Ways to Stay Motivated Even in the Cold

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With all the storms that have been hitting the West Coast, and the still chilly temperatures for much of the rest of the country, it’s not exactly the time of year when you want to spend your days outdoors. However, there is never a bad time to start training for this year’s 3-Days, even in the wintertime. Finding the motivation to do it? That’s the tricky part. We have some simple tips to get you started on your training plan and walking goals for 2017.

Start small and be reasonable: If this is your first year of training for the 3-Day, you’ve been taking a work out hiatus since you walked in 2016, or just hit a little bump over the holidays, that’s okay! The key in starting a new training plan, or upping the ante on the one you’ve currently got going, is to always be honest with yourself about what you can handle. Trying to go from 0 to 100 will only stress you out and set you up to feel discouraged. Start by training a few times a week, then work your way up to more and longer training sessions.

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Give yourself reminders: Write on your bathroom mirror. Put a post-it on the fridge door. Set your phone or computer background. Even set a daily alarm! Whatever it takes to keep your goals top of mind, just keep those reminders coming. They can be in the form of a motivational quote, your goal for the week, or the promise of a reward (new work out gear?). We have fun, inspirational graphics on our blog if you need help with ideas.

Get jammin’: One thing that gets a lot of people going when it’s time to get their fitness on is music! Whether you use Pandora, Spotify, or your trusty iTunes library, having a go-to work out playlist will help you keep walking with purpose and oomph. The 3-Day has its own Spotify account with playlists from past 3-Days and more to keep you moving all winter long.

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Team up!: It’s proven that working out with a buddy helps you hit the gym harder and more often. Whether you have a lot of friends also training for the 3-Day, or pick a buddy with similar fitness goals, finding a friend makes a huge difference! They help you stay accountable to not miss a training day, and keep you going when you’re out on the trail. 3-Day participants can easily find a training buddy at The3Day.org/Friend. Chat as you walk and the miles will fly by!

Eliminate excuses: We can all think of plenty of reasons not to do our work out. That’s the easy part. The tough part is eliminating those excuses! Hopefully reading this post has helped motivate you, but another simple tactic is to sit down and write out all of the excuses you’ve given yourself in the past. Then, think of your own ways and motivations to overcome those obstacles and write those down. Keep your list handy for days when you’re thinking about talking yourself out of going for a walk.

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Don’t forget your food: Getting moving is always a good idea, but you have to stay hydrated and eat right to make sure you’re getting the most out of your training. Try to drink a gallon of water a day, (it’s harder than it sounds) and focus on lean proteins, lots of greens and healthy sugars in food like fruit. Use our smoothie recipes to get you started!

Try something new: A new year and new training season is the perfect time to test out something fresh! If you’ve always wanted to try boxing or barre or cycling or yoga, give it a go! Any movement is good for your body and mind, and you might find your next favorite fitness class.

What are ways that help you stay motivated this time of year?

REMINDER: The health, safety and training information contained in this blog post, or otherwise provided to you in connection with your participation in the 3-Day, is not intended to replace or be construed as medical advice and any such information is not a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment from your medical provider. Before starting any exercise program or following any recommendations, advice or other instructions regarding training for the 3-Day or any athletic event, you should first consult a physician and have a physical examination.

Cold Weather Training Tips

January may still be a little bit early in the year to start your official 3-Day training, but if you’re eager to get started training your body to be able to walk 60 miles this summer, let’s chat about walking when the weather is not so pleasant. You may be wondering, “How can I get my 3-Day training walks in when it’s minus freezing degrees outside?”

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All about those waterproof layers!

Here are some tips for walking in a winter wonderland:

Dress for the occasion – Before stepping outside, you’ll probably be inclined to bundle up in your down parka, but if you’re taking a walk, it may be better to dress in lighter, thinner layers, and shed as you go if you need to. Moisture-wicking fabric is best for the layer closest to your skin. You may be cold, but if you’re moving, you’re sweating, and the only thing worse than being really cold is being really cold and wet. Also, don’t forget hats and gloves, and whenever possible, wear bright colors and/or reflective materials so you stand out against your white-grey environment.

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Look at how happy some of our 3-Dayers look in their gloves!

Warm your digits – One 3-Day coach loves those chemical-activated hand and foot warmers (available in the camping section of any sporting goods store). They are a quick, inexpensive way to keep your fingers and toes toasty. They fit snugly inside your gloves and your shoes and will ease the shock of the freezing temps on your extremities.

Take care of your skin – Cold air and wind can really do a number on exposed skin, so don’t forget to put on moisturizer before heading out. Sunscreen, too, is a must have for training any day of the week, any time of the year.

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One of our coaches, Amy Schwager, stayed bundled in 2016 

Hydrate – Drinking water when it’s hot out is a no brainer. You crave the cool water to quench the heat. It can be harder to remember to hydrate in the cold, but it’s no less essential when you’re exercising. If you normally carry your water in a fanny pack while you walk, think about holding it in your hand while walking in the cold, as an ever-present reminder to sip as you step.

Cool it on the mileage – There are many reasons why the 3-Day events take place in the late summer and fall, and it’s not just about walking those 60 miles in nicer weather; it’s also because we know that many of you superstar walkers can’t even really start training until the ground beneath you thaws out. But if you’re the type of go-getter who just can’t wait until the mercury rises, you can at least be comforted knowing that it’s okay to keep your walks short and sweet at this point. Once spring comes around and mother nature is a more agreeable training partner, then you can start upping the distance of your training walks.

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Fun AND functional hats and scarfs 

Choose your route carefully – Be certain that you’re walking someplace familiar, and be ready to pay close attention to the terrain with every step. If the sidewalks have not been cleared of ice and snow, walk in the street. (And on that note, make sure you’re wearing good shoes that have a little bit of traction on the sole.) Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. If you get lost in a snow drift, they’ll want to know where to start digging!

Stay indoors – Wait, you’re not off the hook for training! But if it’s just too nasty outside, find someplace indoors to get moving. While we don’t recommend that you do all of your 3-Day training on a treadmill, it’s a perfectly good alternative to outdoor walking if you need it. No treadmill? Throw on your shoes and walk on an indoor track, through a shopping mall, or up and down the stairs in your office building. One of our coaches also suggested college campuses as places that often have large and/or interconnected buildings, and lovely grounds you can walk through.

Tell us your favorite cold weather walking tips!

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Remember to always keep your socks dry!

REMINDER: The health, safety and training information contained in this blog post, or otherwise provided to you in connection with your participation in the 3-Day, is not intended to replace or be construed as medical advice and any such information is not a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment from your medical provider. Before starting any exercise program or following any recommendations, advice or other instructions regarding training for the 3-Day or any athletic event, you should first consult a physician and have a physical examination.

 

Cold Weather Walkin’ Playlist

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Sixty miles is a long way to walk, no matter how much training you do, so it’s always better to start as early as possible! Working out in the winter, however, can be a struggle, thanks to shorter daylight hours and frigid temperatures. If you’re working on a New Year’s fitness resolution, or want to get a head start on your 2017 3-Day® preparation, you’ll need a motivating playlist to get you up and out into the cold. We’ve pulled some of our favorite songs from 3-Days past, and added a few new favorites, to create a group of work out songs that will get your feet moving!

Did we miss any of your favorites? Leave a reply in the comments and we might add it to one of our upcoming playlists!