By Colleen Cannon
As a professional triathlete, the Winter (off season) was my favorite time of year because I would cross train with skiing, snowboarding, and other fun things without worrying about my fitness level. It was my “Winnie the Pooh” time of year and I could gain weight and stay out late and not be concerned about early morning workouts. Around March 1st I would start to get motivated for the season ahead and start planning it out. I ALWAYS found it super hard to get back to training. Unfortunately, all of my Winter Workouts with skiing did not translate to the bike so my first few weeks of training would be super hard. I had to use LOTS AND LOTS OF TRICKS to get me out the door. If you have been a slacker over the Winter you are NOT ALONE! Most people find it hard to exercise in the Winter months and once you are accustomed to the couch it is hard to break the habit. Luckily seasons change and the light will soon be here to encourage us to get out and Play!
Here are some ideas to help you GET MOTIVATED TO MOVE!
FUN FUN FUN – My motto is – “If it is not fun it is not worth doing”. To make your workouts fun you can:
a. Find a workout buddy to keep you accountable and to get you up for early morning playtime. Nicole DeBoom, Founder of Skirt Sports, Podcast Host & Busy Mom of a 6 year old says, “You don’t get out of a funk by sitting around. Movement shakes you out of a funk! The trick is to get over your workout expectations or definition of what a workout needs to be, and just do something. Once you start moving, the momentum can begin again. The first thing I do when I’m struggling to get out the door is to call a friend and ask her to join me – or ask to tag along on whatever she’s doing! It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as you get yourself moving again. A friend is the perfect external catalyst to give you a boost of motivation when your internal tricks aren’t quite working!”
b. Use one of the many fitness gadgets that track your training progress, Fitbit (they even have them for dogs no), Apple watch, Garmin, Heart rate monitors, Strava and MapMyRide.
c. Make small challenges with REWARDS along the way
d. Be a mentor or help another person get in shape. This will build your confidence and enthusiasm
Have a Goal and a Plan to get you there
Set a goal, find a race or a retreat that you want to be in shape for, or even a party where you want to look good. Then make your plan to get there. If you have a plan to get you to the finish line it will help you stay motivated. I suggest you give yourself at least 3 months to get ready. If you start now with a fitness program you will be ready in June. Over the winter you should have been doing BASE training or Aerobic conditioning. This helps you on so many levels so I highly suggest you don’t skip this important step in your training. This type of training will help your muscles, ligaments and tendons get ready for your Spring work load.
Having a training plan is key or better yet a personal trainer. I like the Lydiard Method of training because it starts you off easy and builds up in a healthy way. More information on training programs is available here: http://www.runningwizard.com/?assoc=WQUEST
Don’t Give Up
Prioritize to help fight the frustration. We all have super busy schedules so find a way to MOVE! (at your desk, washing dishes, walking stairs, everywhere). Do your workouts and meditations first thing in the morning. If you fall “off the workout wagon” don’t give up entirely. The main thing is to start small and take baby steps, SO DON’T SET THE BAR TOO HIGH. Once you get the muscle memory and start feeling better it will be easier. The first 2 weeks are HARD so just remember that!
Gretchen Spiro, the Women’s Quest yoga instructor always says, “A little yoga is better then no yoga at all”. So keep in mind that a short walk to the mailbox is better then nothing at all. Do some type of workout each day… ANYTHING – JUST MOVE OR WIGGLE!
YOU WILL IMPROVE!
You have to believe it before you can see it. You may not see results for 6 weeks but TRUST the process. Remember that this is all to improve your overall health and well being. If you stress too much over your workouts it defeats the purpose. Keep it Simple, Keep it Fun. Keep it Going!!
Women’s Quest will have a training program starting in the Springtime for women of all ages and abilities that want do a triathlon in August Stay tuned for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org