It’s cold, dark and wet outside and often motivation can be a little on the low side this festive season where getting out the door to train can seem more that a chore than an actual hobby!
As a triathlete whose key races are not until spring, winter opens a great window to get in a good block of hard and consistent training, whilst also opening the opportunity to work on weaknesses highlighted from the past season. As a result, motivation is a priority and below are just a couple of tips that’ve definitely helped me to get out of the door and into the swing of training throughout this gruelling season:
1. Set a GOAL for 2018- ‘Find your passion’
Write down and plan out your goals for the 2018 season – set visible and constant reminders of these goal(s) as a constant reminder of why you need to get out the door. For example stick a note on your bathroom mirror, make it your screen saver on your phone, go public with it on social media, this will ensure that you never lose sight of this goal and should help pump up the motivation and reduce the temptation to hit the snooze button.
2. Set a date with a training BUDDY
Having a training buddy is a great way to stay in the swing of training – not only do they help you push harder than you would when training alone, but setting a specific day and time for a training ride or session with a partner or group will help reduce the need for an excuse in fear of letting them down. They can also offer good guidance, encouragement and advise to keep you on track with your fitness goals. (Me and my twin sister set a date every Tuesday to meet for a run session, the fear of letting her down keeps me motivated.)
3. Mix it UP!!
Winter offers the perfect opportunity to add a bit of spice and FUN to your training routine. Through winter it’s great to get down and dirty by getting out on the mountain bike or CX bike. Not only do these sessions help prevent boredom from a usually well regimented spring/summer routine, but, they can also offer some valuable skills such as improved bike handling and increased strength…so getting back on the road bike will then seem like a breeze!
Also, steering away from your well regimented training regime and doing something completely different can help refresh the mind and rekindle the fire in the belly ready to hit the 2018 season with determination. So have fun and try something new with your training this season.
4. Join a Gym
When it’s cold and dark outside energy levels and motivation to get out the door and train can often feel somewhat depleted. A gym membership can be a great incentive to keep you on track with your training through the winter season, not only does the gym offer warmth from the outside, but it provides a great opportunity for you to work on weaknesses that can help you on your 2018 fitness journey.
For me this creates valuable time to work on my strength and conditioning which aids with injury prevention and strength gains. Most gyms also offer classes such as circuit training, yoga and spin classes where you can train in a group environment and get in a good quality training session in an hour… great for when time is short!
5. Prepare for the Cold
The cold should not act as a barrier to stop you riding outside, however it is important that you take caution on extremely icy or snowy days. Go out by all means but some days the turbo or gym might just be the safer option.
There is no greater feeling for me than breathing in the crisp cold air and receiving some mood enhancing daylight, as I stomp on the pedals through the winter season. These rides offer a great opportunity for enjoyment, these rides do not need to be head down lung busters, they should be about bagging the long, slow miles and embracing the environment on which we train and often do not appreciate throughout the spring/summer. Of course, these rides have the added value of squeezing in a guilt free café stop or 2.
So, there we have it my 5 key tips to help you stay motivated this season, it would be great to hear yours in the comment section below.
“A strong Spring/Summer is earned through winter, stay positive, stay focused, stay strong…embrace the suck and become a true winter hero’’ #DefyWinter with Dee – Team Ribble.