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!
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).
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?