How do you keep your head in the game?

I wondered how you all cope with those days when life just gets in the way and you cannot get on the bike, are just too tired or for whatever reason can’t hit the workout or plan you set for yourself at the start of the week.

I know I’m not a pro, I know I’ll never make money from racing and I know in the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t matter and that I’m still supremely talented :thinking::joy:

Joking aside, interested to hear people’s approaches to this and how you stop yourself from becoming irritable and moody


Trust the process, stay consistent with training and be diciplined.


Imagine you are looking at two versions of yourself. Picture them standing in front of you, dressed in your kit.

  • One version is the one that gets on the bike and turns the pedals over. She or he might not complete the workout, might be fatigued and does an easier workout, but they got on the bike.
  • The other version goes and does something else like watching TV

Now fast forward 365 days, and picture the same riders.

What do you think they look like? What do you think they feel like? Which version do you want to be?


Mixing it up has been a big help for me. I have picked up running because it is logistically easier to plan an outside run than an outside bike ride and it’s an efficient way to get in an aerobic workout. So on days when I realize I only have 30 or 45 minutes to workout where I planned a 60 or 90 minute ride, I will run instead. Sure, it doesn’t make me a better cyclist, and I hate running compared to how much I love cycling, but it keeps me fit and sane when things get time-crunched.

I also try to combine social time and workout time to be more efficient and have some fun. Runs with husband and spin class with sister really help break up those dull solo trainer sessions, and it takes off some of the guilt of spending time away from family on the bike.

But, to your point, sometimes you just can’t, and that’s okay. Or sometimes the week shakes out a little differently than you planned on the TR calendar, and that’s okay, too. Forgiving myself for not being a perfect human robot some weeks keeps me from getting too grumpy :slight_smile:


This happens to me a lot more during the running season outdoors, as you already have to cope with weather, and then this gives you even more reasons. I’ve never stuck on specific mornings to train on, for that exact reason - it might be raining and windy, it will therefore be tomorrow. But - I’ve always made sure I do what I committed by the end of the week, plus or minus a day. So you can negotiate a day off here, but you’ll have to take it back there.

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I tell myself something is better than nothing. No matter how bad I might feel before hand, I always feel better afterwards. Also, by getting it done, I won’t hate myself later :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

If you are a first thing in the morning workout person and having problems getting out of bed, the first step is the hardest. Get those feet on the floor and moving. The rest will happen.

If you are not feeling the workout, sometimes after getting started you will find that you crush it and have one of your best days. Other times, you might need to bail on the workout and visit with Pettit and chill.

Get it done! My wife will kick me out of bed and/or the house, telling me to go workout because she does not want to deal with my irritable and moody self when I skip out on rides or runs.


I have a ton of techniques for this – but, first and foremost, I would make sure you have a mechanism to connect with what made you love riding bikes in the first place. None of us decided we wanted to be fast cyclists and then subsequently fell in love with riding – it always happens the other way around. Leave yourself an out to connect with what it is you love about riding bikes. That’s first.

Other things:

– On a day you have a workout planned, but just don’t feel like it – convince yourself to ride for 10 minutes. That’s it. Just do 10 minutes. Anyone can ride for 10 minutes – and if after 10 minutes you want to quit. Quit. But once the blood gets pumping, you’ll be surprised on infrequently you actually stop.

– +1 to others who said go for a run. Sure, it might not “technically” make you a faster cyclist, but it will keep you fitter and lighter, and it beats skipping a workout altogether. Less fat = more fast. Also, it’s a super-efficient bang for your buck to run for 30 minutes. And for us, ahem, masters level riders – it helps with overall on-bike/off-bike health.

– Set some outcome goals. Try to win a race. Try to hang with the “A” selection. Try to ride farther, faster than you ever have before. Get obsessed with your FTP for a little while. Point is, pick a goal that you have at least a 50% chance of not achieving. Don’t mix it up with a process goal…but have something hanging over your head…a date on the calendar that isn’t moving. Sometimes it’s the little push you need.

– But also, don’t get on the bike sometimes. If you spend more than 3 consecutive scheduled workout days absolutely dreading the idea of getting on the bike. Then stop. At least for a while. To me, this means I’ve disconnected with the love of riding bikes…at least temporarily. If the bike seems like an obligation for too long, then you’ll risk burnout…and you’ll fall farther and further away, and so on, and so forth.

Riding bikes is fun. Riding fast is fun. Riding strong is a rush. Riding some fool (or some friend) off your wheel is THE BEST :metal:

Be awesome. Plan accordingly.

Good luck!


Some great feedback and tips here everyone, thank you.

I’ll put some of these to use and see where it takes us. Completely agree with the comments around not forgetting the fun element.


These type of situations are always so different with everyone. But for me, I just peep what my friends/competitors are doing and they’re pushing through - and doing the work. That usually gets me going.

Just remember, whatever it is you’re doing, those fuckers are doing more.

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I think @Jonathan said on one of the podcasts that he remembers that if a session is missed then the rest is making you stronger.

I was meant to do kettlebells tonight, but just wasn’t in the mood. I did some yoga instead. At least I felt I did something.


Haha that is true. I’ve also brought a kettlebell in from the garage. I see it that if I can’t get in the bike at least if I do 15-20 minutes if something I don’t get too grouchy

+1 to those who have said get on the bike for 10 minutes. If I get through the warmup, I know if I’m on for the whole workout or if that day isn’t going to work. Then load up something - even Dans - to get time on the bike. I have a list of favourite -1 or -2 versions of VO2/SS/recovery rides set so it’s a quick switch to a 30 minute session. Something is always better than nothing, and I feel no guilt if life gets in the way and I can’t hit it hard some days.


I tried doing some MV plans a while back and just failed (2 year old twins and a 4 year old, self employed etc etc)…every time I had to miss a workout because of ‘life’ or being knackered from being up late working it knocked me off my stride massively.

Ive seen huge jumps lately by chosing low volume plans but chosing the highest TSS alternatives for the planned workout. Im making every ride, if I want to delay a day because of work/kids or just not feeling it, because its low volume ive got days in hand to be flexible. Made a huge difference.


Thanks, I needed this :pray:t3::pray:t3:

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First, I love riding my bike, but training is freakin hard!

Everyday, when my ass hits the seat, that one single tear falls. (riding on trainer feels like I’m riding a fence.)

Everyday, the first 20 minutes are the hardest, my legs flush out, the tear has dried and my butt is numb and I hit my first interval. “The first one is the worst one!” I take one interval at a time and I give 100% until I finish or fail. I recover and do it again and again and again.

For me, it’s goals, training goals, nutritional goals and race goals, without goals, I’d be skipping days left and right.

I’m 54 and still love to ride my bike. I’m within my first 8 months of structured training and I’ve lost 40 pound and my FTP went from 140 to 225. Seeing (and feeling) my goals come to fruition fuels me to get on the damn trainer and polish off todays workout.

I always jump on the trainer immediately when I get home from work. I’m still in the “work” mindset. If I sit on the couch for a few, I won’t get off.

I also have great family support. I show my wife my schedule and explain to her what my workouts are and what they will help me accomplish physically. She gets it, but she thinks I’m crazy! (I’m on HV plans)

What your feeling is absolutely normal. Be an overcomer.

You can do this! :biking_man::fire:


Other than some of the things folks have mentioned here, I set a pretty simple goal that can be measured. For me it’s simple, hours per week/year. I’m not a high volume guy, so I set mine at 7 hours per week. I see in real time whether I’m ahead or behind and if I’m behind I have pressure to get back on track.


For me training First thing in the morning works! I know my way is not the best nutritionally since I do all my workouts early morning, basically fasted. The first few weeks are hard to get up in the dark, but then it becomes routine. I don’t think too much about the training so early in the morning - I just get on the bike and do the scheduled TR program. It works great for me. I never have a day where I have to think about training that I still need to do. It is always done and no matter what happens that day, it is checked off. Energy consumption before and during your ride is very important, else it really becomes too much.
I make sure to catch up on some sleep over the weekend as well.
If training is a habit and a routine, I find it easier to be mentally prepared for it.


Ha! Just found that by accident, and it’s exactly what I needed today. Off to the paincave! :wink: