It’s always harder to stay motivated during the winter months. One day it’s freezing cold, the next day it’s pouring with rain and as darkness draws in, so does the temptation to put off training until tomorrow. As a pro track and field athlete, procrastination is not an option so I’ve adopted some techniques for maintaining discipline all year round.
First of all it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, when it comes to the winter blues we’re all in the same boat. When I feel my motivation wearing thin, I set myself a challenge. Something I can work towards to keep me focused and accountable. It can be anything from an accumulative distance to a PB. I’m currently trying to do something every day, even if some days it’s just stretching or going for a walk.
Not being able to use the track or gym this year has been really challenging. However, it has forced me to improvise and experiment with other forms of exercise and fitness. Trying new things, getting creative with my workouts and learning from others has been stimulating both physically and mentally. If you’re experiencing low motivation it might be because you are bored of your usual training routine. Try switching it up. With so much online material available your possibilities are endless.
The Tokyo Olympics didn’t go ahead this year as planned. Fingers crossed both the European Champs & Olympics go ahead in 2021 but we can’t be sure. It’s great to have a target to aim for but when that target could potentially be cancelled staying on track can be tough. This year has taught me not to pin all my hopes on one thing. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture and remember each day why you do what you do.
I like to track my training on apps like Strava. Seeing a visual representation of my progress through stats and figures reassures me that the work I’m putting in is paying off. The social element also encourages healthy rivalry that appeals to my competitive nature and always spurs me on.
I find it harder to motivate myself when training alone. Training with a partner will force me to commit in advance to a time and place making it harder to bottle out. Conversation makes the session go quicker and I get a huge boost from the moral support. Try recruiting a training partner this winter, someone of a similar ability and with similar goals. I can’t wait to return to my usual track and gym and to be back training in groups. When safe to do so, why not check out your local clubs and groups?