to improve their running when spring comes.
1. Get inside on the Treadmill and do speed work. Most runners hate treadmills. They are boring, monotonousness and for whatever reason 1 mile on a treadmill seems to take twice as long as running outside. Treadmills, however, are awesome for working on speed work. They don’t let you slow down! Warm up for 5 min and then try a 10x .25miles, 6x .5 miles, or mile repeat workout. Doing high intensity workouts will leave you burning more calories post workout and you’ll start to see your average MPH start to increase on your normal runs.
2. Do Strength Exercises to Work on Running Stability. If you aren’t feeling motivated to brave the elements, stay in your living room and do some stability exercises. You might feel like you aren’t getting as good of a workout at the time, but remember building lean muscles helps you burn more calories throughout the day and the muscles you build will help keep you injury free once your mileage begins to creep up again!
Try these moves to keep yourself running all season long:
- Clam Shell
- Toe Touch
- Forward and Lateral Hops
- Runners Hops
- Runners Bounds
- Single Leg Rotational Squat to Curl To Push Press
- Single Leg RDL to Stability Hop
Do 3 sets of 10 each (except for runners hops do 3 sets of 30) and you have a great go to winter stability workout!
3. Try a Hot Yoga Class. Runners often avoid hot yoga classes, because they say they aren’t flexible enough. Think about that, that’s like saying you can’t come to dinner because you are too hungry!! The cold day you don’t feel like bundling up for your run, check out a class at your local hot yoga studio. I bet you’ll be shocked to find how challenging it is. Who knows, it may become part of your training routine!
4. Buy some new warm clothes! Nike has some great new products out there such as the Vapor Windrunner that will help keep you warm and dry! Lululemon also has some great shirts for runners. I love them because they have thumb holes to keep your hands warmer! Buy some new clothes and you’ll want to get outside in the elements to use them!