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Guest Post by Billy Ferguson
How can you stay motivated while training during the winter? With miserable weather day after day, maintaining motivation to stay fit can be a real challenge. Short days and long nights are filled with pitfalls that test your resolve and pull you back to the sofa. Most of us in the United States experience cold winters and miss the warm training weather. It may seem hard to justify why you continue your training, but maintaining and building your fitness throughout the winter and spring is important as you look to the summer.
1. Mix it up
Trying to stick to a fixed routine can be a killer for your motivation. To avoid this, mix up your training with different types of exercise. Get out there and smash a 5K Saturday morning park run, go climbing, or try a spinning class. Find some activities that usually are not part of your fitness regimen and give them a go.
2. Make investments
If you don't own a turbo trainer, now may be the right time to invest in one. A turbo trainer allows you to train indoors using your existing bike. Adding this to your training will allow you to have easy access to equipment to help get your heart rate into the training zone.
3. Set a plan
With advice by Don Fink (an internationally known triathlon and running coach) on nearly every bookshelf of wannabe triathletes, it is no surprise that we are learning why it is so important to establish a plan. Whether you are training for a 5K or a marathon, a plan will help you succeed. Set out a plan that you can maintain. Use this plan as motivation to help you get out and accomplish your goal.
4. Set a specific goal
Having a goal can always help you resist the temptation to hit that snooze button on a Sunday. When you set a goal, make sure that it is specific. A targeted goal will help you refine your training with the end in mind.
Note: If you are planning to participate in an event, whether it be a simple community run or a competitive race, don’t delay your registration until you feel "ready." Signing up and committing will help you push harder get ready and achieve your goal.
5. Build a support group
Allow your loved one to help keep you going. If you let them in on your goal, they will be able to help push you to achieve it. As you bring them into your plan and invite them to feel a part of what you are doing, they will be more likely to help you get up on those cold mornings and stick to your plan.
For more tips on how to include others in your fitness goals, click here.
6. Find a training buddy
Training is not only beneficial to your fitness, but it can be a great social outlet. You will find that your training becomes easier as you and your training partner push each other to do more and follow through with your commitments. If you can find a partner who is slightly better than you, you will be pushed to limits that you would not have achieved on your own.
7. Adopt a mantra
Find a training mantra that is personal to you. For example, "No pain, no gain" might be a bit too corny for you, but you will find one that works for you. Once you have found the mantra that you would like to use, repeat it in your head while you are training. Let it become an empowering phrase that helps you to go a bit longer and a bit harder than you did the previous training session.
Bonus tip: If you struggle remembering to use this phrase as you train, print it out and take it with you to the gym, put it on your bike, tape it to your water bottle. The more that you see it, the more effective it will become.
8. Reward yourself
We all love new things. Don’t be afraid to sneak in the odd purchase every so often. Whether it be a pair of socks, some shoes, or a shirt, something new may help you to get excited about getting up off the couch and going for a run.
9. Make it personal
If every event that you decide to participate in is for charity, you will burn out sooner than later. If you are working hard towards a goal to become more fit or stay active during the winter, make sure that the events that you participate in help you to achieve this goal. If you do participate in charity events, evaluate your reasoning and make your ability to participate personal and meaningful. As you do this, you will feel a greater sense of accomplishment as you achieve your goals.
Billy Ferguson is the Founder and CEO behind Trivelo and a triathlete for the past 10 years. Never a podium finisher, he still struggles to find the right mix of ingredients to ensure a successful winter base training regimen.
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