Tri Talk: Tips for Training through the Winter

The past few weeks, I have been struggling slightly with training in this bitter cold winter. I’ve come up with a few tips for myself for training through the winter, and I wanted to share them with you!

1. Check the weather forecast the night before a morning workout. 

This is HUGE for me! If I know ahead of time that it’s going to be -14 degrees in the morning, I can mentally prepare to either bundle up, or make a game plan to go to the gym to run on the treadmill or track. However, if I wake up in the morning expecting to run outside and discover we’ve just had a huge snow storm, I am much less likely to get my butt out the door because I wasn’t expecting to have to adapt!

Where I can run when the temps are too cold!

Where I can run when the temps are too cold!

2. If leaving your warm house is hard for you, consider purchasing and using a trainer for your bike (or treadmill for running). 

Some triathletes prefer to spin in their gym during the winter. I think if I opted for that choice of bike training, I would skip workouts ALL.THE.TIME! So many times during the winter, I am grateful that I don’t have to leave my house to do my bike workout! (Actually, I don’t even have to leave my bedroom!!)

3. Whatever activity is hardest for you (mentally) to accomplish, do that first thing in the morning.

I know this is true, but this one is the most challenging for me. Personally, swimming is the hardest for me mentally. However, I think mostly it’s because of the conditions. Swimming is the only workout that I have to leave my house for. (Basically–I run outside, but I run straight from my front door).

The dreaded pool...

The dreaded pool…

In the winter, it’s the hardest because my house is warm, outside it’s not, and the pool feels cold to me when I’m cold. I know, I’m a baby. I know that if I scheduled swimming for the mornings, I would actually do all of the workouts. However, I like to swim with my husband, and he can’t go with me in the mornings because he works earlier than I do. I think though, I’m going to move one of my swim workouts per week to the morning just so I can make sure I get at least one workout in a week. Then maybe it won’t be as hard for me to drag myself out the door in the evenings for the other ones.

4. Write out a training schedule.

You’re more likely to stick to consistent workouts in the winter if you have a plan you’re following. Even if it’s as simple as just knowing what activities you plan to do on certain days. For example, I know every day what event I’m going to be working on, and typically I know exactly what the distance/time is as well. This helps me stay more committed and less likely to skip days!

What tips do you have for staying dedicated to your workouts in the winter?

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