Winter Motivation!

Winter Motivation!

📅December 9th, 2015, 08:29

It’s that time of year again; the days are getting shorter, colder, and filled with unpredictable weather. Gone are the days of the glorious, sun-filled hours of training you’ve put in over the summer, but let’s make sure we don’t lose all of that hard work we’ve put in. Winter is by far the easiest time to lose motivation in your training, but fear not, there are ways to stay motivated and fine-tune your fitness by working on your weaknesses to give yourself the successful off-season you deserve!

10420120_890132027677080_3974250536275327307_nIf your winter mornings resemble an inner conflict of mind over body that requires an immense amount of willpower to leave the warm comfort of your bed then you are not alone. To conquer this it is helpful to have workout buddies that are depending on you to meet them. Finding a training group, going to group classes, or meeting a personal trainer can really help you stay focused and committed. Having others to train with is huge in having a motivated winter by taking the thought process out of getting out the door and making any excuses!  

In addition to having workout buddies, signing up for a couple fun races or low-key competitions in the winter can help to stay motivated by keeping a goal in mind. Here in Central Oregon, we have a bunch to choose from in the winter that are a lot of fun. Having something on the schedule gives you an event to look forward to and is a great way to get an idea of where your fitness currently is while enjoying camaraderie in your sport. 

Another way to stay motivated is to make a point to truly appreciate your training surroundings. This comes easily in the summer months, but the arduous winter conditions come with a beauty all their own. It may be cold outside but as long as you’re prepared with the right equipment, outdoor winter training can be extremely enjoyable. Some of my favorite winter training memories include running through trails surrounded by frosted trees and snowy mountains. Also, find activities that are specific for this season – put on some skis for some cross-country skiing or snowshoes for Inspirational-pictures-Dont-give-up-what-you-want-most-for-what-you-want-nowan inspired hike over snow covered trails!

Another important tactic in having a motivated off season is to write your goals down and put them somewhere you will see everyday, such as by your bedside or by your bathroom mirror. This way you have a constant reminder of why you do this and the awesome results that you’ll see if you stick with it. These can be goals for an athlete of any level or sport, the key is to make sure what you write has meaning to you. Write down your “why” as short and as clear as possible, our favorites are:

“The greatest joy is being serious.”

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

“Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.”

Now that you’re motivated to have your best off-season possible, you can look at directing your effort to make the most effective use of your time. Winter is a great time to work on those weaknesses we all know we have. The best and least-injured athlete is the one that is well-rounded and has the ability to take on all of the different challenges that training and competing can bring. For many, this includes strength training to balance out any muscle imbalances as well as reap the amazing benefits of strength training when it comes time for the competition season. Doing a strength program that includes a variety of lower-weight corrective exercises (single leg bodyweight and band work, Pilates, hip/glute activation exercises, etc), higher-weight strength exercises (squats, deadlifts, farmer carries, etc), and plyometrics (box jumps, broad jumps, bounding, kettlebells, etc) will develop your strengths while improving your weaknesses.  Making sure that you are performing all your lifts with proper form is paramount for the safety and effectiveness of any strength program.  Attending a strength class or spending a few sessions with a personal trainer are great ways to re-introduce yourself to strength training and to ensure that your form is spot-on. 

For more in-depth motivation this winter, there are many resources that will help you figure out what intrinsically is holding you back. What truly stops you? Learning how to develop mental strength for peak performance through effective goal setting, optimizing energy management, empowering self-talk, and correct mental rehearsal can really be a game-changer in improving focus, confidence, and motivation. If you are interested in digging deeper to be your strongest self (because we know the mind is just as important as the body!), check out our new 4-week Mindset and Performance Workshop for group mindset coaching with Gregg Swanson starting this January.

With these winter motivation ideas in mind, this year could be your best one yet! Remember that although the off season is an amazing time to shape yourself into a better athlete, it is also a great time to have some fun and enjoy yourself, so go ahead and eat that extra slice of pumpkin pie…you earned it!

Related Articles:

Awesome Holiday Gifts for Athletes

Mindset and Performance Workshop

Strength Training: Improve Power, Efficiency, and Health

Winter Training is Coming…

The Importance of Off-Season Athletic Recovery