Winter Running Alternatives

I'm having a hard time believing that it's only the beginning of December and that I don't actually live in Antarctica. I ran the Blue Back Square Mitten Run 5k this morning and BRR it was cold! I mean serious, toe numbing, can't feel my legs cold. They said there were about 1000 people who braved the chill and came out to run though, which was great. Pre and post run, however, I realized that if I weren't running a race there would be no way I would be outside running this morning. So if it's only the beginning of December and I can already feel myself chickening out of running outside, I guess that means it's time to find an alternative. I've never been a fan of gyms and running on a treadmill, so I decided to read up on some winter activities that could help keep me in shape and possibly motivate me to do some treadmill running. I'm a big fan of active.com, I think they have a lot of great articles and I love having local runs emailed to me every couple of weeks. They've been sending out some extremely relevant articles recently about how runners can can supplement their workouts in the winter. Because I hate treadmills so much, the article "How to Use the Treadmill as a Training Tool" caught my eye and gave some great points on how I can use it to work on my pacing over the winter. I'm about a 10-minute miler and I need to be more in the 8-9 minute range for next June's New England Relay, so I like the idea of having the treadmill pace for me and push me a harder than I might be willing or able to push myself on my own. Also because I hate treadmills, the article "Improve your Running Skills with Indoor Spin" looked great because, well, it's working out on something other than a treadmill. I've never tried spinning, but I think it would be a fun and challenging workout that would help work on my leg strength. Then the two articles "6 Exercises to Become a Stronger Runner" and "4 Cross-Training Activities for Runners" are helpful for those days when I really just don't feel like going to the gym. I'm a fan of yoga and love to be able to take out my mat at any time and work on my poses for an hour. This is certainly enough motivation to keep me going through the winter. What about you? Do you running schedule change over the winter? Do you substitute some of your running days for other activities?

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