I am just an average dude trying to stay in shape and start beating my buddies in the mid springs race series.
I started structured training with a coach to do the SM100 mountain bike race in October 2022. I trained 6 days a week for about a year. I was focused and determined! Well… maybe I was just scared to fail… but I did what I was prescribed, even with a demanding medical career at a level1 trauma hospital (yup, I take call and all).
Here’s my issue… 3 days before that race… after all that work and tons of money spent on coaching, carb stuff, and a new bike… they cancelled the race. I was devastated. I tried to come back in March, but factors led to me changing coaches and I got a super late start to training in ‘23. I never did get my head back in the game. I finished my XC series in July in decent standing, but dropped when it came to consistent training after that series ended.
Over the past 2 months, I resorted to 100% ignoring my workouts and trying to fall back in love with simply riding.
Yesterday I cancelled my coach (for now, I do like the guy) and signed up for trainer road. My thought is it could record my rides, and when I need a workout, I can get something appropriate for “right now”.
Such a long intro… sorry! Here’s my question.
How do I get back to loving training? I literally dread doing pretty much anything. All I want to do is sit on the couch, eat cookies, and watch reruns on Netflix.
From what you’ve said I think you need a good target. When you previously had one it seemed like things were going well but now you don’t they are slipping. Find your self a realistic SMART target and build a plan (plan builder) to lead to it.
Myself my motivation however, is to stay in shape and knowing that being in good shape got me through bowel (colon) cancer in my early 40s, so my target for plan builder is just a theoretical one. Perhaps if you cant find a realistic SMART target for now, you could create a artificial one like me so you have a plan to follow.
If I’m that unmotivated, I take a break and wait for the motivation to return. I still get outside to feel the sun on my face and enjoy nature, maybe even go for a mellow hike or mtb ride, but zero goals. Spend time with family and friends. Read a book. Enjoy some music or TV, etc. Eventually, the urge to train comes back for me,
I set up a trainer road plan… I’m kinda excited about it… I love the simplicity of moving things around… when I can ride outside, that’ll be the plan. When I can’t, I’ll do a prescribed interval.
Currently, I just want to stay in some semblance of fitness. March I’ll ramp it up and start building. Races start in June… I want to win those races this year. I think I can at least podium.
I also think my indoor equipment sucks (v1 kickr) I need to upgrade… the frustration of finicky electronics adds to lack of motivation to even start.
And my 10yo wants to train. He begged to do MY workouts. How cool is that. So ftp test for him and then adjusting the workouts to be appropriate for his little legs.
I was considering a zwift trainer with the new hub… it’s half the cost of the wahoo and I can mount my single speed and still be able to shift gears! But I can’t find may reviews comparing… DC Rainmaker made it sound good…
Thanks! Yup. I feel like I have a TON of fantastic trails close by. To drive hours away means I am driving when I can be riding. I like my trails, and I do like doing other systems, just not a big thing for me.
If I was single and didn’t have a 5yo and 10yo, it would be a different story… I’d have a camper van and would commute from the trail to the next place to ride and shower in the bathroom… but I have to adult now lol (I actually love being with my family… can be part of what makes it hard… stepping away from them)
Most of us will have gone through these kind of disappointments during the pandemic years when stuff was cancelled left right and centre. When that happened I binned the training and just enjoyed getting out on bike with no targets. Fitness suffered but I was enjoying getting out. When events became more concrete again I recommenced training.
Now there’s plenty to choose from you could have more than one event in your plan, not just an A event. If your A event doesn’t happen you’ll at least have the other events to train for and ride.
Last winter I couldn’t find motivation - failed workouts etc and preferred to eat cookies as well. Now Iam back and fully motivated to hit all time high power numbers and I am progressing really fast atm and keen to reach all time high ftp next month. I don’t even have events in the agenda. So what is the difference? Idk - but I moved and now live near the sea and can bike through the dunes. I think this change helped me to keep going again.
What drives me now? Idk - but I know I want to become beast again and hit 300 ftp. I think is multiple factors but if I come in the negative spiral again I think I would just start workouts that are less challenging and just not increase the level too much - just put 0.1 intensity up so you will not fail as that makes things more worse. Keep spinning and then the motivation will come again
Motivation is such and individual thing, but I think it’s really important to find the right balance between setting big future goals while finding a sustainable/enjoyable process to get there. One of the things I love about cycling is that it’s such a “long game”. In a world where everyone seems to want instant results, cycling goals can often take many years (sometimes decades) to achieve. I see it all the time, people who want to get fast and consume themselves with training, equipment, etc. and then flame out within a year or so because their approach is not sustainable long term and they never gave it a chance. That doesn’t mean training always has to be fun, but it should be rewarding and enjoyable most of the time. Some folks thrive being glued to a trainer doing intervals, others need more variety with outdoor/social rides mixed in. What works this year might not remain enjoyable 5 years from now. Mix it up and evolve. As far as using events/races as motivation, I think we all like having events on the calendar to work toward, but they can be a double-edged sword if you put too much emphasis on them. Events can be cancelled, you can crash out in the first mile, you can get sick, etc. and you don’t want all your motivational eggs in that basket. When events don’t go well, it’s natural to be disappointed, but you should still celebrate (and feel somewhat satisfied) with the training/process you went through to prepare. Maybe your training didn’t pay off for that isolated event, but again cycling is a long game and sustainable training approaches pay off over multiple years and events.
When I don’t want to train…I don’t. I just go enjoy doing what I do.
Granted, I have a massive base of fitness and can bounce back really fast. But until I want to train for something, I just don’t. When the mood hits, it just does. Good excuse for me to just hit the trails I like to ride.