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The countdown starts now – Run Melbourne is on its way! While the excitement might be on the rise, the temperature is steadily dropping and it can be hard to keep training consistent. Here’s eight expert techniques for sticking to your running program throughout winter.
The 24th of July will see the Melbourne streets come alive with thousands of pounding footsteps, as an avalanche of avid runners take to the city to complete Run Melbourne.
For the half-marathon, after starting at Flinders Street Station, runners head across the river for a short jaunt in Southbank before tracking up through the docklands and crossing the Yarra again to head down towards the Botanic Gardens. After making a near-lap of the gardens, including a portion of The Tan track, the race will finish between Fed Square and Rod Laver Arena.
Keeping motivation on track.
That’s the course. But the more pressing concern is — how do you keep your preparation on course? Winter in Melbourne is a particularly cold and dreary time of year. As we get out of bed for early morning runs before work, many of us start to wonder: is this really even worth all the struggle? The answer, of course, is yes. But that doesn’t make the process any easier. Come winter, waking up on Monday morning can be especially daunting. The one-two combination of the start of the working week and the increasingly brisk mornings can be enough to send even the most enthusiastic runner back under the covers. So how do we stay motivated during these chilly winter months?
8 tips to stay running through winter:
Here’s our eight tips from seasoned runners, to help keep your training on course throughout the cold wintry months.
- Run on a Monday – now, as off-putting as this may sound to some people, a Monday morning run sets the tone for the rest of the week. If you get up and going initially, everything else seems to fall into place. A good start makes it easier to stick to the remainder of your routine.
- Set goals, and make them SMART – that’s S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Research shows that identifying a clear outcome with a set end-date in mind is a very helpful motivator in achieving things. In all aspects of life, but particularly in relation to exercise.
- Make a habit – if you’re a veteran of the running game this will be second nature, but as they say: ‘motivation is fleeting but old habits can be hard to break’. If you are already in the habit of running, stick to it. If you’re not, get into the habit.
- Be well prepared – remember the five Ps: ‘Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance’. Pack your things the night before, whether it’s your running gear to take to work or your work bag in general, and be ready to go. This leaves little room for last minute excuses.
- Run with a mate – nothing motivates more than having company. Friends can help the grueling miles pass by without a worry, and you never know, you might just be their source of motivation too.
- Be creative – don’t run the same route every day. Variety is the spice of life, so mix it up, run a path less travelled, or even run your usual route backwards. It’s easy to become bored with the same scenery all the time. Keep things interesting and explore alternative routes.
- Take a break – in a similar vein, mix your training program up. You’ve run for the last few days? Well how about a bike ride? It may not do much for your running performance from a mechanical point of view, but you’ll certainly benefit from the change in activity mentally.
- Look to invest in new running gear – maybe those old runners don’t have the same spring they once did; or maybe your running gear was more suitable for the summer months and you now find yourself freezing in the wintry climate. A new pair of kicks or a new top can provide a new lease on your running life, and do wonders to improve your motivation.
Exhaustion and lack of motivation can lead to injury development over time, especially if we become less mindful of our activity and start to complete sessions on auto-pilot. Preventing overuse injuries in training can be as easy as making small changes in the way we approach a workout program.
These kind of minor changes can easily effect the outcomes of our running-related goals. So what are you waiting for? Implement each of these techniques to stay running and reduce your risk of overuse injury over winter.
For more tips and tricks to help you stay on track throughout winter, or for specialist information on reducing your risk of injury, book an appointment with the team today!