Keeping up the motivation to exercise on a cold winter day instead of curling up under a warm blanket on the sofa can be difficult, not to mention the allure of keeping comfortable if you are fighting an injury. Sometimes lack of motivation rears its ugly head during these challenging times despite our best efforts to press on. Yet, this time of year, many cyclists – competitive and recreational – are fighting regular demons whether that is general fatigue, lack of time, or seasonal illness.
Granted, it is widely accepted in the health and fitness community that exercise has a positive effect on our mind body and spirit. But how do you make these gains and keep your cycling training on track when you are missing workouts? Let’s look at some practical steps to fight off those winter blues, manage time better, and overcome injuries so you are in your best form for the 2014 cycling season.
For starters, general fatigue, lack of time, and life in general will always play a role in preventing training and missing training days. So what do you do? The post, Missing training – Adjusting the plan, suggest a few options for recalibrating your weekly training schedule. The big take away is the mindset.
“Often remind yourself of the big picture. It’s easy to beat yourself up over missed training, but if you have been steady with training, give yourself a break. Gaining fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days and losing fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days. It takes months of steady training to gain good fitness. A few days missed or logging a fewer less hours than planned for a week is a small blip on the radar.”
But that isn’t an excuse to curl up on that couch! Motivation is key and weather variances can prevent steady outdoor training. The post, Surviving the Winter as a Cyclist, shares some great “fortune cookie wisdom” in that the hardest part is just getting started. “Whether it’s starting your workout for the day, or jumping back into training after you’ve been “off the wagon” for a while, getting going is tough. That’s the law of inertia. An object at rest wants to stay at rest. But on the flip side, once an object is in motion, it wants to stay in motion.
The key here – start pedaling. Make a time commitment to stay on the bike for 30 minutes to see how you feel. By then, most likely you’ll be into the ride and lack of motivation is disappearing.
And finally, if injury is preventing you from sticking to your cycling training plan, consider watching what you eat! Not to avoid gaining weight, but to improve your recovery time. The post, What Can I Eat to Recover from Injury? illustrates the role of omega-3 fats, protein, glucose, and herbal supplements in injury prevention and recovery. What you eat can affect your mindset, motivation, and outlook.