Lastly in our winter cycling series, we talk again to personal trainer Karla Bensen about the million-dollar question – maintaining motivation.  As the cold of winter sets in and the days get shorter and darker, our motivation tends to drop.  For most people, it’s harder to convince yourself to bundle up and get on the bike when you want to stay warm inside and relax.  But the feeling of accomplishment when you get yourself to go for a ride or train inside is lasting.

Karla says the best thing you can do to stay motivated is to take a page out of the book of The November Project and find yourself a workout buddy.

This doesn’t mean you always have to work out together. Instead it’s about creating accountability. Someone you can’t let down, and who in turn, depends on you.

“Having a goal is also a great motivator,” says Karla. “In an ideal year, it’s a race or an event you’re training for, once the weather gets warmer. Something to aim for.”

But a goal can also be striving for a personal best, or training for a ride you’d always dreamed of doing. Anything to get you working out.

Karla also writes down motivational phrases and leaves them somewhere she will see every day, on her laptop or on her mirror or her car dashboard. Something that connects her to the bigger picture. Right now “We must embody the future we seek” and “Change the direction not the goal” are keeping her moving.

But the best reason to stay active now, is the payoff you’ll get in the short term, and down the road.

“Set yourself up for success, and hold on to that feeling you get after you work out. And remember,” says Karla, “All that hard work you put in now is really going to benefit you as soon as riding season starts.”

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