And it has brought some dark and chilly wet weather! This time of year I start to think about what I’m going to do during the dark fall and winter days so I can maintain fitness and sanity.
Also, when commuting home after work in darkness, it is definitely hard to get motivated to go to the gym, hop on the trainer or run in the rain. Here are a few ideas to help keep you motivated and moving:
- Join the Peak Winter Race Series. Peak Centre for Human Performance in Burnaby has a weekly cycling race series during the fall and winter. Racing in winter you wonder? YES! Bring your road bike or a mountain bike with a slick, hook it up to their computrainers and line up against other riders in their gym and give’r! Each week is a different course, around an hour in length. It’s an awesome way to get a hard workout in during the winter and a lot of fun! It’s definitely not hard to get your heartrate going during these races! Visit www.peakcentrevancouver.ca for more info.
- Get some lights and hit the trails with some friends. Most bike shops sell high end lights for night riding, and a decent headlamp that you can get at Mountain Equipment Co-op or you might already have for camping, will do great for trail running. It’s a good idea to start on a trail that isn’t too rooty or rocky at the beginning, and go with friends for safety and enjoyment. You definitely need to go a lot slower than during daylight, but it’s a lot of fun and sure beats the treadmill.
- Buy a trainer or join a spin class. Depending on your work/life schedule, joining a spin class might be a great option, or even buying a trainer so you can hop on your bike whenever you have time. Throw in a movie or some good tunes and ride!
- Get a personal trainer/coach. Having a program set up for you might help you keep motivated to stick to your training schedule, run or get on the bike and ride after work even when you’re too tired. Or, if you can afford to, hit the gym with a personal trainer once a week who can help you work on your strength, fitness, and help prevent injuries. Most gyms also offer discounts if you go for a friend or two.
- Join a training group – running or cycling. There are local groups and stores that lead weekly runs after work and on the weekends, even during the fall/winter. For run training contact North Shore Athletics.
- Last but not least, make sure you’re doing something that is fun! If it’s not fun, why are you doing it?!? Also, make sure you take rest days and rest weeks so you don’t burn out before next summer. The last thing you want to do is be sick of your sport before you get to the best time of year to do it. Been there, done that … not so fun.
If you have some more ideas, let us know!