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.

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