My friend and blogger extraordinaire Solo lamented the conspiracy of the elements to prevent meaningful base/endurance workouts in a recent post. Albeit a bit whiny (oooo, I'm gonna pay for that...) he brings a legitimate point to discussion.
It's difficult during the week with the weather we've had, between the combination of cold and snow, I can't bring myself to get outside during the day at work. It takes so much time to layer up all my clothing that it takes time away from the workout. Even if it were warmer, there's so much snow on the roads, the sidewalks aren't clear, it's just too dangerous with all the traffic trying to rush around and get errands done. Call it an extension of my life philosophy of reciprocity, but I know if I were trying to get paperwork shuffled between the insurance company and the registry, and I got stuck behind a line of traffic because some octogenarian in a 15 year old buick was too timid to go around a runner on snow clogged roads, I'd be pretty aggravated too, so I don't do it.
I deal with winter malaise though diversity. No, I'm not talking about drinking obscure imported beer or surfing south asian porn (I do that anyways), I'm talking about changing up the workouts. I'm fortunate in that my place of employment has a reasonably well equipped gym. No free weights, but two universal machines, 15 nautilus type machines, 5 stair simulators, 4 treadmills, two ellipticals, two recumbent bikes, and one regular life cycle. During the week, I'll do 20 minutes each on the stair machine, treadmill, and life cycle, maybe three times a week. Tuesdays I do the track workouts hosted by MVS.
Another good motivational tool is some sort of event - running, snowshoe, or ski races, maybe an indoor TT. Of course, not with the intent of winning, but with the intent of just doing it, and feeling good about it afterward.
I've missed any substantial workouts the last two weeks due to a combination of laziness and legitimate familial obligations (except for the track workouts), but that should change this weekend. I have several events on the near horizon that I'm hoping to meet certain personal goals at. Not set PRs, just do reasonably well. I've actually felt a sense of motivation for these events, defeating the malaise.
With all the snow, I can either snowshoe, ICEbike, or ski. I prefer ICEbike. I love ICEbike. Two hours on ICEbike and I'm a happy guy.
So _my_ answer to winter malaise is diversity. Think of rewards as well. If you have the same addiction to physical activity that I do, then you know how great you feel after a good workout in the cold. It's refreshing. It generates endorphins, and endorphins are good. Think about, after you've taken the hot shower and you feel like you've actually accomplished something, sitting down to a good tv show/movie, or a book, with a glass of something special. I prefer single malt scotch.
Do yourself a favor. On your way home tonight, stop at the liquor store and pick out something you like to relax with. Use it as incentive.