5 Ways To Boost Your Cycling Motivation
In this post, I’ll talk about some of the ways that I stay motivated to ride and train, both during the winter and throughout the season. Especially during the winter period, motivation and the desire to ride can sometimes dwindle, but by using a few simple tactics, you can make sure that having enough motivation isn’t too much of a problem.
A lack of motivation, at least for me, usually comes from not enjoying what I’m doing and/or feeling a little lost when it comes to direction and what I’m working towards. However, both of these issues can quite easily be rectified with a bit of thought and by taking some action. Here are 5 of the best tips that I can offer to help you rekindle your enthusiasm for riding when it starts to get a little low.
I wrote briefly in this post on cycling training fundamentals about how to set goals for your season and training plan. Goals are a really important component of motivation and give you something very clear to work towards. There’s a huge difference between going out and just riding around, and knowing that every time you step on your bike, you’re making a step closer to achieving your goal, and the latter is often far more motivating.
Pick out some races, set some training objectives and give some thought as to exactly what you need to do to bridge the gap from where you are now to where you want to be. If you pick a goal that you’re excited and passionate about, your cycling motivation shouldn’t be a problem.
TRY NEW WORKOUTS
During the winter especially, a lot of riders get stuck in a rut when it comes to training, and this is largely because they do the same workouts day in, day out. Doing so will have a negative impact on both your fitness development and your enthusiasm to ride, so trying some new workouts is a great way to get your mojo back.
Even if you’re struggling to find cycling motivation, building in new ways to train certain abilities will stress the body differently and often results in faster fitness gains. There’s always more than one way to train a specific ability or aspect of your fitness, so try searching for different types of workouts to use. I’ll have lots of workout ideas coming to the blog soon.
KEEP A DIARY
Setting a to-do list in everyday life is one of, if not THE best way to be more productive, and getting the tasks you need to get done out of your head and onto paper is a really important component of that.
A training plan or diary is a cycling specific to-do list, and it’s amazing how much more training you get done if you write things down. Of course, you should have a training plan by now, but if you don’t, this is one way to instantly boost your motivation to train and ride. Software like TrainingPeaks and Strava make this really easy, and the social/competitive element that Strava has makes it doubly motivating for certain types of riders.
Just like using new workouts in your plan can help get you motivated to ride, finding new roads or trails to ride can have the same effect. Winter is a particularly good time to do this, as you should have more time within your workouts (which hopefully aren’t too serious just yet) to take a chance and see if an unexplored route is worth riding in the future. Personally, during the season, I feel quite disinclined to explore, as I have very specific goals for each training session, which leaves little time to go wandering, but in the winter, I try to take a step back and see what some other routes have to offer. This works well for both mountain bikers and road riders.
Not having the ability to see what positive changes your training is inducing can be a real motivation killer, and it’s part of the reason why I believe I don’t train on the mountain bike quite as much as I should. When it comes to skill-based training, quantifying improvements can be difficult, but with other parts of fitness, it’s relatively easy.
Regular testing, like FTP or Functional Threshold Power testing, allows you to track and be motivated by improvements in your fitness, which is a great way to be sure that you are indeed getting closer to your goals. Even just monitoring your power output or average heart rate during certain workouts and setting benchmarks, will mean you can continually reinforce that your training is working and making you faster.
What are some of your best motivational tips? Do you have issues with motivation at certain times of the season? Please give me a shout in the comments below.