Ally’s Tips for Winter Motivation
Coach Stephane shared his theory behind winter training. Here is an athlete’s side of the story from super star Ally Duff. During winter I find it is good to change up your training, such as mountain biking or trail running. Having never done mountain biking before, it was a great way to boost my motivation by taking on a new challenge.
In May, my training started to build back up and the temperatures began to drop. I started mountain biking as an alternative to being on the road to improve strength and bike handling skills. Mountain biking is also a good alternative to being on the road during winter because you don’t find yourself getting as cold due to the fact you are usually more protected from the wind and rain, as well as working harder to get up steeper hills (or sweating at the thought of going down a technical hill…).
Winter is the best time of the year to build a solid base in preparation for the triathlon season. As the days become shorter the rides get longer, runs get hillier and swim sessions get tougher, these are just part of the program. On top of this are Geelong Cross Country Club runs every Sunday morning ranging from distances of 4km to 21km and once a month Geelong Cycling Club races ranging from 40-70km in different grades depicted by speed. These races are super tough, after a long week of training, spending the weekend racing on tired legs really tests the body and your mental strength.
Talking about testing mental strength, waking up in the cold and dark to complete your training session before work can be very difficult. You have to fight back every excuse to stay in bed to jump up and get the session done. This is where feeling motivated and determined really matters. For me, my motivation is World Champs in Rotterdam. I wasn’t overly motivated until I came to the realization I was going to be standing on the start line in exactly 3 months. Now, I cant stop thinking about it and find myself not even second guessing when my alarm goes off in the morning while the sun is nowhere to be seen with the sound of rain outside my window. I have set myself a goal and I will do all I can to achieve it.
So, to remain motivated throughout winter I believe it is:
- Extremely important to have a goal that is in the near future, close enough for you to feel that fire in your belly whenever you complete a hard set, knowing you’re one training session closer to completing (hopefully achieving) that goal you set.
- Give yourself a challenge within your training, by either doing something you have never tried before (trail running, mountain biking etc.) or striving to do that little bit extra in your set (e.g aim for an extra hill rep or effort).
- Get involved with the training camps, for me, they are great for meeting new people within the squad and pushing the body to the limits in a controlled environment. No excuses on training camp!
My winter must-haves:
- Shoe covers
- Beanie/ headband that fits under your helmet
- Waterproof/ windproof jacket
- Arm warmers / Compression long sleeve top
- Gloves (windproof)
- Thermos to keep your hot chocolate warm for after the session!!
For extra motivation, I read inspiring autobiographies/ listen to podcasts, the most recent being;
- Turia Pitt – Unmasked (Book)
- Siri Lindley – Surfacing (Book)
- How to Make the Decision to do the Impossible – Siri Lindley with Brad Robbins (Podcast)
- witsup.com podcasts