Staying Motivated in the Off-season
The often dark and cold months of winter present opportunities for specialized training blocks that set you up for a great season, so these months are an important building block. If you are having trouble staying on task through these months, here are some ways pro athletes keep motivated and focused on their goals at this time of year.
Place images in strategic locations that reinforce your goals and stoke the fire for the coming season. Inspirational posters, quotes, and mementoes help create the mindset you need to push yourself during each session, stick to your eating plan and get up early for workouts.
Ontario-based pro Lionel Sanders likes to see what he is planning to accomplish in the upcoming season: “What will keep me motivated over the winter is a poster-size photo of Patrick Lange passing me at 38 km into the marathon in Kona. I will stare at it for every workout!”
Whether you choose to ride a fat bike, cross country ski, snowshoe or skate, winter sports offer excellent fitness benefits and training options if running or riding your bike outdoors isn’t safe or appealing. Taking a break from strictly swimming, road biking and running also helps keep training fresh and motivating. There are substantial benefits to challenging your body to perform different movements, and many winter sports demand lateral movement, which is lacking in the disciplines of triathlon.
Magali Tisseyre is based in Quebec and plans to embrace winter while there: ”I have yet to discover winter training out here in Tremblant, but I hear it turns into a true endurance playground. Riding a fat bike seems to be a main activity around here. I’m going to give it a go.”
A reliable training group or partner makes training a lot more fun. Finding people to keep you accountable, challenge you and remind you of your goals helps motivation and focus over the winter.
Heather and Trevor Wurtele motivate each other on a daily basis at home in Kelowna, B.C.: “It definitely helps to have each other to kick each other’s butts. Especially with getting on the trainer. We usually play some pump up music and joke around or mock brag about the segments we’re going to crush on Zwift, etc. That helps us motivate to go down to the garage to ride in one spot.”
4. Visual Cues Winter Sports Training Partners Log Your Progress
Keeping a detailed log and journal of your training is a great way to stay focused on your goals and create a very useful library of information to improve and refine your future training programs. Simply uploading your Garmin data is not enough information to go back and track your progress. Recording the conditions, how you felt and what your thoughts were while you were training is powerful information. In a year, looking back to see how far you have come will motivate you more than you can imagine.
Staying disciplined through your off-season training develops mental toughness and builds skills and fitness critical for race season. Visual cues, cross training, training partners, and a training diary are excellent tools to help you stay on track.