How Can I Beat the Winter Blues in My Training?

Winter can be a frustrating time for triathletes.  We have to do the majority of our training indoors to beat the cold and when training outside are faced with few hours of actual daylight.  We have to get up while it is still dark, venture out into the cold, change into a tiny bathing suit and jump into a freezing pool.  We have to spend hours on a stationary bike in stuffy rooms.  We have to run on treadmills while staring at the same spot on the wall.  It can get rough.

Here are some interesting ways to get through winter training:

Make a triathlon related goal
Triathlon gear
Strength training in the winter triathlete
train together as a team for a triathlon
  1. MAKE A GOAL.  Make small, short term goals to motivate yourself to train.  The possibilities are endless.  Here some examples: Swim a specific distance in a specific time in 90 days.  Streamline past the flags off every wall for a week at every swim practice.  Spend 20 minutes every night stretching.  Complete 10 pull ups in a row in 30 days.

  2. GEAR SHOPPING.  Off season is the perfect time to find some great deals on triathlon gear.  It is also tons of fun testing out new clothing and gear.  Buy a head lamp so you are motivated to run in the morning or evening when the sun is still down.  Invest in high quality sunglasses that won’t fog when it is cold outside.

  3. STRENGTH/FLEXIBILITY.  Set aside time to stretch and increase your flexibility.  Focus on your shoulders, chest, and hips.  Not sure where to start?  Attend a relaxing yoga class.  The winter is also a great time to increase your strength.  Incorporate squats, deadlifts, and pull-ups to hit all your major muscles.  

  4. HAVE FUN.  Take a break from triathlon specific training and do other aerobic activities.  Go for a hike or try snow shoeing or cross country skiing.  All of these activities will boost your fitness while allowing you to have fun outside in the snow.  

  5. TRAVEL.  Need a break from winter?  Travel somewhere warm to get in some outdoor training.  Even better - sign up for a triathlon camp.

  6. ATTACK YOUR WEAKNESSES.  Frustrated with one of the three sports?  Winter is the perfect time to focus on improving your weaknesses.  Focus on quality over quantity and get in tons of technical work.  

  7. TEAM UP.  Training by yourself can get lonely.  Going  a triathlon club or get together with some friends.  Have people who can hold you accountable to make sure you show up.  Plus, working out with others is always a blast.

  8. RACE.  Sign up for a no pressure winter race - an indoor triathlon, a swim meet, a running race.  You will be able to see where your fitness level is at in a low stakes environment.  Have fun and enjoy yourself! 

Swim Races can prepare you for your triathlon season
Triathlon in Rotterdam Netherlands
Cross training for triathletes
Triathlete swimming preparing for a triathlon in the pool