I can’t motivate myself to run when the days get shorter

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I seem to lose my motivation for running when the days get shorter. What can I do to combat this? - Sarah Cooke, via email

It may feel tough, but keeping fit and active during the shorter days can help prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and boost your self esteem. Have a major goal that requires you to keep training throughout the dark winter months. And enter lower-key races throughout the winter to keep your motivation going.

Try to use daylight when you can. Perhaps run to work, or in your lunch hour, and do long runs or important sessions at weekends. Try to run with someone, it makes training sociable and you’re less likely to wimp out as you won’t want to let them down. Also treat yourself to gear that protects you from the elements to make the conditions more bearable. The odd treadmill run won’t do you any harm either. Be proud and remember how lucky you are to be able to run.