Training when you least feel like it.
Winter training, it isn’t everybody’s favourite thing.
The days are so short, and scraping ice from the car to go to the gym can be a chore.
And for those of you that like to run or cycle, cold, wet and dark roads don’t help either.
So what can you do to help motivate you through the dark months?
Here are a few tips that will keep you going.
Why winter training is so important.
The key to deriving the maximum benefits from any type of training is consistency.
As the wise old sage, Aristotle once said, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.”
Strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness can all be lost very quickly if you stop training altogether. So keep the habit going.
So whereas at other times of year you might be trying to push yourself to the limit, winter can often be a maintenance phase of your training.
Unless you are peaking for a winter competition, or are desperately trying to get in shape for a February wedding, this can be a time to ease off a little.
But easing off doesn’t mean stopping. It can be a time to facilitate psychological rest, relaxation and biological regeneration as well as to maintain an acceptable level of fitness.
The truth is training doesn’t always need to be full on and competitive.
If you fit into the alpha male of alpha female category, perhaps this is a good time to ease off a little.
If you allow your body to ease off now, it will allow you to train harder with less injury later on.
Winter training tips to keep you motivated
Try to change up your routine. If you are a gym user experiment with some equipment you haven’t used before. It will challenge you more both physically and mentally.
If you are a runner or a cyclist, maybe it is time to start incorporating those different sessions like fartlek or hill repeats that you always read about but never do.
Invest in some new clothing. Nothing is worse than getting cold and damp whilst you are training outdoors. It is demoralising and inhibits your workouts. If you are still trying to get by with your autumn gear, it’s time to invest in waterproof, breathable clothing.
As they say, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing.
Find a training partner. Maybe this is something you have considered for a while but never gotten around to. Running partners are worth their weight in gold this time of year, and between the two of you, hopefully, you can take it in turns to egg each other on.
Lastly, write down a winter schedule and tick off each session as you successfully complete it. There is something about having it written down that makes it more of a commitment.
And to top it all off, and give yourself a well-deserved reward, why not book in for a massage as well?