Running in the Winter...I Need Your Help!!

After a tired, post-Tabata chat with Cynthia today I realized that I have been shying away from this blog because I have been lacking motivation lately and don't feel quite right about representing myself a a healthy living blogger when I've been embarrassingly unhealthy as of late. I just can't bring myself to write about the copious amounts of junk food I've scarfed and the workouts I've skipped. Just. Can't. Do. It. But then I realized that rather then run from the blog I need to embrace it in my time of need. As Cynthia pointed out, blogs keep us honest and accountable to our audience (however small) and ourselves. Hello! Why didn't I think of that??

So here I am, working through another lull on my quest to a healthy life. I hear it happens to the best of us and I am hoping it will be short-lived in the grand scheme of things, And all the while I am also trying to wrap my head around a somewhat scary, almost unfathomable concept: winter running.

Winter running? Really? Seems like an oxy-moron right? I mean, c'mon, I live in Canada people and while we don't actually live in igloos and travel on dog sled we do get some serious snow and sub-zero temperatures. Can you say BRRRRRR!?

The truth is there are at least 32 things that I would rather do on a cold winter morning than head out for a 10k run but on the other hand I don't want to lose the fitness that I have managed to build up in the last 8 months either. And since moving to Florida isn't a viable option for this gal I am going to have to suck it up then bundle up and get my butt out the door.

In times of sheer desperation (and I would say finding motivation when its -15C outside qualifies as desperation) I must look to small rewards for my efforts. Much like the Starbucks Vivianno smoothie reward of the summer I will be seeking out a delicious treat to acknowledge my hard work and dedication. Enter Starbucks Hot Chocolate with whipped cream.

Yea, I'll run for that!!

But as a new winter runner I could sure use some advice; after all the hot chocolate is only going to get me so far. Share your tips pretty please (with whipped cream on top!)

I've got a few other ideas in mind for motivation but I will leave that for another post and wait to hear what y'all have to say first.

So tell me whats your best winter running tip? Not a winter runner? What's your favorite outdoor activity during the winter months and how do you get motivated to get out there on those chilly days?


  1. For some odd reason, it's so much easier to stay on the fitness and healthy eating track in the summer (tank tops maybe?). I can totally relate with the winter eating blues.

    While I don't get snow where I'm at, but shoveling always got my heart rate soaring :) I cannot run in the cold though - it just hurts. Possibly more than it normally does!

  2. I went through the same thing of feeling guilty trying to classify myself as a "healthy" person when I slowly stopped working out after summer and started to have more dinners that consisted of chips and salsa instead of a real meal. I stopped blogging about every single thing I ate which helped immensely with the pressure and guilt. Now I just write about the things that I feel are truly worth sharing with others and I'm much happier! :-)

    I'm interested in seeing what other people offer up as tips for working out in the cold, because I'm clueless! I've been thinking of signing up for some indoor fitness classes to get myself moving again since I'm not a fan of being outside when it's super cold either!

  3. Ahhh running in the winter is brutal! I don't know what it's like in the east but in the west it's supposed to be our worst winter in 50 years! Noooo!

    A few tips: LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS! I usually do a long sleeve, a t-shirt and then a coat/running sweater of some sort. I always always always wear a toque (you lose a lot of heat through your head) and glvoes. I am also planning on going out to buy some running tights which help from getting cold ankles. Depending on how cold it is I will usually just wear long-sleeved pants or capri's though.

    Oh, and finally, my running friend told me something about "yak traks" that you can get at Costco. Apparently they go on the bottoms of your shoes and help with running on the snow and ice. I'm planning on picking some up on Wednesday!

    Good luck :)

  4. I'm in the same lull right now! When I have to run in the cold my biggest thing is keeping my ears covered, and wearing mittens. I find I can handle the temps better if my hands don't feel like they're getting frostbite.
    I think I might start running for hot chocolate too. That picture looked yummy.
    Good luck! I know ou can get back on track.

  5. Is there an indoor track you can go to? that picture looks so coldy.

  6. I'm looking for the same advice and motivation! I think some new running gear would help keep exercising fun and do-able.. and maybe a new playlist? :)

  7. Winter running is definitely tough, but it's a great way to stay active during the colder months. And honestly, once you get out there, it's not that bad (unless you've got a sub-zero windchill or something!). Sometimes it's even a lot of fun -- I love running through fresh snow, or even while it's snowing. It's like being a kid again. :)

    You warm-up a lot when you're running, so I would dress in layers -- that way you can easily pull something off if you get too hot. Finding a good hat + gloves are also key.

    Finally, I think it's good that you've decided to embrace blogging again, even if you don't feel like you're the shining example of a healthy life. Everyone struggles with those times, and I find there's much more value in being REAL, you know? And I love how supportive the blog community can be. :)

  8. Living healthy is a swinging pendulum. We're always moving towards the center, though. I'm glad you returned to blogging!

    I started running last year and ran through the winter. I embraced a few treadmill runs, but I also got used to the cold. Lots of layers and fun friends made it possible! I will be training for a marathon through this winter...so we'll see how that goes! Honestly, it's sometimes tough to get motivated but then you feel super hardcore for doing it, making it fun.

  9. I just came across your health and fitness blog. Your article about running in the winter was especially interesting. I especially liked your comments about trying to get yourself back on track, and rewarding yourself with small treats when you do follow your health and fitness guidelines. I am adding you to my favorites. We're in the same industry, the business of encouraging health and fitness. We market a product called The AbStand: http://www.theabstand.net. We would love for you and your readers to check out our ab workout product. This is a great gift idea for the holidays and an easy to way to kick off your New Year's resolution! Any feedback would be appreciated as well. Thanks!

  10. Wind chills and icy streets are enough to unmotivate the most seasoned of runners, but winter running can be fun! Best tip I have is dress correctly and be safe. Even if temps fall into single digits having the proper layers and keeping in mind your overall goal time of being in the elements will allow you to enjoy your time.