Alex has given me hope when I thought my Ironman race season wouldn’t happen due to chronic Achilles issues.
Declan, London

Don’t Let Your Fitness Slip!

As much as we try, it’s always difficult to keep your training consistent this time of year.  Even the most regular and committed exercisers tend to become a little more sporadic with their output.

Whether it is a dip in motivation or just the bad weather and lack of planning, here are some of the common training barriers we see see people put up, and how to break them!

  1. It’s Cold.

Ummmmmm, yeah, it’s winter?!

Joking aside, the thought of leaving your cozy house to go out for a run or bike ride in the freezing whether can sometimes be hard to stomach. There’s always indoor fitness though.  You could join a gym on a short-term contract until the weather picks up, or alternatively, workout at home using some of our workout sessions!

If you aren’t a fan of exercising indoors, you could always use this as a great excuse to buy some nice new winter kit to keep you motivated!

  1. Lacking a Goal or Motivation.

This is probably one of the most common barriers and it’s really easy to fall into the trap of ‘training for the sake of training’. Lacking a goal, makes it much easier to miss the odd session without consequence and it becomes increasingly difficult to refocus.

Getting a Spring Event in the diary now will work wonders for your focus and motivation.  Don’t consider event time a “summer-only” occurrence. Booking something now and writing a basic training program to follow should help to organise your training time as well as giving you a final target to aim for.

  1. Illness.

There’s plenty of it going about! This is typical in winter for a number of reasons. Some flu viruses thrive in cold weather, cold weather suppresses our immune systems and a less sunlight results in a reduction of health related vitamins in the body.  If you are unlucky enough to be struck down with some sort of cold or flu, training is the last thing you’ll feel like doing.

With this in mind, prevention is sometimes better than cure. One of the keys is a healthy-diet, rich in vitamins and minerals at a time of year when it is easy to lack them. This will give us the best chance of fighting off the colds we are likely to get exposed to.

If you’re looking for a vitamin or mineral kick there are some powerful ingredients to consider:

Citrus Fruits – Vitamin C

Broccoli – Vitamins A, C and E, in addition to anti-oxidants

Garlic – Allicin (Sulphur containing compound).

Ginger – Anti-inflammatory properties.

Spinach – Vitamin C, anti-oxidants and Beta Carotene

Yoghurts – Live cultures to stimulate gut function and immune system. Vitamin D

Poultry – Vitamin B-6

  1. Mood.

SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is at it’s most prevalent in the winter months. The shorter, darker days we experience have been shown to have a direct effect on certain people’s mood.

Naturally, a worsening mood is likely to lead to lower motivation and make us less likely to train.  We need to be doing the exact opposite to combat this!  Getting out in the daylight and receiving our fix of Vitamin-D can go a long way to lightening our mood, and that’s before we consider the endorphin rush we get from the exercise itself.  These endorphins last long after the exercise session and can have positive effect on body and mind!