I get asked the question “how do you stay motivated in the winter?” quite often really. I am human, like everyone else, and the cold, dark mornings make it that much more difficult to get out of my warm bed in the morning. I have a number of tricks/ideas that I use in the winter months especially to stay motivated and maintain consistency in my daily training.
- Find yourself some training partners.
Having training partners is a great way not only to hold yourself accountable, but also to keep the sport fun and fresh. A training camp can also be a great way to change your perspective and environment, while motivating you to work hard on the daily. Surround yourself with like-minded people and it’s amazing what you can do together.
- Plan out your season goals.
Before the next season begins, I like to write out specific outcome-based goals, and then process-related goals of how I will get there. I also like to plan my early season races, which gives me incentive to build fitness in the off-season. A goal on the horizon, can make a significant difference when it comes to finding motivation to train.
Music has been a great friend of mine in the winter, especially to keep me motivated and entertained while on the trainer with my Blue AC1 Limited Road Bike or running on the dreadmill (yes I spelled that correctly). I also like to have different genres of music based on the purpose of each workout. Even when the body doesn’t feel great, music has a way of inspiring.
- Go outside
Even when it is cold outside, sometimes it can be beneficial and give you a fresh perspective to bundle up and run outside. Think of the snow on the ground as a change of scenery and fresh perspective on your typical running routes. Every Wednesday, I run a 6 am sunrise run with my roommate, Caryn. We both bundle up and hit the roads with our headlamps. It’s a nice morning adventure that motivates me to wake up early 🙂
Practicing mindfulness in the form of yoga or meditation can be very helpful in defining your purpose, letting go of your past, and channeling your energy to future goals. Given I have a body-type that struggles in the cold, the heated sessions especially are beneficial to my overall recovery and ability to relax.
- Get in the gym and hit it hard!
In the summer season, it’s typically race season so gym training is usually a supplement to training and not the core part of training/racing. In the winter time, change it up by hitting the gym hard three times per week. Gym has become one of my workouts in the winter. Building strength will translate to a stronger, healthier body when the season comes around.