Christmas is over, New Year’s just begun – and it’s only getting colder. It’s the time of year when fitness motivation can slip. Besides the cold, dark mornings, training has to be balanced with a busy social calendar. So to help you stay motivated and in shape for the 2016 JD calendar, here are a few fitness tips to help you stick to your winter workout plan.

1. Set Yourself a Goal
Set yourself a goal and stick to it. Whether it’s your first trail run, an obstacle race, or something different, just get it booked and it will immediately give you the motivation to start training.

2. Be an Early Bird
Make the most of the early morning. Once the clocks have changed I find it much easier to get up in the morning and train when it’s daylight. It also means your training is out of the way and won’t be impacted by other things happening during the day.

3. Get the Gear
Make sure you’ve got the right kit. Whatever you’re doing check the weather the night before, lay your kit out ready and make sure it’s appropriate to the weather. I prefer to ‘layer up’ with thin layers rather than anything to bulky. This way you can remove a light item of clothing and carry it should you find yourself too warm.

4. Have a Morning Pick-me-up
Get a hot drink inside you. I don’t go anywhere until I’ve had a cup of coffee. It gives you an extra kick and gives you that little bit of added warmth before you start.

5. Find a Training Buddy
Train with someone else. This is a good all year round motivator but I find it works even better in the cold winter mornings. If you have someone knocking on your door to pick you up, or calling to find out where you are, I can guarantee you’ll find it a lot harder to put off your training.

6. Be Part of a Community
Join an online community like Strava and record your training. It’s a good motivator to see how you’re improving, you can find new routes and see what other people are up to.

7. Mix It Up
If the weather’s really bad go for a swim, find an indoor boot camp or go to the gym and work on your strength and core. It’s good for the body and mind to mix things up and it means you won’t miss out on a day’s training.

8. Enjoy It
If you’re running, find a picturesque trail run and take in the beauty of the countryside. We live in a beautiful country and it never looks better than on a cold frosty morning.