Motivation to train, eat right and race can become drained quickly and recently PPC athletes have been dealt the dreaded lack of motivation curse. I recently started a Monday AM Post on the PPC Facebook titled Monday Morning Motivation. Join us each Monday morning for your dose of motivation. You might also like the following post from our friends over at AthletesAudio.com If you’re thinking negatively, you might as well punch yourself in the face.
The image comes from Encouragement 100 check them out. You might find just the inspiration you are looking for.
Motivation is a huge part of training. Lack of motivation can come from many places. Sleep, diet, training, stress, expectations, fear, depression… I look at the following as factors that can impact motivation. Each of these factors are rarely the single culprit.
Sleep: Not sleeping enough or having your sleep interrupted often doesn’t help.
You need a minimum of 7.5 hours a sleep a night. Preferably 8-9 hours. On the weekends I try to get 10 hours or even throw in a nap. We should investigate when your going to bed, when you’re getting up how much sleep you’re getting.
Diet: Not eating right puts a huge burden on a body in training.
Off-season training, depending where you live, comes with its own perils too such as a potential lack of sunlight. We can supplement for this and other off-season ailments that can affect motivation. We should investigate what your eating, when, how often and how much. Also need to look into what if any supplements you are taking.
Life Stress: Stress comes from many places, work, family, life, training…
There are lots of ways we can deal with all the above. We need to investigate what you think stress is and which ones are providing the most impact on your motivation.
Training stress: Training stress can be good or bad.
Good training stress followed by good rest will result in you making physical adaptations so then next time your body must work it is better prepared to do so.
Expectations: Are you overreaching and over thinking your training and goals?
Sometimes we can lump expectations under stress or training stress but I think it’s important to understand what a cyclists’ ongoing expectations are of their training progress and or racing results are.
Fear: Do not overestimate the power of fear!
Fear along with expectations, stress and or training stress can really be the triple whammy for waning motivation. We need to investigate what could be an are of training or racing that could be causing a fear. Most athletes have fears over the newness of racing and unknown outcomes around racing in packs, descending, cornering or even the fear of not finishing what you set out to complete.
Depression: A down day effects everyone but athletes may take it the hardest.
We ask a lot of our selves, our bodies, our minds and our families. Mix a little self-doubt in with training stress, out of whack hormones, calorie restrictions, lack of daylight and you may very well start seeing everything in shades of blue.
Their lots of ways we can investigate which stress factors are the culprit. In most cases it’s not just one factor. It’s usually a few of them and most often I find that athletes are not getting enough sleep, their diet is sub par and something is going on at work or home that makes them feel guilty for training.
When one of my athletes is suffering from motivation issues the investigation starts with a phone call. We talk over what the athlete thinks could be causing the motivation issues and then we go over what the stress factors above. If we decide that one of the above is most prevalent then we log diet, mood, sleep, water intake and stress over a period of a few weeks to see if any of these items jumps out. Then we set about finding ways to address these motivation killers.
If you are having motivation issues that you can’t seem to get past and are not coached here is another reason to think about hiring us as your coach. We do much more than just plan your training.
All of us go through this and I find nine times out of ten is that it’s related to stress and a lack of sleep. I have also found just like in a hard climb in a hard race. This will pass and we move on to the fun stuff.
Until the next article have a great ride,