Gruelling Winter Training

28 Jan

Staying motivated this winter has been tough, really tough

I’m not a fan of treadmills. The thought of rushing to the gym at the post-work rush-hour in the hopes of snatching a spare treadmill is not very appealing. Then again, the thought of running in weather below freezing point is not very appealing either. And to top it all off, my fitness has plummeted thanks to my Christmas break. Actually, it’s been more like a two month post-half-marathon extended recovery and getting back into the habit of training has been hard.

I know I’m not alone in my struggles because I’ve read a lot of posts and articles about how to stay motivated to exercise during the winter and the most common answer or suggestion is to have a goal / target. I have that. I’ve registered for the Geneva Half-Marathon in May, I’ve set my desired run time and I’ve prepared a training schedule for myself. So why is it still so difficult to get out and go running?

Ability is what you are capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.
– Lou Holtz

What I need is a change of mindset and to add something new to my routine.

Solution One : Attitude

Sometimes my attitude stinks. I get frustrated and annoyed at my lack of progress or simply whimp out altogether because it’s too cold or I’m too tired etc. Every runner has a battle, mine happens to be the cold. But the successful runners — the ones that manage to make this sport into a lifelong journey — those are the ones that don’t succumb to excuses. They do whatever it takes to stay motivated no matter the conditions. I need to man-up and do what I’ve planned to do otherwise I’ll regret it on race day when I don’t reach my target time.

Solution Two : New Gear

I love new things and I want to look good when I’m running (yes I understand the oxymoron here). I think most girls do.

I was planning a trip to the US early this year and had in mind to treat myself to some new running gear however an unexpected visit from sister and her family at the same time has put a hold on our plans – can’t say I’m complaining though as I haven’t seen my sister for more than 12 months now. But that also means I put a hold on purchases since the cost of items in Geneva is probably double of that in the US. On my long run yesterday I got cold, really cold, and I realised that I am not properly prepared for winter running. As this is my first real winter of training, I have been using what’s in the wardrobe rather than investing in “proper gear”.

I must also admit that I am a technology dinosaur. I haven’t invested in a music player since I had a discman at university and I have never really thought about running with tunes before. My hubby has an iPod and uses it every run without fail – even for the short  interval runs. I need a distraction. I need to get my mind off the gruelling training, the long runs and the icy cold winds. What better way to do that than with a few upbeat songs playing in your ears to set the right mood and pace. I’m on the hunt for some peppy songs so all you runners out there, let me know your favourites!

So it’s off to the shops for me this weekend for spend a few hard-earned coins to buy a few pretty things to run a few more kilometers.

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