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Thawing up: Getting your run on after winter - Robin Watts

There are some runners who manage to keep their mileage up during winter, steadily hitting their mark no matter how cold, slippery and dark it might be. Most people, however, are not these runners. I know for one that I’m rather reluctant to lacing up my Nikes and heading out for a run when it’s snowing horizontal in January. Therefore, when the first signs of spring are popping up and the ice is melting away from the pavement, I can hardly remember how regular running feels, and neither can my body. To find the motivation to get out and get back into shape (and to avoid injuries!) there are some steps you can take. Here are some of my best tips.

1. Prepare

Ideally, keep up doing runners strength (Runner’s World have some great resources for runner’s strength here) during winter and make time for some intervals on the treadmill. However, if you actually spent most of winter curled up in the sofa watching Netflix, you might need to wake your body up out of its winter slumber. Opt for some Yoga which is good for stretching out those stiff limbs and runner’s strength in the gym to keep knees, hips and core strong to avoid injuries when you start adding those, initially shorter, runs.

2. Run with Friends!

If you are not already in a run club, join one. The commitment makes you accountable and those happy and familiar faces will make you look forward to donning your spandex and showing up. If there is no running club where you live, try starting one! Maybe you have colleagues at work that would love to become more active? Perhaps your boyfriend needs a kick in the butt. That girl in the blue windbreaker you saw in the track several times last fall – maybe she wants running company? Running together is more fun and pushes you to do just a little bit more.

3. Take your Time

…but be mindful so that you don’t push yourself too hard in the beginning, you don’t want runner’s knee ruining your whole season, right? Don’t expect too much from yourself, build up to the level you want to get to slowly. You might have heard of the 10 percent rule (which states that you should only increase your weekly mileage by 10 percent) and although not necessarily a rule to follow religiously, it gives you a good indication of how fast to go. Always listen to your body though!

4. You are not Starting Over

Although the first few runs might feel like ultra marathons, you’ll get quickly back to your old running self. As a runner, although you might have lost some of your fitness, you still have your technique and your mindset. Within a few weeks running will be an enjoyable part of your routine again.

5. Listen to music

Put together a playlist of your springiest songs to listen to during your runs, or use your running time to listen to new music. Ask a friend to create you a playlist with music they think you might like, or listen to one of Ssideline City’s playlists!

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there! Maybe we’ll see you on Tuesday?


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