Runners Share Tips for Getting Motivated to Run Outside in the Winter

With the right gear and a positive attitude, winter running can actually be enjoyable

Sure, if you enjoy the sport, it’s fairly easy to keep up with a running routine when the weather is warm and sunny.

When the sun is shining and a light breeze is blowing, most days, it won’t take much effort to convince yourself that heading outside for a run is a great idea.

But when frigid temperatures, chilling winds, and even snow become a part of the picture, the thought of doing anything outdoors, let alone running, suddenly isn’t so enticing.

There are a few tricks and tips you can use to help make sure you’ll keep your running routine on track through the winter, though.

First, you have to make sure that you have the right gear and apparel to keep warm while you run outside. Once you have that covered, all you have to do is wrap your mind around the fact that, no matter how awful you tell yourself it might be, running outside in the winter really isn’t so bad.

In fact, with the right gear and a positive attitude it can actually be enjoyable.

Of course, preparing yourself mentally, or motivating yourself, is often the most difficult part of the process. So, to find out how you can learn to stay excited about running outdoors, even through the wrath of winter, we asked runners to share the different tricks they use to stay motivated.

Here’s what they had to say.  

- How to Motivate Yourself to Run Outside in the Winter-

1. Schedule your running workouts with others so you’ll have someone else to hold you accountable. — Jessi ‏ @jessiforch 

2. Get the weather out of your head. If you wear the right gear for warmth and comfort, you shouldn’t have to worry about being uncomfortable or too cold. “Just run, don’t think,” says Ben Barwick.—@bennyFP

3. Runner Lauren Foley says that watching other runners (like in documentaries about extreme running) helps to motivate her. “[It] gets me out there every season,” she said. — @LNFole4

4. Make sure you have something to look forward to for when you’re run is finished. “I put a pot of my [favorite] coffee on a timer so it's ready for when I return from the run,” says Cassandra Stinn. —@Zaraanity

5. Remind yourself of how great you’ll feel afterwards, and if you’re training for a particular race, that each workout will make you more prepared for the challenge and take you one step closer to reaching your goal. When she doesn’t want to run, Amanda Loudin says that she ‏reminds herself that she’s never regretted a workout after it was over. —@MissZippy1

6. If worse comes to worse, you can always opt for the treadmill. “[I’ve] been struggling with this,” said Patty Rivas. “I do intervals 2 to 3 times a week on the treadmill.”— @PattyRivas13