Last week I asked on my blog's Facebook page, which if you haven't liked yet you should, for blog post ideas. When we aren't racing all the time I am at a loss for what to blog about, only half joking!
Someone suggested that I write a blog post on how to stay motivated during the cold, snowy winter months. I am going to answer this from a runner/triathlete's perspective, but I'm sure that it will be applicable to other activities as well.
We all have days when we would rather stay in bed or sit on the couch under blankets and avoid the cold, snowy, windy, rainy weather outside during the months of October-April (in Rochester at least). Combine that with the holiday season and you have a potential disaster on your hands. Running (or swimming and biking) could be put on the back burner and before you know it you haven't run in weeks.
Here are some tips to help you stay motivated, and not succumb to the lure of your warm bed.
Start Training for a Race or Race in General
Last winter was the first winter that Mike and I were runners, we were lucky that it was an unusually mild winter (I think it snowed five times, maybe) but there were still times when we didn't want to go running. We had signed up for the Freezeroo Series, a local winter series with races every two weeks, so that forced us to stay in shape.
We did the New Year's race this year, and we will probably sign up for one or two more of the races as they fit with our training.
Mike finishing up our New Year's day race
Near the end of the race
This winter we will be training for our second marathon and we are going to have to brave the elements whether we want to or not.
Change up Your Workouts
As a triathlete this is easy, if it is really snowing badly (and no, I will not run on a treadmill) we can either swim or bike instead. We just got a new bike trainer from Mike's parents for Christmas and I can't wait to use it.
Swimming is fun too!
If you really can't handle the elements, then the winter might be a great time to try something new: a new workout DVD, a new treadmill workout, a new group fitness class at your gym, etc. Last year I tried turbo kick, and while I only did it once I had a lot of fun. This year I want to try cross country skiing or snowshoeing, hopefully we can!
Workout with Friends
Scheduled running dates with your friends make it harder for you to bail on your workout. This happened to me on Sunday since Mike and I were going running with our friend Amber. I wasn't feeling great but I still enjoyed the company. I am looking forward to running with our friends more often this winter.
Dress the Part
When you have the right gear for winter running, or other activities, it can make the temperature bearable (and you may even get too hot like me).
If you live in an area where you get a lot of snow, you might want to invest in some snowshoes or Yaktrax (depending on where you run). Mike and I both have a pair of Yaktrax and they work great, and give you the extra traction that you need to get your run in.
If that isn't enough, then maybe Bernie can give you some motivation:
The snow is FUN!
Any other tips for staying motivated during the winter?