The weather is warm and inviting. The days are longer. It’s almost June – the beginning of another season of cycling along the Front Range.
Yet, do you find yourself lacking the motivation to ride? Could it be you miss your riding buddies? Or that the trails are packed with people making it hard to ride and ride with social distancing in place?
No doubt these unprecedented times have taken their toll on motivation to get out and ride. Without races and events and group rides to inspire training, it makes it a little harder to reach that upper range in high-intensity workouts. Even if you are getting out for rides, maybe you’re cutting them short or worse, beating yourself up for losing fitness.
The aim during these challenging times is to find a healthy balance between riding and managing other factors like stress and anxieties of the day. So, how do you find that balance? A good first step is to give up beating yourself up for missed rides. 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 few less hours than planned for a week is a small blip on the radar.”
Another piece of encouragement comes from the post, Will I Lose Fitness During Quarantine? which emphasizes that doing something is infinitely better than doing nothing and that while many athletes have been facing limitations on their training, your fitness might not be as dire as you think. That’s encouraging, right?
A way to spark that hope and re-ignite your motivation for riding might be to Experiment With Different Bike Parts to Keep Training Motivation High. Mix up your routine and ride different bikes on different days. Mondays might be your mountain bike. Tuesdays your cross bike. Wednesdays you ride your road bike and so on. Experiment with new bike parts. Swap out your saddle or add some new grips. If experimentation isn’t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close-outs, bike parts and components. Or, maybe training just isn’t in the cards for you right now. That’s okay. You can still ride! Swap your car ride for an easy bike commute. Any of these activities help to extend the fitness gains you’ve made and will also help reduce the anxieties and stress accompanied by the pandemic.
Given all that is occurring in our world right now, it’s natural to feel frustrated, anxious, confused, and even well. What’s not needed is more self-imposed judgment for not riding or not riding as frequently as you would like. Let that go. Instead, use this time to reconnect with your bikes and the love of cycling that you have. Let that fuel your motivation for training and hopefully soon we’ll all be able to ride together and cherish more profoundly our cycling events and races and group rides.