7 Ways to Shake Off the Winter Running Slump

Turn January into your most successful month for running – here’s how.

January can be one of the toughest months for runners. It’s dark, cold, and you feel sluggish after a long stretch of overindulgence. But with a few smart changes, January can become focused, productive, and successful. Here’s how to turn January from sluggish to sharp!

1 Have a big goal

At times like this, you need a goal to get you out of the slump. Make it something a little larger than usual, maybe just outside your comfort zone. If it’s too easy, it won’t take priority. Train for a race, set a mileage goal for the month, or aim to run a regular route in a certain time.

 

2 Prioritise yourself

We know… women always get told to prioritise “me time”. It may sound trite, but it’s true. How will you ever shake off the winter sloth unless you make time for running and ask others to respect it? Your short term and long-term health and happiness are a priority. Running doesn’t need to take up much time. Make a commitment and defend it!

 

3 Plan, plan, plan

We are all busy people. Running needs to be scheduled in to the week, otherwise it will slide to the bottom of the to-do list. When do you currently sit and plan out your week (work hours, home admin, etc)? Add “running” to that schedule. Plan it in, write it in the calendar, and make it as non-negotiable as any other appointment.

 

4 Sunrise running

Early mornings can be the best time to run, especially in January. You are likely to be rewarded with a beautiful sunrise to set you up for the day. It’s peaceful and meditative. And you’ll be able to tick off “running” before anything else happens that day!

 

5 Meet a friend

Arrange to meet a friend for some of your runs. Knowing someone is waiting for you is a great motivator. Be honest, you wouldn’t really keep a mate waiting, would you? Running with someone else gives you an extra boost to run further or faster. Plus, you can have a brief chat and catch up.

 

6 Keep a written log

Smart watches and phone apps are great, but traditional written logs held a certain special magic. Try making a few written notes about each run. Don’t focus on distance, pace, and speed. Instead, jot down things you saw, how you felt, what running means to you. It will help reconnect you with the things you truly love about running.

 

7 Review your progress

Once a week throughout January, assess your progress. There’s nothing more motivating that seeing what you’ve achieved – and comparing it to what you would have achieved if you’d let the January slump consume you instead!