Winter Running Advice With Olympic Athlete Laura Weightman
Written By: SportsShoes
As the days grow colder and leaves start to fall on your favourite running route it can be increasingly difficult to stay motivated as a runner. But when you’re a medal winning athlete you can’t afford to let up on your training, even in the winter. Sportsshoes.com has sat down with Commonwealth Games and European Championships medallist and Nike athlete Laura Weightman to find out how she keeps herself motivated over the colder months.
How would you sum up this season Laura?
It’s been a bronzed year! It’s been amazing to win medals at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.
What do you think has been the difference that has turned you from an athlete who makes finals into one who wins medals?
When I made my first major final I was a young naïve 21-year-old at the London Olympic Games on my university summer holidays. I didn’t class myself as a professional athlete then I was a student who ran. Those games gave me a real taste of what I could do and I wanted more. After those games I trained harder each year and kept pushing myself.
How do you mentally approach winter training?
Winter is long and tough, I focus on the long-term goal of the summer track season races they motivate me to work hard. I just simply try to enjoy the training, the process of getting fitter and stronger than the year before.
Where are your go to places for your runs as the weather gets colder and the nights draw in?
It is important in the winter to have a range of safe road loops for dark evening runs. I am very lucky in Leeds that there are a good range of lit paths. When I am at my family home in Northumberland this is harder due to living in a small village, but it is still possible. I loop around a 1.5mile lit loop around the village! I have even used a head torch before to light the dark paths!
Do you ever lack motivation in the winter months? How do you overcome this?
The winter is tough but it is where the summer medals are earned! I have a great group in Leeds that I train with who are also great friends which makes training fun! On dark, wet and cold days knowing I have a group to meet to train means that no matter what I have to go. I can’t let them down!
What is your go to session when you’re feeling demotivated?
In the winter I love doing Fartlek sessions. This is basically a continuous run with a range of varied hard efforts during the run. These can be done on a variety of surfaces including road, grass and trail. This is a great session for when I am on my own and it is a horrible winter night, I don’t stop and keep moving!
The sessions would be:
10-15 min warm up and cool down
Hard efforts of 1 × 4 min, 2 × 3 min, 3 × 2 min, 4 × 90sec, 4 × 60sec, 4 × 30sec with equal jogging recovery to the hard effort