At the beginning of the race season, enthusiasm and energy is high! About the mid-season point, accumulated season fatigue catches up with most racers. Recovery rate from workouts and from races slows down and finally, by the end of the season, some find their motivation waning.
And motivation is important! After all, motivation is the foundation all athletic effort and accomplishment. Without your desire and determination to improve your sports performances, 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.
But now with the end of Daylight Savings time and riding conditions are less than ideal, what do you do? How do you maintain motivation to train through the rest of the year?
Have a goal. The goal can be big, small or in between but having something to shoot for between now and the New Year can inspire you to ride. Goals can be off the bike or on. Meaning, setting nutrition or weight goals can support your motivation to ride. Or, having a goal to ride a certain number of times a week can get you off the sofa and on to the bike. Pick a goal that inspires you and is manageable.
Fine tune your fitness. Use a heart rate monitor or power meter to benchmark your efforts. Sure, heart rate monitors and power meters have been around for a while now, but how effectively are you using them? Learning what what you need to know about the nuances, ranges, and data interpretation can make a difference in just getting a workout in versus targeting a specific workout in which you hit numbers and are motivated to get after it again the next day.
Make friends with the trainer. Nobody likes riding the trainer much less riding it for consecutive days in a row, but there are ways to overcome trainer woes to eliminate boredom and support your training. Try different approaches, times of day, and lengths of workouts to keep your trainer workouts fresh.
Dial it in! Your body and your bike – that is! Get a bike fit. We’ve heard about them, talked about them, but somehow, most of us don’t get one. And why not? They say the quickest way to get faster on the bike is with a bike fit. Sure, fit impacts comfort but it also impacts technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries and how you ride. Meaning it directly affects how much power you can efficiently deliver to the pedals. Dialing in your body and your bike parts will keep you motivated as you discover how the new changes positively affect your time on the bike.
Ultimately, motivation is not something that can be given to you. Rather, motivation must ultimately come from within. Just like the passion you have for cycling. Dig deep, find what inspires you to keep riding through the year end.