Winter is always a time of digging deep and putting in the ground work for the upcoming season. We all struggle to find motivation for a 3 hour turbo or a late-night run but it’s important to remember your goals and keep going. Medals are won in the winter after all!
My winter training has been proceeding well. I’m managing to juggle studying whilst getting solid blocks of training in, which is easier said than done. It’s my first year in Manchester studying dentistry and the initial adjustment to living away from home combined with a demanding course was hard but I seem to have it under control at the moment...Just about.
Unfortunately, Manchester University doesn’t have its own triathlon team but I haven’t let that hinder my training.
When I first arrived in the city I trained to get a grasp of life up north. It’s not easy motivating yourself for a 6am lonely swim session so I soon signed up for the City of Manchester Swim Team and have been training with them for the past few months. The coach at City is great and has given me a whole new meaning to the word swimming... I didn’t know a kick set lasting an hour could exist!
I’m also training alongside the University's cycling and athletics clubs which is definitely pushing my capabilities as a multi-sport athlete, although I do have to admit that this winter I haven’t been very brave and a lot of my bike miles have been spent on the dreaded turbo.
I have my fair share of mental battles when it comes to training so I thought I’d share some top tips for staying motivated this winter:
1) Set your 2018 season goals now and use them as motivation when you are about to snooze your morning alarm or head home early from a long run or ride.
2) Join a triathlon team or join multiple single discipline clubs to enable you to train with others.
No one is ever going to be up for a 3 hour bike ride alone but add in friends and a cafe stop and riding has a whole different meaning.
3) Plan your week and follow a structured programme.
It’s a lot easier to stay on track with training when you have your weeks mapped out, planning for your work/study/social life. You will soon get into a good routine and pre-planned days off remove any feelings of guilt that us triathletes suffer from.
3) Get the right kit!
There is nothing worse than getting in from a run and having no feeling in your hands and feet or leaving the swimming pool shivering. Invest in some good warm kit this winter and make training in the cold that little bit easier. I know I can always rely on my trusty Sundried kit to keep me toasty.
4) Sign up for some races! Just because the triathlon season is over it doesn’t mean you can’t spice up your weekend with the odd cyclocross and cross-country race.
5) Most importantly, have fun!
It’s easy to get caught up in the triathlon trap of training because you feel like you have to. Treat training as a chance to unwind from work, make memories, and spend time with friends.
That’s all from me for now.
Have a great winter’s build and keeping smiling!