Winter is fitness’s douchey friend {guest post from Presley @ Run Pretty}

by Kim on December 10, 2013

Hey guys! So my NASM exam is officially a week away, and I’m officially starting to sweat. I was supposed to devote many, many hours to studying over the weekend, and, well…I think I skimmed chapter 6 for a few minutes and printed out some diagrams of muscles.

In other words: #fail.

So I thought it would be a good idea to step away from the blog for a few days to really buckle down. (Buckle down = study sessions > 6 minutes in length.) Luckily, I was somehow able to trick the lovely and HILARIOUS Presley into filling in for me. (I mean, it had to have been a trick situation—no way she just straight up agreed to this.)

Her only criteria going into this post was that she somehow incorporate the word “douche.” I can’t explain the context behind that, only because it doesn’t really exist. I just thought you should know how little I contributed toward making this post happen. So THANK YOU, Presley!


Hey, y’all! I’m Presley. I have a blog called Run Pretty, sometimes I do healthy things, and I’m pretty much Kim’s long-distance best friend. She doesn’t know that last part yet.

Anyway, Kim is freakishly busy with being amazing at life. She’s also clearly delusional because she’s allowing me to guest post while she’s hitting the books.

run pretty Let’s just get straight into it, shall we? Winter is Fitness’s Douchey Friend. Yes, douchey. Now before you get upset and jump to winter’s defense, I think you should look at the facts.

1) You travel a lot during the winter, and stay with people who might not share your priorities.

Sometimes they eat crap food, so you eat crap food. And let’s be real, it’s also really hard to say no to sitting on the couch all day when everyone else is doing it.

2) Winter weather conditions are only fun for about an hour.

Snow ball fights? Awesome. Slipping during your run? Not awesome. I love running, but I’ve yet to master running on ice.

3) When it sucks outside, you spend time inside.

If you’re training for a race, you might end up stuck on the treadmill or some other instrument of torture. They don’t call it the dreadmill for nothing.

See my point?

Winter is the friend that’s all “Just skip your run, loser!”, “Sweaters exist for a reason!”, and “Be polite! Eat that crap!”. I mean, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you should have seen this coming.

There is hope, though. All it takes is a little planning and a lot of focus. You can’t ignore winter, but you can tune her out a bit.

winter When it comes to eating while visiting less than “healthy” relatives, you’re just going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Learn to say no. If you truly don’t want to eat something, don’t.

If you’re anything like me, you want to push that even further. You want to teach them how to make some better choices, but you want to do it without being an ass.

I think the best way to do this is to take matters into your own hands. First, offer to cook for them and make simple substitutions in recipes that are familiar to them. Even if you just convince them to swap white rice for brown rice, you’re off to a good start. My dad makes kale all the time now, and I can’t say that doesn’t make me deliriously happy.

Your family eats better, so you eat better. It’s a snowball effect that will only continue to benefit everyone.

Bonus points for getting everyone off the couch after dinner. You = 1, Winter = 0.


Next up, moving your workouts indoors.

Just typing that was painful to me, because I definitely prefer to work out outdoors.

I think the key to finding an indoor workout groove for me is to distract myself. Loud music, a hilarious movie, or a group fitness classes are practically the only way you’re going to get me to get off of the couch. Make it fun or forget about it.

I just think working out inside of four walls (especially when they’re beige as hell) takes a little excitement to break up the monotony. We recently added a TV in front of our treadmill and I swear it has made all the difference for me during my training.

Take that, winter.

three miles Speaking of training for a race on a treadmill, it can totally be done.

My tips to survive winter race training are:

1) Run outside if and when you can.

Even if you only run outside once a week, I do think it’s better than not doing it at all.

2) The incline button on the treadmill is your best friend.

When you are stuck on the treadmill, make sure you are clicking that incline button randomly. A 1%-2% incline is good for most of your miles, but play with it once in a while to replicate what you would actually be running outside.

3) Be realistic with your choice of training plan.

One of the biggest factors for me, though, was choosing the right training plan. I know I’m going to get less miles in during the winter. That’s how I roll. I specifically chose a half marathon training plan that had me covering about 16-30 miles a week, max. This way, I won’t “waste” any miles and treat the ones I do run a little more seriously. Only you know how much work you want to put in, ya know? Be mindful of that.

half marathon training plan So, I definitely started this post with the intention of making it much more focused and to the point. If you’ve ever read my blog, you know that doesn’t ever happen.

Originally, Kim and I had tossed a few ideas around about post ideas. I pretty much just wrote them all into one long, awkward ramble instead of choosing one. A little known side effect of winter is that it also makes you dumber.

What do you do to make winter fitness more tolerable?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel@curious runner girl December 11, 2013 at 1:53 am

This is brilliant! Although it is summer where I live (and we have very mild winters), I still totally love this and totally agree!!
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Danielle @ LabelsAreForTinCans December 10, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Love these ‘keeping it real’ tips! I really don’t like running in the cold but I try and suck it up once a week. The other times I’ve been focusing on more cardio/bodyweight/strength training and switching it up on the treadmill with interval runs.
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Presley @ Run Pretty December 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm

THANKS, KIM! You are so not a douche for this. ;)
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Kim December 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I honestly can’t think of anyone less douchey than you right now. Thank YOU! :)


Ali December 10, 2013 at 11:50 am

Loved the guest post Presley! On another note, you’ll do great on the NASM exam. Just think it’s almost over! YAY
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Kim December 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I REALLY hope you’re right about that. :) It’s going to be so weird to be done!


Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut December 10, 2013 at 9:04 am

This whole post made me giggle. Aside from the hilarity, there are some really great points!

Good luck on your NASM studying! I am doing awful with my studying, but hopefully once I map out an actual schedule it will get better!!
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Kim December 10, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I’ve found that what’s helped me the most of all my studying strategies is “total panic as the exam date draws terrifyingly near.” :) Thanks, and good luck to you too!


Caitlin December 10, 2013 at 7:08 am

Hahhaha douchey. Love it! I love saying the word douche!


Kim December 10, 2013 at 8:27 pm



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