Outdoor running tips for the winter months

Here at the YMCA Club, We have launched a friendly running club that meets every Wednesday evening, heads outside for a run to Regents Park or Primrose Hill and back to the Club. We are open to everyone, all abilities welcome and we want to encourage as many of you to join us!

We know that this time of the year is when temperatures are starting to drop which makes it very difficult to get out of bed to exercise. Running in the dark and in cold weather puts up a barrier for anyone to do outdoor activities. One of the toughest fitness decisions to make in the winter months is just to get out of the door (either early in the morning or evening after work) and go for a run.  A series of arguments kick off between the parts of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to go.  

However, winter running is a great way to develop your mental toughness and boost your confidence in staying focused towards your goals and will definitely help you maintain consistency towards your training.

Below, we share some of the greatest benefits to outdoor running when in a group. 

Tip 1: Stay motivated

Running with others has huge benefits in keeping your motivation high and avoiding boredom.  It will ensure regularity by setting the time and date to run together and if you keep running on a regular basis you will certainly progress.  Progression is key to measuring success which boosts motivation. Another way to maintain motivation is to sign up for races weather it’s completing a free 5 k Park run on Saturdays at your local park or for 10k, half or full marathon.  This will keep you focused towards training and increase motivation. 

Tip 2: Consistency 

One of the best way to become a better runner is to stay consistent by do it regularly.  Making it a routine will help you stick to your training especially at difficult times when darkness and cold whether are more likely to interfere.  This does not only need to involve running but sticking to a regular class at the gym such as doing a spin class on Monday morning or a lunch time circuit to automate cross training to supplement your running with strength and endurance cross training.

Tip 3: Learn from others

Joining a running group is also a great way to learn tricks and tips from other runners about becoming a better runner.  We also offer a treadmill class every Friday lunchtime that focuses on interval an intense drill training on the treadmills.  It also helps improve your fitness levels as well as your running technique.

Tip 4: Social facilitation

Research suggests that there are also psychological benefits when running as a group. One of the greatest benefits is that people tend to perform better in presence of others which is referred to as “Social facilitation” in social psychology.  According to research, running with a group faster than your usual pace, your brain encourages you to keep up with the rest of the group without knowing.  This is because running with others creates an excitement that helps you run faster than you thought you could do on your own.

If you are interested in joining the YMCA Running Club contact Nassim and join us for our weekly sessions. Session are run Wednesdays, 6-7pm – starting outside the YMCA Club.

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ymca | 4 November 2017