Staying Motivated When it’s FREEZING

For those of us not lucky enough to love in a warm climate right now, it’s gotten cold. Really cold. Bringing with it snow, snow, and… you guessed it… more snow.

I’ve found that one of the hardest parts about winter is staying motivated — even when it’s freezing, dark, and cold.

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Braving the frigid Cambridge conditions!

And, let’s be real… We’re all thinking what my snapchat (THE BEST APP) below says when we’re faced with the decision of whether to stay in bed or workout when it’s cold and snowy.

20131218-171823.jpgIt can be hard to get out of bed to work out, but once we’re done, it’s usually worth it 🙂

Even with frigid temps aside, the winter has a way of pushing our mental limits for all of us — even those who don’t have to walk outside in December with more layers than they can count.

Winter is a time for many of us in which we are far away from our goals. That Ironman finish is over six months away; collegiate nationals far off into the spring; that sprint not until the beginning of summer — and so on and so forth.

While it’s important to let the season take it’s course — with periods of higher fitness levels and excitement followed by rebuilding — it’s also important to realize how vital the winter is for a successful spring and summer season.

And if the thought of a successful spring/summer season doesn’t give you enough energy to get out of bed and brave the cold, maybe some of these suggestions will:

  • Planning workouts with a friend. Making plans to workout can make things more fun, and can ensure that you don’t skip your workout!
  • Printing out old race results and posting them somewhere where you can look at them often. Staring at that killer race or disappointing finish can keep you motivated to kick butt this season.
  • Following a plan. Even for those of us (like myself) who at times prefer unstructured training, following a plan — especially during the winter building months– can help keep you on track.
  • Finding alternatives and taking days off. Try yoga. Crossfit. Skiing. Erging. Whatever it may be to keep your routine exciting. And remember — it’s okay to take a day once in awhile to just sit on the couch, relax, and sip hot chocolate (or, if you’re like me, hot vanilla). Really. It’s okay. 🙂

20131218-173212.jpgFrigid conditions often call for extra boosts of motivation to get moving!

What are some of your tricks for staying motivated in the winter?

Tri Hard,
Caity

How to Find the Motivation to Train

Do you ever find yourself unenthusiastic about exercising or frequently skipping workouts? Sometimes you’re just too tired, too busy, or just not in the mood to go bike 30 miles. But you know what- you’re a triathlete. The definition of this sport is learning how to push yourself. Get off the couch and go do that workout!

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Love training with Caity!

Here are some tips on how to motivate yourself: 

Just put on the workout clothes. I once read in a fitness magazine that by simply putting on your workout clothes, it greatly increases the chances of you working out. Whenever I’m going back and forth about whether to go for a run, I immediately throw on running shorts and a moisture-wick shirt.  Before I know it, I’ve hit the pavement. Works every time. 🙂

Make a routine. Making a schedule helps to keep yourself accountable and it will increase the likelihood of getting in your daily exercise. I swim every Monday night and take a spin class every Wednesday. I try to fill in the rest of the days with running. Take it up a notch from my routine: make a training calendar and plan what workout you will do each day!

Train with friends. Lately I’ve been running with my roommate, and I really enjoy it. We talk the whole time and we are both able to run a few miles more than we usually do on solo runs. Working out with friends can help motivate you to get out and exercise, and sometimes you can even get a better workout in than you would on your own!

Find new routes. My favorite part about running is discovering new things. I’m an explorer at heart; Columbus is my guy.  I purposely get lost on runs, but I pay attention to what turns I make, so I’m never truly lost. I always find the prettiest houses and neatest restaurants on my training adventures. A couple weeks ago I even found a forest conservation! I definitely recommend running with a phone though- in case you get lost for real. Plus, you can take pictures of the cool places you find!

Make a training time. What time of day best fits into your schedule? I always train in the afternoon after my classes, but sometimes I train at night if I’m going to swim or spin. Getting up early to workout doesn’t work for me because I’m too rushed getting ready before my first class. However, I have many friends who like to wake up early to workout to make sure they fit it into their day. Find what works for you and stick to it.

What strategies do you use to motivate yourself?

Kaitlin

 

5 Ways to Make Sure You Fit in Your Workout

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Avoiding delaying your workout too much can help you feel more motivated!

We all have those days. Those days when you’d rather do ANYTHING than work out. Sleep. Go to the beach. Hide under the covers. And sometimes, it’s okay to let yourself to take a day off or to listen to your body and skip your workout.

However, to avoid this from becoming a pattern, here are five steps that we can take to make sure we fit in our workouts:

1. Switch it up. Bored of your usual routine? Find a way to mix it up. Instead of running on the treadmill in your basement or the same old route, find new trails near you or make your route up as you go. It’ll make things a little bit more interesting!

2. Make plans for later. If you have dinner plans with friends or have to be somewhere later in the morning or afternoon, it forces you to work around your schedule and fit in your workout. I find that sometimes I end up putting off my workouts the most when I have a free day versus a full one (like one day this week when I started biking at 9:30 PM. Whoops).

3. Allow yourself wiggle room. If your body is saying “no way” to a ten mile run or a century, break the workout into pieces. Tell yourself that you’re going our for a shorter ride or run (or swim), and cut it short if you’re still tired, and do the full workout if you’re feeling good once you’ve gotten started. This way, you are still able to squeeze in some type of workout.

4. Schedule the workout with a friend. You’re probably less likely to skip out on a workout if you’ve already planned to go with a family member or friend. If you know that you’ll have trouble getting out of your bed in the morning to work out, plan to exercise with someone else at a set time {so that you can set your alarm and get out of bed on time}!

5. Reward yourself. If you’re really feeling de-motivated and out of “training mode”, you can try bribing yourself to workout. Nothing crazy — but little things to look forward to afterwards like long naps, a few hours on the couch watching movies, a quick dinner out with friends, or otherwise can help you to get motivated to finish the workout that much more.

I almost always feel better after I squeeze in a workout versus skipping it. Even if it has to be a quick 30 minute bike instead of a complete, planned out workout, something is always better than nothing.

What do you do to make sure you fit in your workout?

Tri Hard,

Caity

“Take itty-bitty bites” to get yourself motivated

blogpicI found the above quote in Triathlete magazine a year or so ago. I still look back at it once in awhile when I’m looking for a little bit of inspiration. Struggling to get yourself to workout? Take small steps like Macca does.

I try to do this by dividing long workouts into segments — like for long bike rides focusing on the next ten miles instead of the entire ride — in order to conquer the mental “wall” that can arise before and during training.

Take it step by step.

Breathe.

Focus on the next lap, the next mile, or the next hill — not that you have hours to go or are behind on your pace. Once you let go of any mental barriers or stressers keeping you from performing at your best, it will allow you to take your training to the next level.

It’s okay to not get excited about working out or parts of a workout sometimes — but don’t let these thoughts turn into a behavioral pattern that affects your training.

Take itty bitty bites. That’s the key.

Tri Hard,

Caity

MOTIVATION: THE “TWO MS” TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK

Ok, so let’s be honest. It can be hard to stay motivated ALL the time.

One of the hardest parts of the holiday season is keeping up motivation. How do you stay motivated when you’re a collegiate athlete but you’re at home on break? How do you make yourself go to the gym when it’s snowing or when you’re not feeling up to it? And how do you make yourself eat well when so many tempations arise during the holiday season? (Hint: It is possible.)

I’ve found that the two keys to staying motivated are the two Ms: moderation and mentality. I have definitely struggled the most with the latter. Like many endurance athletes, I have a “Type A” extreme personality. Sometimes, I tend to hold onto the mindset that I need to eat PERFECTLY during the day, and that if I do not eat completely well and consume a little treat that makes it okay to have more throughout the day.

This mindset is FLAWED and NOT the way to stay motivated to eat healthy. The key to finding balance and motivation to eat well, to workout, or whatever it may be, is moderation. Don’t try to stick to extreme diets or starve yourself – it isn’t healthy. Rather, try alternatives; like eating healthy 6 out of 7 days per week and allowing yourself a treat one day a week. Or, if you can handle it, have something small a few days a week. Creating a plan that fits your personality and schedule can help you find balance in your life… and this can help you stay motivated!

This goes along with the second “M”… mentality. Keeping a positive mentality is the KEY to accomplishing your goals and staying motivated to do so. In order to do this, you may want to keep a journal, talk to friends about your goals, make your phone background a motivational quote, keep a goal list on your desk, print out pictures of yourself at happy times to keep you in a good state of mind, etc. Some of these things help me when I’m not feeling motivated.

The key thing to remember when it comes with the struggle to stay motivated is that YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE FEELING THIS WAY and that YOU CAN DO IT! Reach out to friends and follow the steps above, and you will be well on your way to accomplishing your goals 🙂

Tri Hard,

Caity

it can be hard to resist over eating baked treats during the holiday season!!!

IT IS POSSIBLE TO WORK OUT IN THE COLD!!! #staymotivated