DR. BETTIE: Staying Motivated During the Fall and Winter Months

DR. BETTIE: Staying Motivated During the Fall and Winter Months

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Staying Motivated During the Fall and Winter Months


Q: Dear Dr. Bettie, I just finished my big fall race, now what? How do I stay motivated to train during the fall and winter months?


A: First of all, congratulations! It’s a huge accomplishment to complete an event that you have trained for all summer. Hope it was a great experience for you! Make sure you take some time off after the race to let your muscles fully recover. I recommend that you take a full week off of running after racing a full or half marathon. Just like tapering before a big event, recovery after the big event is also important.  While you are resting, remember to stretch, drink lots of water and eat plenty of dark leafy greens to aid your recovery.  When you do resume running, start with easy runs and gradually resume speed runs, hill runs, and longer runs.


Fall and winter is a great time to work on strength training and shorter, speedier type races.  Here are a few upcoming local races that you might be interested in:

  • November 15: Cross Country Meet in Eagle
  • November 27: Boise Turkey Day 5k
  • December 20: YMCA Christmas Run

And to really power and motivate you through those dark, cold months of winter, you may want to pick a longer spring race to focus on.  Race to Robie Creek or the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon, perhaps?


When logging all of those winter miles, remember to run safely in the dark.  I recently learned a trick of wearing not only a headlamp on my head but a light clipped to my waist as well.  The second light makes a huge difference with depth perception on the trails!  And don’t forget your reflective gear.  Remember to stay off muddy trails, and as the roads and trails become snowy or icy, you can run with Yaktrax attached to the bottom of your shoes for more traction over the snow and ice.  Speaking of snow and ice, winter is a great time to incorporate some different cross-training activities such as nordic skiing into your routine.

Finally, running with others makes running in the dark and cold both safer and more fun, so if you are still on the sidelines, please come join us soon for a run and enjoy running through the fall, winter and well into next year!