Rochelle Gilmore is an elite Australian sportswoman and Commonwealth Games cycling champion. Rachel is striving for the Olympics – this is one woman with bucket-loads of motivation and determination. She shares her tips for keeping fit during winter, so take inspiration from Rochelle and follow these 10 key steps:
TIP ONE: MENTAL TRAINING
Do what it takes to create a positive mental attitude, especially on those dark, cold winter mornings. It might seem easier to stay under the covers but try to maintain a positive mindset. Develop strategies that will quickly change your mental attitude before each session, if necessary.
If you’re struggling to stay motivated during winter, take a few minutes and repeat to yourself some positive sayings or motivational quotes, or visualise how you want to look at your next big engagement!
TIP TWO: DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
You’ve heard this before but it’s an important one – drinking plenty of water will aid in keeping you healthy this winter. It will assist with weight loss as you replace calorie packed beverages and build energy as being dehydrated can make you feel fatigued.
TIP THREE: LOOK THE PART
The old adage is true, if you look good you will feel good too. Purchase a suitable outfit for each of your training sessions. Go to the effort to research or ask the experts what type of attire will be best for each session or event, and then take yourself shopping so you’re ready to train in style. Your workout will benefit and so will your health!
TIP FOUR: TEST YOUR FITNESS LEVEL
Have a professional trainer test your current fitness level. There a many types of fitness tests used, ranging from a simple test to see how many times you can stand from a sitting position before reaching exhaustion, to a lung capacity and lactic acid test for professional athletes.
This will motivate you to start planning and making progress during winter. Make sure you receive a summary of your results and establish a realistic goal of what you hope to achieve when you’re retested in three months time.
TIP FIVE: CREATE A TRAINING PROGRAM
Plan your sessions, set your goals and register for events. Together with your trainer or coach, write a training program. It’s important that you add activities and sessions that you love doing. It might be an idea to register for an event or competition every four weeks so you have mini targets and the motivation to reach a satisfactory fitness level. Get outside and try hiking or running, Remember, the harder you work during training, the easier and more enjoyable the competition will be.
TIP SIX: MIX IT UP
Make sure your winter training plan consists of different activities. Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean activities need to be indoors! I’m a professional cyclist but believe all the other activities I do increase my on-bike performances by decreasing the chance of injury. During winter, I strengthen my body by enjoying snow skiing, surfing, water-skiing, motocross, gym sessions, indoor rock climbing, boxing, sand running and if I can brave the cold, swimming.
TIP SEVEN: DIET
Eat like a queen at breakfast, a princess at lunch and a pauper in the evening. There can be nothing more tempting than a warm hearty meal during the cold months, and there are many debates about what the perfect diet consists of. Everyone is different and everyone requires a different diet due to physical and mental nutritional needs. Eating a large breakfast, a small lunch and an even smaller dinner is what I would recommend. Try to stay away from excessive sugars and fats, and drink plenty of water, of course. Carbohydrates will aid in energy and performance for training and races but try to cut down after 4pm.
TIP EIGHT: EBM – Exercise Before Meals.
It’s very difficult to exercise before every meal so let’s just focus on EBB, exercise before breakfast! This should not be considered a training session but more like a sneaky little extra thing you do… your secret session. This little heart-starter only needs to be 10-15 minutes but it needs to be aerobic to get your heart-rate up and your metabolism racing, this will warm you up and kick-start your day.
TIP NINE: RECOVER
Adequate recovery is equally as important as each training session. The faster we recover, the sooner and stronger we can train again. Training doesn’t stop when the workout finishes. You need to recognise recovery as a part of your training. Have a protein shake, take a hot and cold contrast shower and then stretch for 15-30 minutes after every training session to ensure your body is in tip top shape for the next one.
TIP TEN: REWARD yourself!
Working hard is made so much easier when there’s a reward at the end. You need to decide what your weekly or fortnightly reward is going to be – a nice meal, a night out with friends, a few cosy drinks by the fire, buying yourself a gift or a couple of days off from training. Maybe try an alternate activity, like go-karting or something extreme to reward yourself for your efforts!
Follow Rochelle Gilmore’s journey on Twitter – @RochelleGilmore