Training in the Winter Months; how do you survive? (Part 2)


Read Part 1 HERE


Part 2


Getting your head around it

Looking back on my own experience I see a number of things that I did to embrace winter training and you can do these too.


1. I thought of a time when I enjoyed doing sport in winter.  Ask yourself these questions and find out how you can use these ideas to support you today.

  • Think of a time when you enjoyed doing sport in winter?
  • What was it you enjoyed about those sessions?
  • How did you motivate yourself to get out every day?


2. I set myself a goal, one that inspired me to get out even in the cold and the dark, setting a spring goal will give you a focus for your training, consider the following when you set your goal.

  • Set a goal that makes your heart sing, one that you are passionate about and has infinite possibility for you.
  • When you have it, write it in the present tense ‘I am training for the Edinburgh Marathon’ this helps you to embody the goal immediately and take on the challenge.
  • Tell everyone and anyone who will listen – plaster it over Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.  By sharing this commitment your motivation becomes more fixed.

If you struggle with any of this, then find a good coach to help you, they will hold you safe whilst you explore all the possibilities and options you can for yourself, a coach will also offer their support and nurture growth and if you wish, hold you accountable for your actions. Coaches come in all shapes and sizes and one size doesn’t fit all. You can work with a specific coach in your chosen area – Running, Cycling, Cricket, Rugby, Hockey etc. and combine their skills in the sport alongside their ability to coach you, and you can also work with a professional Life Coach, someone who listens to your head and heart and can support you as you find the will and the way to achieve your goals.


How to stay exercising

This is all great, but you you still need to deal with a few practicalities – the head may now be willing in one respect but you still have to get out there.  Making plans over a cup of coffee in a nice warm armchair is not the same as getting out and doing it.  Your little monkey mind will be chattering at you the whole time, as you dress, as you dream about your spring event (well that’s ages away isn’t it) and even before you get up in the morning.  To keep your monkey ‘boxed’ you need a few things in place to keep you on track. Here are few ideas that could stop procrastination

Be prepared : Get ready early especially if you think you will be distracted by a warm bed to go back too after you have put the kettle on and made breakfast or as soon as you get home from work change into your kit even if your are not leaving for another hour or more!  Being dressed for your session will encourage you to get going.

Dress appropriately : Wear the right clothing for the conditions. This may require a few purchases, but kit can be bought fairly cheap to start with and you can then upgrade as you start to love it. Choose layers over one thick top and double up on your shorts if you need too this s not a fashion parade as long as I am warm and comfortable – it’s dark anyway so who is going to see!

Change your routine : Look at other times of the day to train, so the nights are darker could you get out earlier in the day or before work? It may start with a 20 minute walk before breakfast rather than a run – getting out and getting started is the key.

Grab a friend : Training with a partner prevents inertia, you feed off each other to get yourself moving and in the early days you won’t want to let each other down.

Find a club : There are so many clubs out there you just need to spend a bit of time on the internet to find one. They are run by fabulous coaches and leaders who dedicate their time and knowledge to you.

Book into a session at the gym : Paying for a class or booking in advance is a great way to stick with a commitment.  Loosing your money is not an option, right!

Reward yourself : Give yourself little rewards for your goals. I used a relaxing massage or reflexology as my reward – after the 5th sessions in the rain treat yourself to a massage. This acts as a double bonus as a reward it is fabulous but it also ensures you are taking good care of your body.

Plan it : Set out a structured plan for your training, especially if you have an event in mind. Work back from the event date and work out how much work you need to do between now and then.  Working backwards gives you a good idea of how much time you really have.  When you have a high level plan work in smaller goals, one a week, one a month and so on to keep you on track.

Last but by no means least #JFDI – The front cover of a new Cycling Magazine Casquette pictures Emily Chapell & Nicole Cooke wearing a cap with the hashtag #JFDI it really made me smile as these are the immortal words I say as my monkey mind prevaricates and struggles to come up with excuses – c’mon #JFDI.






How to start exercising

We have talked about sustaining an exercise plan if you are already doing something, but what if you haven’t started yet?  What does the winter months mean for you and how do you feel about getting started this side of Christmas.

My question to you is this:

  1. What would putting if off until spring do for you?
  2. Will your body thank you for another inactive winter?

Why bother starting, Whey the HECK not!

If you can start an exercise programme in the winter months and keep that going, just think how easy it is going to be when spring does arrive. You can use all the suggestions above for setting your goals and getting yourself out there – nothing changes that. Simply start slowly and be aware of what you body is telling you.  Here are a few points to consider for starting out from a level ‘0’ activity.

  • Follow the slow road – start with 10 mins for each session and build up over a few weeks
  • Set short term goals where you have absolute certainty of their outcome – as you tick off each weeks goal notice how you feel about it
  • Schedule it – just like an appointment with the dentist or a meeting with a colleague put the time in your diary
  • Listen to your inner champion – there will always be someone who will think you are mad, listen to your inner champion the one that is backing you all the way
  • Love it – if there is something you find a chore, be that running or the gym then ditch it – try different exercises and classes and find the one that you really enjoy
  • Rest and recover – this is as important as getting out in the first place, find your balance

Are you ready to get out there? Lets change those statistics and start a revolution of winter fitness for women. Tweet about it #JFDI #getoutdoors #winterfitness #adventure #getoutside

Winter fitness doesn’t have to be boring and I will still be in my shorts until the end of October never happier than when I can get outside even in the rain, hail, mud and snow.  My next event is the Pear Tree Joggers, Croome Capability Canter on 27th November – a fabulous 10k ish run at the beautiful Croome Park nr Pershore and most days you will catch me riding my bike to work or to train as I have set my spring challenge 2017 to ride the country End to End!






_dsc9089_1600x1064Bio: Nicky is a professional life coach and Level 2 British Cycling Coach and MTB Leader. Her passion for sport and feeling fit has lead her to support and empower women to take control of their fitness and to fully experience the freedom and enjoyment of being physically fit and feel good about themselves. Nicky’s programmes offer 1:1 performance coaching to live a fitter life as well as courses for women to gain confidence on the bike to either pedal for fun and recreation or step up into sportives and longer bike adventures.  You can follow @nickyharverson on twitter as she takes on her own challenges and lives the life that she dreams of.


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