Many a cyclists gets to the halfway point of the season and find themselves lacking motivation to get out and ride. There are lots of reason’s for this but typically it’s due to over training, setting unrealistic goals or just plain old every day stress. So how can a cyclists regain his or her motivation? I have learned several things that have helped me and those that I coach get through these darker moment’s.
Take a break
One of the first questions I ask myself when I start seeing motivation lacking is when was the last time I took a break? I do schedule breaks for myself and everyone I coach but it seems to never fail that my breaks get filled up with work that some times leaves me a little stressed negating the effects of true rest and recovery. This is when I try to get a little more sleep and remove some of the stress in my life.
Wait for it…
Everyone I coach selects a period in their training schedule where they want to have exceptional fitness. This process is called peaking and it is done in an effort to time top form along with an event that an athlete wants to do well in. This process is more art than science at times. Some times the peak comes early some times it comes late. I usually end up counseling new athletes about this. Not peaking soon enough is usually a huge buz kill for competitive cyclists. If you are using a structured training plan and the peak hasn’t shown its self wait for it… it will.
Check your diet
Another one of the top reasons I have had for waning motivation is what I have been eating. If I have been stress eating due to work or lack of time to eat properly I will notice my mood souring. Just ask my coach. What I do in these cases is to drink a bit more water and begin eating whole foods for a few days straight. This seems to be the ticket for my mood.
Become a tourist
If you are like most of us you don’t have a lot of time to train and ride so you end up riding the same roads and training with the same people week after week. Look for a new group ride in a different town. Ride with folks slower than you and faster than you. Register for a race or event ride out of town, make a vacation out of it!
Reevaluate your goals and progress
Since it’s the middle of the season for many of us in North America it’s time to drag out your goals and training objectives and see if you are still on track and what may need to be changed or see if you have exceeded your goals. This can be a real mood improver when you recognize that a goal has been met. If one hasn’t been met you still have time to make it happen!
This is the shallowest of consumer fixes but sometimes making an upgrade to your bike, kit, or you is the fastest way to regain motivation. Buying a new bike, upgrading, wheel, components and getting a bike fit can help. Updating to some new flashy kit can also make rides more comfortable and make you feel better about you. Finally the best upgrade you make is hiring a coach. Hiring a coach will help you to gain perspective and expertise on how to meet and exceed your goals.
Have a great ride,