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Stay On Track This Winter
Winter can be miserable, cold and dreary. The season drains people of energy and makes that workout plan that you devised in the summer a distant memory. Staying motivated to get the results you want can be exceptionally difficult in winter and any slacking off can really damage the hard work you have put in. There’s no secret that results and success in your training comes from consistent action and persistent effort, even in the winter. To help you achieve this, we’ve prepared a helpful list of tips and tricks to maximise your training, motivation and action in winter.
Embrace the Cold Weather
Winter doesn’t have to be a challenge. The right change in attitude and alterations to your workout plan will see you embracing the cold change, and improving your results! Any change in climate can produce unique opportunities to try out new exercises and improve your physique.
For example, if you prefer to change your climate altogether, try an indoor exercise that you wouldn’t engage in ordinarily in the summer. Heated indoor swimming is a good example. The heat of the water will motivate you to get out of bed and get indoors whilst swimming itself is a versatile all-round cardiovascular and muscle toning exercise.
Find a Workout Partner
In winter and the cold, motivation is the problem. Having a personal trainer or workout partner will greatly help in dragging yourself out of bed and getting some work done. Being accountable to someone else means that you are far more likely to train, not wanting to let a friend down. Whereas cancelling your own plans with yourself is a much easier thing to do, with no consequences.
Not only will a trainer or workout partner get you into the gym in the first place, they will assist you to work harder, sweat more and really achieve your goals. Better yet, if you are both on the same level in terms of experience and ability then you will both be able to push each other harder especially if you or your partner is competitive.
Have a Plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail. This is especially so in winter where you can look for any excuse to stay in bed. Having a realistic, dedicated and meticulous plan will force you out of bed, help you see your results and keep you accountable.
With this in mind, you should develop a workout plan to help you achieve your goals. Something as simple as an excel spread sheet can really help. The plan should include an overview of your short, medium and long term goals with particular emphasis on detail. Make the goals realistic and reward yourself when you complete them. For some, these goals can be as simple as ‘get to the gym 4 days a week’. Expressed in a detailed manner that goal should say ‘wake up at 5:30 am Monday – Thursday and get to the gym at 6am after confirming the night before with my trainer or workout partner’.
Change your Internal Dialogue
One of my favourite quotes is: ‘if your best friend spoke to you how you speak to yourself would that person still be your friend?' If the answer is no, you need to work on your internal dialogue.
This is directly relevant to developing effective training systems in winter. If you wake up, looking for excuses to not train and then your unhealthy internal dialogue kicks in – the odds are effectively stacked against you.
After all, thoughts impact feelings and experiences. Try to be mindful of what you are saying to yourself and the impact that these thought have on your action. If you miss a training session don’t beat yourself up about it, just correct the problem and try again next time.
However, you also can’t be weak with yourself. Develop a constructive, healthy dialogue that identifies your areas of weakness and develop ways to improve them.
Train for an Event
Having an event to train for significantly increases drive, motivation and results. Go searching and pick something you have really wanted to do. Be it a fun run, marathon, obstacle course or even a triathlon. Having something to work for in this way can greatly improve your drive.
Likewise, these events often promote new friendships and potential training partners. The planning and preparation for these events will also keep you focused, on track and greatly improve your planning skills. Further, getting started is easy as there are many events scheduled around the country all year.
Finally, there is no need to be restricted to traditional marathons or running activities. Use winter as a planning and training session for your next great adventure.
(MPT member Marie busy running twice a week in preparation for the 10km Mornington Run)
With these tips in mind, winter does not have to be a time of inaction and poor results. Your ability to produce great results is independent of the time of year or temperature outside. Get involved, develop the right attitude and choose winter friendly exercises that complement your summer workouts. All these things will ensure you are on the pathway to success and excellent results.