Happy Spring Everyone! Thankfully it has started to warm up in our little corner of the north. This weather couldn’t have come at a better time. The sunny but COLD days were giving me a serious case of cabin fever! At the end of a cold winter I’m desperate to get outside and start running again. I’ve been running all winter at the gym but honestly I’ve always felt like running on a treadmill is kind of soul sucking. There is something so refreshing and almost spiritual about getting outside and hitting pavement.

This winter has been challenging for my training on several levels. The most obvious is hub’s work schedule that limits my ability to get to the gym but biggest challenge for me has been being motivated to workout at home.

Exercising and training are such an important part of my life and identity. After having Henry I worried that I would lose that piece of myself. For me it’s not just about fitness it’s about feeling strong and maintaining my sense of self. I’m still figuring out this whole mom/me balancing act and I suspect I will be for many years to come but here are some of the things that have helped me so far.

Schedule time If you’re going to workout at home I found it helpful to plan ahead. With all of the distractions of home (especially when you have little ones) it’s helpful to schedule this time for you. Make sure you’re realistic about the time of day you’ll be most likely to follow through and the least likely to be disrupted. For me the best time of day was during H’s afternoon nap. When hubs is home and I get to the gym we try to plan out the whole week so that we’re both on the same page as to our schedules and commitments for the week.

Find an at home program that works for you Do something that you enjoy. If you’re not doing something you enjoy you’re not likely to keep doing it. For me Insanity was a good fit. I love the high intensity and that it doesn’t require a lot of gear.

Keep yourself accountable Goal setting is probably one of the biggest motivators. Figure out what you want to get out of this and what you need to do to get there. My goals have been to complete a couple of races this summer and to maintain and enhance my fitness level. I’m really nervous about running my first race post baby but I know that registering for a race will definitely help keep me accountable.

Be kind to yourself Keeping motivated can be extremely challenging. If you’ve been able to keep it up despite the many obstacles give yourself a pat on the back. If not, be kind to yourself and see how you can do things differently next time. The first couple of months with Henry were extremely difficult and finding the energy/motivation to do anything let alone exercise was challenging. Once I was able to stop beating myself up about missing workouts I was able to take a look at what would work better for us. Thankfully for me Henry is now on a schedule and is sleeping MUCH better so my workouts are rarely interrupted. That being said there are still days when life just gets in the way and I’m still working on being kinder to myself in those moments.

Like I said it’s still a work in progress and I’m still trying figure it all out. As with everything else in life the moment you think you have it figured out another challenge or learning opportunity appears. As it gets warmer my new challenge will be running with stroller. I’ve heard that it’s difficult to get used to and I’m not sure what Henry will be like on long runs. After that it will be finding the time to exercise when I go back to work.

I’m trying to take it all in stride and look forward to these new challenges and am embracing our new life as a family.

How do you keep motivated to workout?

For those working moms; how do you balance work, family and training?