Training in the Cold and Dark Winter

Man running in snow

If you are anything like most of the athletes during the winter months, you are struggling with getting out of bed in the morning to get your training done! It’s cold. It’s dark. And sometimes it seems darn-right daunting. Here are a few things that help me during the winter months to stay consistent:

Set a Consistent Wake-Up Time

Get out of bed around the same time of day MOST (not all) days of the week. I aim for 4:00-4:30am during the week. I try to “let” myself sleep in 1-2 mornings a week but usually wake up on my own within 30 minutes or so of the normal time anyways! This helps create a habit, and it just becomes part of the routine the more I do it.

Get Moving and Hydrate

I walk the dog and drink 24 oz of water while I do it. Not only does it keep my pup happy, but it helps me get a jump start on my hydration for the day. This is super helpful when the warmer months finally get here!

Meal Prep

You don’t have to get crazy here, but pre-making a few breakfasts and lunches gives me more time in the morning before work to get in my first training session of the day. I prep yogurt bowls, peanut butter and jelly, hard boiled eggs, tuna/cheese and crackers, fruit, and veggies. I also try to eat leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day.

Longest Session First

I do my longest session first in the day. It is easier for me to tackle a short run in the afternoon if my longer swim or bike is already done!


I bribe (yes, you read that right) myself with coffee. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I wait until after my session to drink coffee. It gives me something to look forward to.

Winter training can be hard. But keep in mind, this is when we build our base and our aerobic engines. If you can create a solid routine in the early parts of the year, you will be ahead of the game when the volume and intensity go up later! Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy. The work just has to get done.

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