There is no doubt about it, it’s cold. The ice on my car windscreen says so. How is it possible to stay motivated for your fitness journey during the cold, dark and wet winter months? Let’s look at the problems we face with winter motivation and discuss some ways to keep going even when the odds seem stacked against us.
Why is winter training so tough?
Not only is it cold but for the full-time worker we seem to be living in eternal darkness. Out come the layers, the lights and the vitamin D and the summer bike moves onto the turbo for the indefinite future. Also, is it just me, or does getting ready to anything take twice as long in the long winter months?
I like to think of myself as a mentally strong girl. However, I do in fact seem to struggle with winter motivation more than I would like. I was having a particularly rough patch last year. Then, one of my friends reminded me I am, in fact not a superhuman. Like everyone else my body needs rest.
I am guilty of viewing myself as different to much of the population. This perhaps, a result of my obsessive nature and desire to be the best I can be. I often push myself too far, and in one circumstance to breaking point. It’s only in the last year that I have begun to decipher between being lazy and my body calling out for a rest. One of the most valuable life lessons I have learned.
What’s your why?
I recently wrote an article for my blog about my ‘why’. For me it is crucial in terms of motivation. If you are not working towards something it can be very easy to fall out of love with what you are doing. This results in feeling lost and a struggle for motivation. So, ask yourself; why do I do what I do? You might surprise yourself. Once you have answered the ‘why’ question, look at what is stopping you putting the training in. Now I am not talking in terms of work or family commitments, but mentally, why are you holding yourself back?
Forming the habit
I have had a number of people ask me how I manage to drag myself out of bed for a 6:30 swim or run. Well it’s because I have made it a habit, it’s part of my daily routine, and you might say I would feel lost without it. The alarm goes off, I get up and I get on with it, knowing that I will always feel better for having done the session. The winter months are all about building strength to be enjoyed and used in the summer months. Don’t get me wrong, very occasionally there will be a day where I choose to sleep instead, but this goes back to my previous comment about deciphering between being lazy and my body calling out for a rest.
I often find the hardest bit of a session is getting out of the door, so if you get that far you are 60% there.
Manipulating the mind
I often find myself picturing a time I felt particularly strong, for example running along the red carpet at the Ironman Wales finish line. I use this to drive myself forwards, because if you have done it before, you can do it again. Retaining a strong and positive mindset is crucial to training and racing, and if you can’t seem to do so the issue might be bigger than you think. I also find having a mantra really helps, mine is: ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’
If you really find yourself in a hole, it might be time to look at your life as a whole. Something might be out of kilter and need addressing. be it work, family, or social life. If something is stressful and drawing on your energy, it will have an impact on the rest of your life too.
If you have any other top tips, feel free to comment below.
Be TrueSapien. Reject Mediocrity.
Thanks for reading and be sure to head over to my blog page!
Pocket Rocket Rach