The race is coming up and it’s top training time for your athletes… but it’s also winter. The days are shorter, the nights are colder, and we all want to pack up our blankets and hibernate until spring. Even though a warm bed is tempting, there’s a heavy price to pay for skipped workouts. Unprepared participants may give up on competing and, if they do compete, the ‘fun’ quotient is sure to be knocked down a few pegs.
All race directors want their athletes to feel their best and enjoy race day. Here’s how to motivate athletes through the winter weather:
Keep Their Eye on the Prize
Look at any fitness blog and you’ll see that registering for an event is one of the #1 ways to stay motivated. They’ve already signed up – now don’t let them forget! Place a countdown clock on your website and create eye-catching images to share countdown milestones through email and social media. You can even create a custom race calendar in a PDF file for participants to print at home. Brand it with your logo and mark the event date, countdown milestones, and words of encouragement!
The easier you make it for athletes to stay on top of their training, the more loyal they will be to you! Potential participants who are on the fence will be more likely to register knowing there are resources available.
The cold of winter doesn’t just freeze one’s motivation; there are many other adverse impacts that athletes must address to avoid injury and misery. Regularly share articles on the scientific side of things: what to wear, how to layer, how one might have to alter their warm-ups or training schedule, or even how to hammer nails into your shoes to increase traction (yes, people do that). The better athletes understand how cold affects their body, the better they can prepare for it.
Give your athletes suggestions on cool winter race gear from sneakers to warm gloves, to hats and headbands. See if you can work out a deal with a local running store to offer discounts or even giveaways to registrants in exchange for store exposure through your network. Just like any new clothes, new gear is sure to motivate athletes to get out there and show off those flashy sneakers or groovy leggings. In exchange for the freebies, ask athletes to snap selfies wearing the clothes and share them with their social networks. Word of mouth is king and this is great exposure for local shops.
You can also encourage athletes to download fitness apps like Pact or Nike+ to hold them accountable. Pact itself is a bribery app: work out and get paid or miss your workout and pay up! You can also share warm, healthy recipes like this hot chocolate protein shake for athletes to use as a reward after a hard workout.
The buddy system isn’t just for third-grade field trips! Besides making a workout more fun, running with a partner is sure to hold athletes accountable as they can no longer skip a day just because they “didn’t feel like it”. Meetup.com is a great place for athletes to find a running buddy or you can also connect them with local running clubs and companies; many host regular group runs (sometimes with free food, if you’re lucky)!
And, of course, get out there yourself! Sharing personal pics of staff sticking to their own training schedule will motivate others, give your company credibility, and give participants the feeling that you are all in this together.
Mix It Up
Suggest winter-friendly ways for athletes to cross-train like ice skating, skiing and snowboarding. You can also share seemingly silly (yet effective!) workouts that mix in with popular television like the countless award shows or The Bachelor. Use hashtags to connect with these events on social media; not only will it help your athletes, but it’ll boost your race promotion by gaining extra exposure!
Keep It Constant
Take advantage of the popular hashtag #MotivationMonday and continue to share motivational pieces through email and social media. Remind your athletes of the benefits; both of exercise in general and the surprising pleasantries of winter running (if you’ve ever been the first one out after a fresh snowfall, you know what we’re talking about). Help them get their groove on by sharing special running playlists and encouraging participants to share their own. Share motivational YouTube videos and quotes and suggest inspiring running books and movies. If you’re local, you can even host a movie night!
These tips allow athletes to stay on track for your next race and they are sure to appreciate the extra encouragement! Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to go frolic through the snow flurries!
To learn more about ChronoTrack, contact us.