The winter months can be tough to maintain consistency and motivation. The cold, dark and drizzly mornings are not overly inviting. They don’t make us want to leap out of bed with excitement to get our morning run done.
But… there are things you can do to help you over the winter. We have put a few of our tried and tested top tips together to help you maintain some consistency and motivation over these challenging months
1. ARRANGE FOR OTHERS TO TRAIN WITH YOU
This could be as simple as asking your friend or work colleague if they fancy joining you for an early morning run, or it could be joining your local triathlon/run club so you can join their group sessions. Either way, arranging to train with someone else is one of the best motivators you can find. Knowing someone else is meeting you is a huge incentive to go. Not just for you, but to ensure you don’t let them down either. Afterwards, you will almost always feel empowered and energised for getting it done! (Plus, as an added bonus, for the ladies out there - we would ALWAYS recommend running in pairs when its dark. Keep each other safe!).
2. KEEP A TRAINING DIARY AND RECORD YOUR SUCCESSES
Keeping a diary can be super useful to plan ahead (so you can let your friend know what days you plan to rope them into your training), but it can also be useful to record what you do. This allows you to track and revisit your progression, reminding you how far you have already come and that’s not something you want to lose over the next few months through a lack of motivation.
3. FIND AN INSPIRATIONAL FILM, VIDEO AND WATCH IT
This may sound a bit cheesy - but it really works! Over the winter many of us have a little extra time. Perhaps less training, less racing, less day trips out with the family (as it’s just too cold and wet!), so we tend to have more time to kill. Why not use this time to watch some films or videos that help to inspire and motivate you. We love films such as ‘The Blind Side’ or ‘Warrior’ or ‘Coach Carter’ to help fuel our levels of motivation.
4. INVEST IN THE RIGHT KIT
This can be the make or break to you getting outdoors over the winter. If you don’t have the appropriate kit to stay warm and dry, your training session is likely to be uncomfortable and unenjoyable. That’s not going to help you feel motivated. A headband, a sweat-wicking base layer, some gloves and a windproof jacket could make all the difference. Plus, some brightly colour clothing, high vis or a run light will ensure you are seen! It’s worth the investment!
5. TRAIL RUNS, TREADMILLS & TURBOS
The winter is the perfect time to mix up your training a little. Why not get off the icy roads and either jump onto some trails (ensure you have some trail shoes for this!), or stay warm indoors on the treadmill or Turbo. The trails can be great for practicing quality run form such as staying light on your feet and lifting your knees up (if you scuff your feet, you’re sure to trip on a root or rock!). The treadmill & turbo can be great opportunity to bank some well-structured and high-quality sessions in the safety of your own home of local gym. Plus, you can sign up to virtual ‘group rides’ through Zwift and other platforms to give you that social feel. We at Passion Fit run a whole timetable of 6 x virtual coach led indoor bike sessions every week to help our athletes stay motivated and focused over the winter. Why not join in for free for 2 weeks to see how this could help? (Details below).
6. GET TO BED EARLY
One f the best times of day to get your training done is first thing, early in the morning, before everyone else is awake. This means less distractions and less chance of the day running away with you. The best way to get up early, is to go to bed early! This is much more controllable than many of you reading this initially think if you make it important enough. If you find this hard, avoid TV and social media, read a book, preferably one about a sporting hero.
*** For more information, head to: https://www.passionfit.co.uk/community-membership