Winter Training – Tips to Maintain Your Focus and Drive During the Cold and Dark Months
Posted on 21st December 2021 at 09:39
In general, athletes are a self-motivated bunch of people, but everyone can suffer from a dip in enthusiasm, motivation, or ‘get up and go’, particularly at this time of year when the mornings and evenings are dark and cold and often wet too. These fluctuations in motivation can range from a desire to skip a training session to a full-on slump where you lose your training mojo altogether for an extended period.
At this time of year in particular, a loss of mojo can come more readily due to illnesses, the increased pressure that seasonal social events place on our free time, and the end of the competition/race season removing specific goals to work towards. Combine this with cold mornings and dark evenings, or icy and wet weather, and the sofa starts to look an awful lot more appealing.
If you’ve had a long, hard season, then mental and physical recuperation is vital, however it’s also vital to plan your way out of a rest period at this time of year, before the rest period becomes a longer habit.
Find something you really want to achieve
Lining up your next significant goal and a timescale for achieving it, or booking a specific event, is a great way to motivate yourself to train. With a significant goal in mind, you’ll find that you’re more focussed and motivated in your training sessions whilst you’re doing them, but you’ll also have more impetus to get out of bed and go training on the days when you’re just not feeling it.
Plan to train with other people
Training with other people can be great fun and adding a bit of competition between you can inspire you to work harder. On days when you’re less motivated, having a training buddy will make you more likely to go. You’ll feel the pressure of not wanting to let them down, plus it’s a sociable experience and is more likely to be enjoyable and change your frame of mind to a positive one.
Plan tomorrow’s session tonight
Spending a few minutes at the end of your day planning tomorrow’s training session is hugely beneficial to maintaining your mojo. Being organised with your workouts dramatically increases your chances of getting it done. You then don’t have to think about what to do in your session. You just have to do it!
Put your training kit on
Sometimes, just the very act of dressing for training is the biggest hurdle. Putting your kit on can put you immediately in the frame of mind for training. And if it doesn’t? Break your session into steps. Step one is already achieved – you’re dressed for the session. Step 2 is to go out of the house and start warming up, or drive to your gym. Step 3 is to make sure you’re warmed up before you set off. Set small, manageable goals to get you, one step at a time, to your destination of a completed training session. If you’ve planned your session the day before you’ll usually find that once you’ve warmed up, the rest will follow naturally.
Tagged as: performance
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