If you’re anything like me you turn into the human version of a big brown grizzly bear come winter and hibernating / storing up on food becomes the most attractive life option out there. This is compounded by the fact that I hate going out in the rain and sleet and have actually become pretty good at avoiding it at all costs. However, we all know that nothing good grows from those comfort zones and I have, in the past, actually been extremely motivated whatever the weather, mostly thanks to my sometimes frustrating, all-or-nothing attitude. Anyway, the scales have definitely tipped too far in the wrong direction and I’ve gotten a little too comfy of late, it’s definitely time to snap out of it. Winter training is here to stay.
So, here are five things that I know will help me survive winter training this year and ensure that I get my bum into workout gear (who am I kidding, I live in workout gear) and out of the door, even when motivation is low. I hope it helps you do the same!
1 | Join a club. For me, this would be a masters swim group and potentially even a running group, although I’m more of a solo runner – I like to go at my own pace. Since moving South of the river my swimming has been sporadic at best, I miss those masters sessions despite the disgusting 4:45 alarm. My promise to you is that I’m going to stop bitching about how there are no easy-to-get-to sessions. Partially because that’s a gross over-exaggeration and partially because let’s be realistic, the fact that I even have the option to attend swim sessions, is a luxury and despite my whinging and whining, I really don’t take that for granted. So, first things first, take the plunge! Sign up to a club, pay your membership and better yet, rope someone else into going with you!
2 | Don’t dilly dally. If you’ve made plans to get up and train, then get up and do it before your brain can try to talk you out of it! When the alarm goes off, get out of bed immediately, hitting the snooze button at 5am is the kiss of death, it will be 7am before you know it and you will be all annoyed with yourself. Have your workout gear ready and waiting, wallet, oyster card etc. Whatever you need, ready to go, then just go! I am such a champion sleeper this is where I really struggle, I hate getting out of bed when it’s dark outside but thinking back to all my early morning swims, I never ever regretted them.
3 | Remind yourself that no one is forcing you to do this. You made the choice to set that alarm or arrange that run because you wanted to. You actively wanted to better yourself, your health and your fitness and that is a positive thing and something that should be celebrated. All too often, and I’m guilty of this, we act as if we’ve been forced to complete some hellish task and we moan and complain, feeling sorry for ourselves all the way out the door. Time for a reality check! There are people in the world that would kill for the option to do half of the things that we do, so let’s not take it for granted. It’s a luxury, not a sacrifice.
4 | Set an early season goal, a race or challenge. For me, in May next year I’m thinking of booking Challenge Rimini half iron distance race. It’s two days before training camp kicks off in the same area so we can be there at almost no extra cost and it’s a bloody tough race (I died a death there in 2015!) so it definitely gives me incentive to at least stay semi triathlon fit this winter.
5 | Stay warm and comfortable with the right kit and remember, preparation is the key to enjoying and surviving winter training. Secondly, don’t be a hero, wrap up warm and make smart health choices. You’re feeling under the weather? Don’t force yourself to go out and run in the rain, you’ll only get sick and then end up sidelined for longer. I know I sound like your Mum but I’m right… so there!
I might print this out and pin it to my desk as a healthy reminder. Do you have any winter training tips of your own? Please feel free to share them in the comments below and as always, if you think this is at all helpful please pin or share away! (You can also check out this post for a little more motivation!)