Staying motivated during winter months can be tough! Races are done, days are shorter, it is cold outside, everyone is having a Holiday party and you feel tired
Every now and then, treat yourself to some new running or cycling gear or a massage as a reward for your hard work. The treat will make you feel energized, and reinforce your commitment to your training.
Another way to reward yourself is with the theory “no dessert unless I run, or no beer unless I get my workout in.” This is my personal motivation sometimes.
If you are a cyclist, go for run or to the gym and swim. Take the dog out for a hour hike. This a great way to experience different sports, get excited about new things and keep off the fall / winter weight. It also prevents you from becoming a one dimensional athlete
Don’t Think “All or Nothing”
If you don’t have time to do an entire workout, don’t take the “all or nothing” approach. If you’re really short on time, go for a quick 2-mile run or get in 20 minutes of strength-training. You’ll still get some benefits and you’ll feel much better mentally for not skipping a workout entirely.
More: Can I Split My Long Runs? A little time in the morning and evening and need to get a log run in? Split it up.
Remember the Health Benefits
One of your goals in training for your half or full marathon may be to improve the way you look and feel. So make sure you periodically remind yourself of the health improvements you’re making. Get your blood pressure tested, or step on the scale and check your weight. Think about how much more energy you have, and how you now have a healthy way to relieve stress.
More: 10 Great Reasons to Run
Run or Ride with a friend
The social aspect of running is one of the key reasons people start, and stick, with it. Find a local running club or cycling club or recruit some friends to run with you.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Sometimes you get stuck at work, or you’re really tired, or you need to deal with another life issue and you just don’t have time to run. It’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up just because you don’t stick to the exact schedule. Your body won’t lose its muscle tone or fitness because you wait an extra 24 hours to run again. Accept that you will have bad days or missed days, and then get back on track.
Make Your Goals Prominent
Pick a goal — such as a 5K, half-marathon or a Grand Fondo — and tell people about it. Post your training schedule at home and work, so you have constant reminders about your goals. Try posting on social media, who knows you might have a Facebook friend that has the same goal race.
Very few of us make a living at these sports and we do it just for the fun of it. That’s really what it’s all about. Don’t make running or cycling another stress in your life.