An Olympian's guide to motivation: 4 top tips from rower Will Satch

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If you had time out of the gym in the lead-up to Christmas, there’s a strong chance you’ll be struggling to get back on top of your fitness.

In the long, drawn-out winter months, when the weather is cold and the sky is dark it can be hard to harness that get-up-and-go you need.

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This lack of motivation doesn’t just affect us though: Olympians aren’t immune either.

We spoke to rower and Olympic gold medallist Will Satch about how he finds the motivation to keep training.

“Finding the motivation to go back to training after a break can be excruciating, the very thought almost hurts,” he explains.

“Dark winter mornings, bone-aching cold, and sometimes cracking the ice off the riggers, or worse, breaking up the ice on the lake. Ghastly.”

Just like you and I, the 28-year-old has found himself wondering ‘why’ when the alarm goes off at the ungodly hour required of rowers.

His personal motivation, he says, comes from a competitive drive and innate need to be the best.

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“This, combined with the fact that losing has never sat well with me,” he says.

“I thrive on being challenged and I am stubborn. I won’t accept that I can’t achieve what I want if I invest everything I have.”

Another thing that works for him to keep himself going is peer pressure.

“To be surrounded daily by likeminded people, all striving toward the same end is hugely motivational,” Will explains.

On the quest for fitness, he recommends setting smaller goals down the road to bigger achievements.

If he had any advice though, what would it be? Here are his top tips.

1. Treat each day differently

“Every day is a new day, a fresh start.

“Treat each day as if it’s your last and forget about the last – you’re only as good as your last performance.”

2. Get friends involved

“Mingle with others, join a group online and make friends.

“Good peers and training pals are a great way to keep you on track.”

3. Don’t expect immediate results

“Be patient, but work hard. You’re not going to see results immediately, but they will come if you’re consistent, and give it time.”

4. Enjoy yourself

“Treat yourself. Live in the moments of your successes, and reward yourself (appropriately) for achieving your goals”

Will Satch is an Olympic Gold Medallist and Christopher Ward Challenger. He’ll also be taking part in the 2018 World Rowing Cup, Serbia in June. He currently wears a C8 UTC Worldtimer.

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