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  5. Pro Tips: Holly Pawson - Seeing The Light In The Dark

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My name is Holly Pawson. I’m an outdoor enthusiast, mountain biker and now competitive triathlete.

People often ask me how I motivate myself to train over the cool and dark winter months. This year in particular I have no option to ‘slack off’ with the thought of the World Triathlon Championships in Mexico providing that extra tug out of bed in the morning and into my life as a nocturnal athlete. Last year I made the decision to dust off my road bike and get my body running again after a long forced break from competitive sport. In 2009 I fell out of a tree while on holiday in Samoa, fracturing my spine and keeping me from my sports and competitive mountain biking for nearly three years. It wasn’t a smooth transition… just two months into this new ambition I was hit by a car and sent flying off my bike. The injuries have plagued me for a year, but the support I have received and the passion I have for this new sport have kept me mentally strong and going, and going and going… Thanks Back in Motion Physiotherapy! I know I have not been the easiest patient! So when competing against Jack Frost, how do I do it? Here are my top tips for winter training with a smile:

1. Don’t under any circumstance hit ‘snooze’. It will remind you how lovely and warm that bed is and gives you a change to mull over every excuse why training this morning can wait.

2. Focus on the end of the session and not the beginning. I think about how I know I will feel exhilarated, warm and that warm porridge…well… delicious and earned. Shift the focus from the dark and cool temperatures with the knowledge that you will bounce around work as happy as can be after defeating the elements.

3. Have you heard the expression ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’? Avoid the frosts, hail storms and snow and be smart- train indoors if necessary (with the beats cranking of course) but don’t give up toughing it out in the best winter warmers you can find. Cheers Torpedo7!

4. Assume that NOONE can see you and EVERYONE is out to get you. Be that fluro, lit up like a Christmas tree person who stares down every car turning out of a side street. Safety first, fashion can wait. Train in groups and avoid going ‘off the beaten track’ after dark.

5. Embrace it! Be positive! Have goals and a driving force. Chances are that you are out training so early that you will catch the sunrise. Early morning Dunedin is truly beautiful! I love having everything I need on my doorstep or five minutes away.

Time for me to get back out there – it’s really not that bad. I hope you can see the light in the dark too.

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