How do you fight against mental fatigue?

How do you guys fight against mental fatigue? This happens to me second time in the middle of High Volume training.

I don’t even want to see my bike :slight_smile: . I just stopped today’s workout and walked away. Even AcDc could not help :slight_smile:

Any suggestions?


You need to work on and believe in your “why”.

If your just training or working out for workouts sake then it will be all to easy to have days like today.

Have you read Dr Peters- inner chimp? I relate to it on many levels of personal and professional life.


Have not read it. I will check it out. Thanks

Physical and mental fatigue are expected on TR. Pushing yourself to your edges for the sake of improvement is the whole point.

Sounds to me like you’re experiencing some disgust here. Why? And with what? Answering those questions for yourself will be enlightening.

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Add fun rides. I think Jon calls them soul rides. Regardless find a type of ride that you do just for the fun of it. For me it’s MTB trails on my CX bike. What it is doesn’t matter just find a ride that stokes your love of riding.


There is a reason off-seasons are real things, while physically you can’t just keep building all year long, mentally it takes a toll as well.
You have to enjoy this to keep at it day in and day out, so taking time away from the bike can be important to recharge those mental batteries and have you coming back hungry for more.


Mental fatigue is one of the most common experiences when overreached.
After a few rest days motivation should come back again – if your goal is still appealing to you.
Always riding the trainer can be mentally tough, too.
Some fun outside rides will be a great thing (when rested). But don’t look at your bike computer!


I don’t fight mental fatigue. I understand that it’s my body trying to tell me something. I evaluate it, look at where I am relative to my goal, and decide if I need to take a day off, shake things up in training, or press through. I almost always hit some kind of “I don’t wanna” during any training cycle. If I hit it too early, chances are I’m training too much relative to my “life stress” level. If I hit it late in the cycle, I accept it as normal and press through knowing that when my taper comes, I’ll charge back up.

It wasn’t always so… for years I pushed through mental or physical fatigue because they were signs of weakness!!! Then I got older and had better seasons and better life overall by training just a little bit less.

TL;DR: when my body/mind are trying to tell me something, I listen.


There’s a lot of great advice here in this thread! From soul rides, to taking time off, it is crucial to give your body some time to re-motivate every once in awhile. A great resource that Nate recommends very highly is “How Bad Do You Want It” by Matt Fitzgerald. I’ve read it myself and it is a fascinating read that digs into sports psychology through the stories of many elite athletes.

If you’re interested, you can pick up a copy here:


We all reach this point at some stage or another in our cycling career. As @Bryce said, taking time off, riding for fun, and letting your body rest are crucial for being able to train at a high level consistently. We have talked about the mental side of things when it comes to racing and training on a couple of podcasts. You can check them out here:

Also, you mentioned that you have had this same thing happen to you twice while working your way through a high volume plan. One thing you may want to consider is a high volume plan just might be too much training for your body. There are very few people that can make it through a high volume plan. The majority of people find that mid volume or even low volume gets them to where they want to go with their training AND it doesn’t cause burn out which as you have found out is a very real thing even when you love what you are doing. :slight_smile:


Thanks all for all great responses. A lot to learn.

@Ian I am on Mid Volume and this fatigue hit me at 4th week. Good that rest week was just on the corner. I took 2 days off and back to training yesterday. Petit -1, felt great. Woke up great this morning.

All above suggestions are fantastic, thanks to all!

Back to business :slight_smile:

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I used to get fatigued, both mentally and physically. I wasn’t paying attention to having enough recovery time. I switched things around and trained in three week blocks - two hard, one easy. On the easy week, retaining intensity but decreasing volume by 50%. This worked a treat for me.


I’m on SSBase Mid Vol 1 plan and finding week 3 very challenging. I changed from simple trainer to a smart one and had to retake the test which increased my FTP mid plan. That probably made things harder.

I have a question - I have enough time to do 5 turbo rides a week. Is it better to chose lower volume plan and add recovery rides on days off OR stay with mid volume plan but reduce intensity every now and then? Any other options?