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Published December 02 2012

Wagner: Motivation lacks in cold winter months

Bemidji, Minn.

We all want and need motivation. But let’s face it – we all could use an extra dose of it, especially when the weather turns colder, wetter and whiter.

Personally, it wasn’t easy finding motivation to start logging miles again after the Twin Cities Marathon this fall, especially after a self-imposed break to address overtraining syndrome.

Recently I’ve found the desire to run again – not long runs, but just long enough each day to try clearing the head and enjoying time with my dog.

Time in the pool and on the indoor trainer are giving me more variety, allowing me to train more and providing some areas for major improvement – all which motivate me to do more of all three.

Recently, I spent a few days in sunny Arizona, which helped me log miles each day, and gave me some time to help develop my overall game plan for 2013.

On Thanksgiving Day, I met about a dozen runners at Fargo’s Lindenwood Park for a seven-mile “turkey trot,” which left me inspired by their excitement and training for upcoming races. And, between the freeze-and-thaw cycle, I’ve been able to trudge through the snow with my dog and I have the enthusiasm of a kid again.

For me, the weather and time of the year provides motivation – both for training and the races I’m planning next year. There’s a delicate balance between taking time away from hard training and getting carried away with the spirit of the season, which often leads to tempting food choices. But I know that the more consistent my training is, the more I’m likely to keep focused and motivated.

In turn, the better prepared I’ll be for next season.

Bemidji Pioneer Editor Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found online at

runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email at swagner@bemidjipioneer.com.