How do I get out the door to the swimming pool on a cold dark winter night?

This is a familiar challenge that I face myself every winter! And it crops up periodically through the winter as my motivation has peaks and troughs. A common dip in for me is sometime in February when my New Year energy has dropped off and if feels like I’m in the depth of a 10 year winter!

Here are some my favourite strategies that have helped me the most.

  1. It’s normal to have ups and downs in motivation! So rather than feeling bad or guilty or wimpish I find that accepting it as normal really helps me to get back on it.
  2. Have a goal that you’re training towards and making sure each swim has a purpose can help to keep the momentum going
  3. Find some buddies! I currently have a group of swimming buddies thanks to Swim and Tonic for Monday night dippers and Coventry Triathletes for the Friday morning crew. They’re not all the same speed as me and sometimes don’t even do the same set – but just having someone to meet and a friendly face makes it a lot more fun.
  4. Accountability – knowing a swim buddy expecting me to turn up for a swim keeps me accountable and makes me get out the door.
  5. Make a date – I have my swim day planned in my diary in advance
  6. Get organised – I have my kit ready in advance
  7. Plan a reward – plan something to look forward to after your swim. For me these are simple thing such as watching my favourite TV programme, reading a newspaper with my morning coffee, spending 10minutes on social media or some internet shopping. I try to avoid using food as a reward but sometimes after a particularly challenging swim a piece of cake and a coffee is the only thing that works.
  8. Set the clock – There’s a high chance I’m going to procrastinate and I’m the champion of faffing! So I give myself a time limit and set a clock for the faffing! This allows my brain a bit of space for faffing, but creates a bit of urgency to get out the door
  9. Comfort blanket – my comfort blanket is a cup of tea in my flask which I drink on the way to the pool which somehow just helps to make it easier. Do you have something that helps?
  10. “Don’t think just train”. I’m the champion of over thinking so sometimes I just need to switch my brain off, get out of my moaning Minnie, pull my big girl pants up and just get the job done!
  11. Banging Music: I have my favourite, upbeat, banging tunes on the way to the pool to get my mojo moving!


Let me know what strategies you have for getting out the door on these dark winter nights.