Let’s talk about winter fitness… or rather the lack there of!

I ran my first race as a registered ASA runner yesterday as part of Team Vitality and…. I nearly died. Guys, I had such a great plan to maintain my fitness this winter and mostly I’m just failing miserably!


I start out each week with great intentions but the thing is…. when my alarm goes off every morning and I need to haul my ass out of bed for gym or running… I just can’t seem to do it. It’s dark! It’s cold! And my lack of physical activity was never more noticeable for me than during yesterday’s run.


I was tired. My legs were freezing cold. I got gatvol and I was so incredibly relieved to cross the finish line in… 1h26! That’s a very slow 10km for me!

I haven’t been doing my weekly neighborhood club runs, mostly just because I’m too lazy, too cold and too tired. The ARV’s aren’t helping either. I’m tired a lot. My legs hurt. I’m nauseous almost all the time and I get headaches. But all of this is just bullshit excuses and now I really regret it. The ARV’s will be finished in less than 2 weeks and I’ll have totally lost my fitness by then!

Last Sunday I did a 10km club run and no lies, it was so cold that it hurt the whole way. My thighs were aching and I really thought I wasn’t going to make the 10km! The golf course we ran past was snow white with frost. My nose ran. My legs pained. My fingers froze. It was hell!



I had such great intentions to do one physical activity throughout the course of winter to maintain my fitness and my weight. Ja…. let’s not even talk about my diet at the moment. Since I quit smoking and it got so cold, mostly all I want to do is eat and not run. I’m freaking out.

How do you maintain your motivation throughout the winter moths to stay fit and healthy even in the dark, freezing cold?

One thing is for sure, I’m going to have to get my A into G if I want to run a half marathon again anytime soon because there is no way in my current condition that I’d be able to finish! I’m in no where near the same shape as what I was when I ran a half Ocean earlier this year.

Roll on Summer….

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  • Reply cath

    I’ve been thinking about this, because, when I wake up every morning, I can hear the early morning spin or zumba class start up with their music, from my bed.

    Could there BE anything more guilt-inducing? So, I’ve decided that I’ll do two classes a week, and they’ll be during the late afternoon, so it’s not freezing and I’m not outside. Sounds silly, I know, because I live in Durban, the warmest city!, but I do not handle cold well, at all. Like, even now, I’m sitting here freezing my face off. Maybe that’ll help – move to indoors exercise? X

    June 29, 2015 at 9:06 am
  • Reply A Love Beyond Measure

    Yes please roll on Summer. I have put on 5 kg’s 🙁 So I am back to proper banting from today and I’m going to start walking again.
    Its friggin hard in winter. Brrrr.

    June 29, 2015 at 9:10 am
  • Reply jenty

    Well done for doing it! Loved the dressing gown you arrived in 🙂
    I missed you at the end, I was watching out for you.
    I struggled too with just 5… my knee was giving me hell, no idea how I’m going to finish the Knysna half

    June 29, 2015 at 10:16 am
    • Reply Sharon

      I’d rather be comfy than be cool! So a gown to winter races it is! 🙂

      June 29, 2015 at 11:23 am
  • Reply Marina

    Can totally relate Sharon. I haven’t run AT ALL for over a month. I’m so depressed about it as I miss it so much, but I’m definitely a fair weather runner and am biding my time till the days start getting a bit longer and warmer. Winter sucks.

    June 29, 2015 at 10:32 am
    • Reply Sharon

      I promised myself I’d run at least 5km 3 times a week… um, ja, that hasn’t happened!

      June 29, 2015 at 12:06 pm
  • Reply MeeA

    I hear you! It’s exactly the same for me. I feel like such a failure for dropping out of the Knysna Forest Marathon. This was my one big goal for the year. Yes, it’s because of an injury and the physio who’s treating me says I’m not supposed to be running more than 3 or 4km runs at this stage, but I haven’t done ANYTHING all winter and I hate myself for it.
    At least you’re still getting out there some of the time – go, you!

    June 29, 2015 at 11:36 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Ugh! Sorry to hear about the injury but I totally get what you’re saying about feeling like you’re missing out on a big goal for the year.
      Hang in there, in a couple of weeks it will start getting lighter in the mornings and we can’t get back out there again!

      June 29, 2015 at 12:06 pm
  • Reply Tanya

    I just force myself……Saturday was cold and overcast but if promised myself and my friend will do it no matter what….did not do 20 km as planned but 18.5 km was close enough!!! you just have to do it and think of the end result…..on what would happen if you dont do it. How you would suffer if you have to start it all again. And what it can do to your new found YOU!!! i know you can do it. You are the reason am where i am. You are the reason i have lost weight and that i am still on Banting. GO GIRL !!!!!! i know you can get your mind there again!!

    June 29, 2015 at 2:12 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      Thanks for that Tanya!

      June 29, 2015 at 2:21 pm
  • Reply Bronwynne

    Trust me, it’s hard! I never run during winter. I usually take the longest break after Two Oceans until Spring. But since signing up with a coach last year, he has pointed out that I lose all the work I’ve put in by doing so. So I’ve been trying to do at least something. But yikes, it’s tough! I totally hear you! I have some 21kms coming up in July which I’m dreading because I haven’t been doing the mileage. But hey, we try. Okay so maybe… just a thought, for the long Boskruin runs on Sunday, I mentioned to you that my coach says i need to do at least 15kms. So maybe join me. Or do 12kms and turn back? But the trick is getting there i suppose. And if it’s anything like this weekends cold front… *die*! Come on Summer!

    June 29, 2015 at 3:58 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      I’m in! We’ll run on Sunday!

      June 30, 2015 at 7:56 am
  • Reply Sam

    I am battling to do the morning runs as well, I just can’t drag myself out in the dark and cold! I’ve also been sick and battling with my knee so have not being running much and I am stressing that I won’t be able to complete the Knysna half! *sigh* I do think a key part of training thru winter is not getting sick (which sets one back badly) and to try run in the afternoons when it’s slightly warmer.

    Good luck getting back on track!

    June 29, 2015 at 5:23 pm
  • Reply CaffeineAndFairydust

    I am starting gym again tomorrow… I am on aidsipn to lose 30kg’s and the sooner I start the better. I don’t know how the hell I am going to wake up at 5am tomorrow, pr most importantly, what I am going to wear, but I sure as hell am gonna try. I quit smoking 2 years ago – the munchies get easier after a while.

    June 29, 2015 at 10:31 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      I hope you’re right about the snacking post quitting because it’s really freaking me out!

      June 30, 2015 at 7:46 am
  • Reply Moira Oliver

    For winter running you need 6 things – buff or beanie, gloves, long sleeved top, wind breaker, long tights and a cup of coffee before you head out. It is not as cold in Cape Town as Gauteng but we run more in winter (rain or shine) than any other time of the year. Go shopping, get kitted out and the hit the road.
    Good Luck

    June 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      Sadly, I have the whole winter kit… it still isn’t helping lift my butt out of bed at 4am when it’s dark and soooo cold! 🙁

      June 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm

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