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How To Keep Running Motivation In January

BY: The Running Channel
06 January 2024

It’s undeniable. The onset of January can bring a wave of blues. The festive glow of Christmas has faded, leaving many of us wondering, “How did it all go so fast?” But fear not, fellow runners, for there are plenty of ways to maintain your running routine even when the January blues hit hard. Here’s TRC’s guide to help you through the colder, darker days with a spring in your step.

Setting Achievable Goals

A key strategy to keep up your motivation is to set small, achievable goals. This could be anything from adding an extra five minutes to your cooldown to conquering that daunting hill on your route. These incremental victories not only provide a sense of accomplishment but also visually demonstrate how far you’ve come.

The Power of Community and Accountability

Sharing your running journey with friends, family, or a running community can also be incredibly motivating. Whether it’s a weekly run with a friend or updating your progress on social media, being accountable to others can give you that extra push to lace up your trainers. Joining online communities, like The Running Channel group on Facebook or our Strava club, connects you with a global network of runners who offer encouragement and share their experiences.

Embracing Technology and Challenges

Apps like Strava add a fun, competitive edge to your runs. You can track your progress, set new challenges, or even engage in a bit of friendly competition with fellow runners. And for those who thrive on targets, booking a race or setting a personal challenge like a Fastest Known Time (FKT) can be a great motivator. These goals provide a focus and a sense of purpose to your running routine. Runna, our favourite running coach app, can help with accountability and motivation through its fun sessions and feedback.

The Role of Mindfulness and Well-being

Mindfulness and meditation can be a game-changer in battling the January gloom. Apps like Calm and Headspace offer guided sessions that can help lift your mood and improve your overall well-being. Incorporating mindfulness into your running routine or daily life can make a significant difference in your mental health, especially during the shorter, darker days of winter.

Practical Tips for Winter Running

Preparation is key. Laying out your running gear the night before removes barriers and excuses. For an extra touch of comfort, try placing your clothes on the radiator overnight – a warm start to a cold morning can be just the encouragement you need. 

Variety is the Spice of Running

To avoid monotony, mix up your running routes. Exploring new paths can invigorate your running experience. Accompanying your runs with music or podcasts keeps things fresh and interesting. Creating new playlists or discovering new podcasts can reignite your enthusiasm for running.

The Joy of Post-Run Rewards

Finally, having a post-run ritual, like a hot bath or a special snack, gives you something to look forward to while running. This can be a powerful motivator and a wonderful way to end your exercise on a high note.

Conquering the January Blues

January doesn’t have to be a dreary month for your running routine. By setting small goals, embracing community support, using technology, practicing mindfulness, and preparing effectively, you can keep your running spirit alive and vibrant. Remember, every step you take is a step away from the January blues and towards a healthier, happier you. Share your own tips and experiences in the comments below, and let’s keep the conversation and our feet moving!

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