How to stay motivated this winter
Wintertime always sees the arrival of dark mornings, early sunsets and of course cold temperatures. This is by far the hardest time of year to stay motivated for any athlete. For many of the seasoned professional
Train in a group
One of the best ways to stay motivated is by training in a group. Making yourself accountable by having a little bit of peer pressure is often a great idea to ensure you get out and train. Having a swim, bike, run, gym etc group that you train with will help to push you harder in your training as well as giving you a great social element.
It has been said that there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. Sure it can get cold in winter but rug with some nice warm clothing and you will surely enjoy your training much more. For riding a good set of socks and booties will help to keep your feet warm and will make all the difference. Invest in some good quality gloves, knee/leg and arm warmers, wind vest or jacket and undershirt to help stay toasty warm on your rides.
Mix it up
Another great way to stay motivated is to mix up your training with some new and exciting activities. Being that there is not a lot of races during winter this is the perfect time to work on your weaknesses and get stronger. Doing activities such as indoor rock-climbing are not only fun but will also help you to become a better swimmer. The strength component of rock-climbing mimics the swimming arm action, which is a fun way to strengthen these key swimming muscle groups. In addition to this doing some gym work will help to strengthen your body for the coming season and activities such as yoga will help you to stay stretched and reduce injuries.
Outdoor swimming in winter can often be hard due to the colder temperatures. Finding an indoor pool to train in is a great idea for anyone who struggles to swim in the colder temperatures. Wind trainer sessions are also a great way to get ride miles into the legs during winter if the weather outside is too bad to train in. To make things more interesting mix up your wind trainer riding sessions with intervals and riding drills. You can even put on a movie to watch while you tap out the miles on the wind trainer.
Plan your upcoming race season
A great way to become more motivated is to use this time to set goals for the coming season. Write up a calendar with your race schedule and goals and ensure that you take the time to look at this every day. Even stick it up on the fridge with a countdown of days until your next event. Seeing this deadline and goal event(s) daily is one of the best ways to keep your mind motivated to get out there and train.