Motivation is the foundation all athletic effort and accomplishment. Without your desire and determination to improve your sports performance, all of the other mental factors, confidence, intensity, focus, and emotions, are meaningless.
To become the best athlete you can be, you must be motivated to do what it takes to maximize your ability and achieve your goals. The key question here is what keeps you motivated month after month? Through each season? And, year after year?
The post, Motivation – Using the left or right brain, offers some insights as to how brain function plays a critical role in cycling motivation. As a brief reminder, most people have tendencies which lean toward exhibiting more “left brain” or “right brain” characteristics. You’ve undoubtedly heard of the differences between the two.
Left brain characteristics:
Right brain characteristics:
– socially adept
One isn’t necessarily better or worse than the other; they both have their functions. But, as this relates to cycling, training, and fitness, it plays a different role. So if you think you are left brained, what are ways to motivate yourself for riding? If data and analytical conversations get you excited , then you need to motivate yourself by the potential numbers to be worked and gained within a workout. This also means to focus on potential elevation gain, distance to be covered, or how many complete intervals you think you can achieve. Focusing on analytical data as in, learning the right way to train or making proper goal setting a priority can help dial in motivation. Another way to use your logical mind for motivation is to research bike parts, bike geometry and test ride cycling accessories to see how it impacts your ride.
On the flip side, if you are a right brained cyclist, consider a holistic approach to your experience. As in, focus on the journey and what you may experience on each ride. Consider multiple options for routes that will allow you to experience the views of the season, then which route best suits the workout. On any day, think about what the feel of the workout will bring, with breathing, the rhythms, and how enjoyable that is. Grasp this and use it to your advantage, because visualization and feel is your main motivation. Visualization can take place off the bike too. Yoga for cyclist and year round strength training and visualizations of a stronger and fitter body can aid in the motivation experience.
Ultimately, what it boils down to is that whether you approach your motivation for cycling from a left or right brained perspective, what matters is that you are having fun and engaged. Motivation is easy to maintain when you are experiencing the rewards of your cycling and training experiences.