Did this conversation happen in your head this morning?
“You should really get up and run.”
“Have you looked outside? It’s colder than Sochi. Plus it’s raining. And this bed is soooo warm. Why the hell would you want to run in this sh*t?”
Good question, brain. Is there any point, at all, to running in this foulness?
Although it’s hard to get going, cold weather = optimal running conditions. Studies have shown your body takes longer to tire when running in the cold compared to hotter weather – so you’ll get more out of your run. Plus, believe it or not, it’s actually good for you. Exercising in the cold apparently increases your immune cell count (good for warding off bird flu).
But, top of the list? How good does a warm shower and hot cup of tea feel after a long, cold, miserable run? You’ll be appreciative and grateful for the rest of the day, not to mention have oodles of energy.
Right, now I’m motivated, tomorrow, things are going to be different. Here are five things I’m going to do/think to get myself the hell out of bed and go for that run.
1. Sleep with my running gear.
Ok… not ON… but in my bed. Next to me. Soaking up that nice body heat while I sleep. That way it’ll be nice and warm when I wake up, and I can actually put on my running clothes without getting out of the nice warm bed.
2. Do NOT press snooze.
Don’t. Even. Think. About. It. Don’t hesitate. Don’t snooze. Get up, put on your nice warm running gear and get up. Do not let other-voice-in-brain (aka the Blerch) win. He is EVIL. He is not interested in said benefits and cosy shower.
3. Pick a route the night before and commit.
That will stop you from pussy-ing out the next day and just going around the block. Note: five minutes running around the block does not accrue said benefits.
4. Think of the poor sods swimming in the Cold Half this weekend…
This Saturday, fifty open water swimmers are taking to the FREEEEZZZINNNGG cold shores of Hong Kong’s south to swim 14 kilometres solo and in relay teams.
And if you think that’s mad, take another moment to think of the five brave souls swimming in the Cold Half WITHOUT A WETSUIT then running the Standard Chartered Marathon the next day. They are trying to gain entry to the Sub 3 squared club. True story. (Read my story in the SCMP about it tomorrow. ;) )
5. Remind yourself that you don’t get to pick the weather on race day.
As my friends who ran The North Face 100 Hong Kong last year found out – sometimes the weather in the hills can get plain nasty. Someone told me once that imperfect training – when you’re tired, when it’s cold, when you’re unprepared – is the best type of training. When are race conditions ever perfect?
Besides, if you can run in this sh*t, you can do anything.
See you on the trails.