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Geneviève Lalonde’s favourite winter workout

The Canadian 3,000m steeplechase national record holder gave us her tips for pushing yourself in the cold winter months

Geneviève Lalonde

Finding the motivation to get out and run in the winter can be tough enough, let alone convincing yourself to do any kind of workout. If you’re searching for inspiration to push yourself a little harder, allow Geneviève Lalonde to help. The Canadian 3,000m steeplechase record holder and 2016 Olympian gave us one of her favourite winter workouts, along with some tips to get yourself out the door when the winter weather is less than inviting.

Gen Lalonde. Photo: Maxine Gravina

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“As the spring is fast approaching it’s good to get some hills in,” says Lalonde. “If you want a short bit of speed, find yourself a medium-grade hill and do 12 x 1 minute hills with the recovery being a jog back.”

The workout would be as follows:

  1. Do some pre-run activation drills
  2. Begin with a 20-minute warmup jog
  3. Do 12 x 1 minute uphill, with a recovery jog back down between each repeat
  4. End with a 15-minute cool-down jog

Lalonde says the best part about this workout is that it can be done almost anywhere (as long as you have a decent hill, of course).

Lalonde’s tips for winter motivation

If you’re having trouble finding the drive to get yourself out the door this winter, Lalonde has some advice for you. First, she recommends finding a running buddy so you can hold each other accountable. Even if running with others is not permitted because of lockdown restrictions, you can still encourage one another virtually, and knowing that your friend is getting out there may be the push you need on those cold, dark winter days.

If you have to run by yourself, Lalonde suggests creating a running schedule for yourself so you’re not making day-to-day decisions whether you’ll run, which makes you more likely to skip your run altogether. She also recommends putting on some good music to pump you up a bit. If none of that works, she says to set small objectives for yourself. If running for an hour on a cold, dark evening seems too overwhelming, try going out for just half an hour instead. Once you get out there, chances are you’ll end up going longer anyways, and even if you don’t, running for 30 minutes is better than zero.

“Remember that each day is a new and different day so it’s OK to have great days and it’s OK to have not so great days,” she says.

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