The winters here in Detroit can really put you in a state. Myself -- well the cloudy skies and ice really get to me. I really enjoy being able to run outside, but in the winter I am much more worried about being "sure footed". Which basically regulates me to the inside track or treadmill.
This is the only time for me that running becomes a chore. Not the act -- that still is something that gives me peace. It is being couped up inside, going round and round a small track that takes eleven laps to make one mile. Or running for five miles on a belt and go nowhere, like a hamster on a wheel.
It can be tough for me, and maybe you as well, to get motivated to run. I am a creature of routine so if I start to miss runs I start to beat myself up and feel a bit out of control going into a vicious cycle of missing the next run. There are ways to break this cycle and move forward.
One of the ways is to sign up for an early spring race. This works wonders for me. It gives me that goal to look forward to and sets up a real training routine. My personal nature is to compete against myself, always looking to do better than before. What seems to get me going is signing up for the Martian Marathon (the half) here in the Detroit area. The half marathon for me is really my perfect distance. I feel like I am really running something but it doesn't exhaust every ounce of energy like the full.
This year I am starting something different. I am helping organize a small run club at work and getting new people into the world of running. I am going to attempt to motivate and teach people that haven't ran much to run a 5k this spring. The nice thing is we will be doing this once during the week at lunch in a different indoor track in the middle of Downtown Detroit. Getting others excited about running has jump-started my energy for running again. (and writing this blog!)
Which leaves me to the last result THE TREADMILL. This is the toughest for me. I can only do about five miles on the treadmill and then I get crazy and have to stop. I try to create scenarios on the treadmill and use the settings for different terrains and elevations. Create time constraints and speed to help get past the tediousness of the situation. Without my iPod I would be a disaster. I use this time to listen to podcasts and catch up on the latest tech news, (I am a geek) running news and some new music. When on the treadmill I tend not to think much about running, which in not necessarily a good thing. Runners World has a nice article on treadmill motivation, you can read it by going here.
The winter doesn't last forever and it is not too late to get your motivation back -- still I can't wait for spring!