April 28, 2023

Laura’s tips for keeping up with your running, when it’s cold and dark!

You all know how much I love to run, it’s the most powerful tool for my mental health! 

Running gives me an incredible outlet where I can take a moment for myself and detach from everything going on. Oh and of course there’s always that indescribable feeling of elation and bliss when it’s over, ‘runner’s high’ is definitely a thing! 

Despite how much I love running and what it does for me, there’s no denying that I struggle to get motivated to run when it’s cold of there is less daylight or if it’s forecast to rain!

It’s common for our exercise, especially running, to take a hit over the colder months, I find myself battling between going for a run and my desire to stay inside where it’s warm and cozy.

I do have a few tips that I keep up my sleeves for when I’m struggling to put my runners on in and I thought I’d share them with you to help you put one foot in front of the other. 

1. Harness your WHY

There’s no doubt that you’ve heard me carry on time and time again about finding your WHY. But there’s merit behind my madness I promise! Your WHY, because it’s personal to you, is always going to have the best chance of spurring you on and remind you of why you want to run.

For example, I was just struck with Covid for the second time and it unfortunately hit me a lot harder. Once I was feeling better, I set myself the goal of (alongside my usual ‘why’ of boosting my mental health) to build back up to running 10km comfortable again with KICRUN.

So with that goal in mind, each time I think twice or hesitate to get out of bed and go, I remind myself of why I want to go for the run. I also know that without putting in the work and making the decision to move, I won’t finish the program and achieve my goal or do something that helps me to look after my mental health.

2. Warm up inside

This is a super simple and easy way to get your mindset and body ready to make the move outside and start your run. There are a few reasons why I like to warm up inside:

  • It makes stepping outside to the temperature drop much less severe as my body is already slightly warm;
  • I don’t have wear as many layers to keep warm when I start my run, as my body has already started to work and generate heat; and
  • It’s less time outside in the cold!

3. Layer up

Wearing the right clothing when running is going to make the run SO much more bearable! The amount of layers you wear will of course depend on how cold it is. I always run in the morning and in Melbourne, a cold morning can be anywhere from 0 to 10 degrees celsius. They say once you start running, it’ll feel around 10 degrees warmer while you’re moving, so I always keep that in the back of my mind when choosing what to wear.

My usual winter running outfit is a pair of long tights and a light weight long sleeve running top (I love the ones with thumbholes) on top of my sports bra and if it’s windy or raining I’ll pop on a waterproof and windproof jacket. If I haven’t warmed up inside, I might even pop a jumper on which once I warm up, I’ll remove and tie around my waist. 

If you’re someone who gets super cold, you could also try wearing gloves and a head band that covers your ears.

4. Be smart with when and where you run

It can be really difficult to run with limited daylight hours, and it’s so much harder if it’s absolutely pouring down with rain, plus you risk slipping! So here are some things to consider instead so that you can get your run in:


  • Run on a treadmill. Yes it’s nowhere near as scenic, but it allows you to get moving when it’s dark and or raining. Whenever I’m running on a treadmill I’ll opt for a shorter run and save my longer runs for when the rain has stopped! If you’re looking for guidance and motivation, head to our Treadmill Masterclasses in the KIC app!
  • Change where you run. If you’re lucky to have a well lit park or running track near by, make the most of it! It might not be as nice as a beach run, but it’ll ensure you can see where you’re going and keep you a little safer.
  • Run during the day. If you’re fortunate to work from home or have a spare moment on the weekend, I’d recommend adjusting your run time if you can. Doing this means you might see some sun and it won’t be anywhere near as cold!

5. Remember you’ll warm up as you go

This is such a simple thing, but honestly if you’re running outside, after about 2 to 5 minutes, you’ll be feeling so much more comfortable in the cold air. You’ve just got to push through initially! You can do it.

If you’re wanting to learn to run 5km, build up to run 10km or push even further to run 21km, you can do this by following our audio guided KICRUN programs. I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way!

Laura Henshaw