09 Jan 5 Easy Ways to Stay Motivated in the Off-Season

By Laurel Wassner- Pro Triathlete

It’s January and if you are like me, you are probably coming off a month of well-deserved holiday parties, chocolate eating and wine drinking.  A break from training when the weather gets colder is easy to do and it’s natural.  Your body needs the time to recover and to indulge.

But, how do you get the training cranking again?

1) Take your time.  There’s no real benefit to slamming the training in January, and there are only downsides, like getting injured.  Ease into it.  One or two sessions a day for the first couple weeks is enough.  Think about low intensity base miles.  Now is the time for that.  You want to set your training PRs closer to your races, not 4 months before a race.

2) Sign up for two races.  I tend only to really motivate to train hard if I have a race on the schedule.  I like to sign up for one early season – for example, a half marathon in March and one late season, Ironman Cozumel.  I may not be in top shape by March but that’s not the point.  I’ll be in great shape by the end of the year!

3) Set challenges.  Sometimes that race in March can seem so far away.  I like to set challenges for the week or for the month.  For example, my challenge this month is to do 100 push-ups and 200 sit ups every day (you can spread them throughout the day).  Also, I like to do the same long run every Sunday and gauge my improvements week by week.  

4) Get your general nutrition plan back on track.  Take the extra time on Sunday to do some meal prep for the week.  You don’t have to stick to it perfectly, but it helps to have a guideline.  I also have made switch from ice cream and chocolate for dessert to yogurt and fruit.  You can look for healthy recipes on athletefood.com to help get you started.

Also, it is really important to get your workout nutrition dialed in.  You don’t want to finish training starving, or bonk halfway through. I always have one XRCEL before a session and one an hour into the workout so I know I am staying on top of my energy levels.

5) Get social. It can be really hard to motivate cold, dark days. Make a plan with a training partner to force you out the door.  It may seem like a drag at first but I promise you’ll come home satisfied.

Now get off your computer and go for a run!!


Frederick Sexton
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