Posted by: pursuingsub17 | November 24, 2010

Cold weather training woes: how to stay motivated

I feel like I’m repeating myself. The cold has finally hit Edmonton. It went from +8 C to -10 almost overnight with a dump of snow that absolutely refused to go away. Winter is here to stay. I haven’t seen a flock of geese in two weeks. They’re gone. So sad 😦

My motivation is gone too. I can work out on the weekends but I have no ambition after work. I’m so tired when I get home (in the dark at 4:30 pm), that I take off my big winter boots and parka, and head straight to the kitchen to cook. Sometimes I take the dog out but that lasts no more than a few minutes because even she can’t stand to be out in this freakin’ deep freeze. I go to bed early now – unsure of whether it’s the cold or the dark making me sleepy. I can’t get out of bed at 5:30 am to sit on my bike for a half hour. Trying to run in this is equally upsetting. Haven’t had a good run in a week and a half. 

I used to run in this crap – probably because I took up running about 6 years ago in the dead of winter so I didn’t know any different. I also hated running in the heat. Years later, I am used to the heat and can no longer stand running in the cold. It’s hard on the joints, lungs, the lining in my nostrils, my eyes, …shall I go on?

Sigh – and I gave up my gym membership in the spring this year. Not a dumb move – wasn’t really impressed with Spa Lady in terms of triathlon training anyway. Over the summer I thought I could wait it out until 2011 when my cash flow is going to increase. I figured I could run, bike, use the eliptical in the condo building, only pay $5 for lane swim at the city pool and use tubing to strength train.

I forgot that I am sick of swim, bike and run and I need to do something else for the winter until training starts up again in March. Okay – I have to get on that stupid windtrainer. I need to get more time in on the bike. But right now, I don’t have any motivation.

The answer is return to the gym, my friends. If I go home, I won’t workout. When I had a gym membership, I went straight there after work. I can be motivated until I walk into my condo and that’s it. It goes away with the stripping of the snow boots off the feet. And I’m sorry but “Buff Bob’s Fitness DVD” does not help! Don’t believe the ads. You can buy the DVD and all the home gym equipment but if you would rather just take it easy, do laundry, cook, anything but workout, it will just sit there and eventually end up on Ebay. Trust me! The lazy mind is very powerful – more powerful than those “bust your butt!” ads on TV. Get a gym membership, pack your duffle bag in the morning and take it to work and head straight to the gym.

So as of tomorrow, I will be a YMCA member. I picked it as it is a 10 minute drive from my home – on the way home from work on work days – and my friend is a member at the one where she lives so I can go work out with her when feeling unmotivated. They have an indoor track for running, treadmills, stairclimbers to build the muscle in the legs, weights, and yes – a pool. Although the pool times are not that great. But it also has a hot tub and steam room! Great motivator on those cold nights.

Signing up for a race is a good motivator too. I signed up for the Sylvan Lake Half Iron. Marc doesn’t believe in signing up early but I have to. I need something to aim for. I need that carrot dangling in front of my nose or I’ll just be a stubborn mule, eat chips and watch TV ads about tight abs and buns.

Maybe this weekend, I’ll buy a new pair of Mizunos. Nothing like a new pair of runners to break in to make you want to hit the – uh, treadmill or track.

It is very tough to train in Northern climates. But I’ll just suck it up and watch Family Guy while running aimlessly on a treadmill for now.

But as soon as I see one of those honking V-formations flying back from the south, I’ll be back on the bike and on the road!

Stay warm!


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