How are people finding accountability these days?

Evening folks - I’m finding that one of the things that I’m really struggling with as we enter month 6? 7? of the lockdown is finding the right ways to get accountability and motivation. While I think the best (mental) athletes can rely solely on mental focus / drive / accountability (truly loving the process), for me and I think many others the group dynamic provides a really valuable form of motivation and accountability.

This was never something I found in a great way pre-lockdown, but now with outdoor events so far between it’s nearly impossible. I find this forum to be an exception place to bounce ideas off people, compare training plans - but I’m looking for more of a group to hold each other accountable and provide that support / helpful nudge of motivation. Anyone come across something like this, either in a coached product / network (Purple Patch Squad?) or just general community?

One option is a dedicated thread for people to share their goals and give encouragement.

Not expressly stated, but this is one thread that partially serves that purpose:

Here is a specific one for reference, in the Nutrition category.

If that seems like an idea worth trying, we should do a seasonal (annual?) thread to keep size managed, like we do for the “what workout did you do today?” thread.

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I find that basic enjoyment keeps me motivated. I enjoy getting on the bike and riding. I think it’s health to have that type of enjoyment from the sport. Sweet spot/threshold riding is my favorite so thankfully that’s easy enough to do most of the year.
In my mid 20s I was big into triathlon and had some health stuff come up. I wrapped so much of that into my personal identity that when I couldn’t train I was really down. After I came back I could only ride or swim and stuck with riding.
But if it comes to the day I don’t enjoy riding anymore I’ll change what I do. Too many people hold onto to certain things that they really don’t love doing. We’re not paid to ride our bikes so we should enjoy it while we do it.
If you need races that’s where Zwift comes in. They have like 30 per day. Go in and smash yourself and have fun no matter the result. I did that in the Spring and had a good time with it.

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It was kind of counterintuitive but I got a coach right about the time that my race season got canceled.

Been great to have someone to talk with about my training and help set process goals. I’m reasonably motivated but knowing that someone else is going to look at my power files at the end of the week is a nice nudge to keep myself honest and do the work as planned.

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mine mostly comes from fear of losing fitness :rofl:

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Same here! I have no events and no club rides to look forward to. I’m also in lockdown every day with my 9 year old who is doing virtual school. I’m riding a trainer 5 days per week which is more than I have ever done in my life.

But I actually like going down to my trainer room and pedaling. It is a break for me. And I’m still fit when I get out on the road on Saturday or Sunday.

Agree 100%. I would say I’m intrinsically motivated but having a coach also doubles as an accountability partner. I’m sure I would have still rode a lot this year but having a coach there to review things, adjust some goals on the fly, etc. has been hugely helpful.

The reviewing of the power files by someone other than me is also very helpful. Sometimes it’s just positive reinforcement, but at other times its knowing when I could have gone harder, or when I should have held back. Without a doubt, knowing someone will be reviewing does sometimes help get that little bit extra out during a ride…

There is the whole “see the forest through the trees” phenomenon too. This year has really been a lot about the big picture and where we are headed. Having a coach (@brendanhousler) guide this and keep me focused has been hugely valuable in this regard.

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I may be in a different place to some here but my racing days are a fair way behind me, so I’m just motivated by getting back somewhere remotely near previous levels of fitness after a decade away from the sport. Seeing the numbers improve, and some friendly rivalry on Strava segments, has been enough.

But then lockdown reminded me what I love about cycling; just losing myself in exercise and some great scenery for a little while. The super quiet roads helped as well! If I ever lose that, I’ll quit (again).

My racing days are about 30 years behind me but after a long break I decided to get serious again. I joined a club and started doing group rides again two years ago. When I started, I was firmly at the back of the pack in our club. After two years, I lost twenty pounds and added 70 watts to my FTP and was mixing it up with the youngsters in my club.

There’s a few good suggestions on here - and it will vary for each person. I’m still getting on with some outdoor riding by myself but one of my old mentors is trying to get back to some form of fitness after a crash so if he wants to go for a spin he’s my accountability partner there. Not doing club rides that often is a big one for me - i tried a group workout and that was good though i had tech issues.
Also planning new routes can be quite fun.
Could also maybe set up group ramp tests - like the world disaster day and covid rides but they will only ever appeal to so many.

How about a new PR thread - we post new PRs if we reach them after workouts/tests as that’s a measurable personal improvement that should keep people focused on moving forwards. Or new longest rides/biggest climbs - any personal achievements could be in there as we all started somewhere.

from my n=1 experience I’m a pretty sociable bloke but have a much darker side - where I like to hurt myself - I even have a special room to do it in (garage) and special equipment (turbo & TR subscription). This would be very funny if it weren’t so true - maybe its a mental attitude that means we like solo sports more than collective ones and we’re constantly trying to battle/better ourselves…?

My trainer/ride time is mine in a hectic family/work life balance - so my motivation is there’s only this time to myself so I have to get the most out of it/me.

Family rides are very different.

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we have had a TT season - although it’s been short - managed 7 opens and 6 club races so far in the UK - tomorrow is cancelled because of the wind/rain forecast - 2 more open 25 on the calendar and the club hill climb left - we have been lucky considering I thought we wouldn’t race at all…in lockdown I just enjoyed riding my bike then did a few weeks of VO2 and o/u work when it became obvious we would get some racing - like riding my bike - great stress buster from teaching now I am back at work…plus er…I don’t want to get fat! :laughing:

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I am in a small mastermind group where we meet once a month and share our goals and bounce ideas around. We cover all aspects of life not just training. As far as accountability we all have different things that motivate us. For me if I don’t meet all my training goals this month I have to write a $500 check to an organization that I really don’t want to support. So far I haven’t missed a day.

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