Motivation after losing form

Since starting racing and training, I’m yet to go through a period when I legitimately just feel slow and unmotivated. However, every time I get on my bike, I just can’t get over how much less fun it is when I’m unfit.

In my case, the main issue isn’t even power, it’s weight. I’ve gone from being a very good climber to getting dropped by people i shouldn’t be. FTP is close enough to where it has been (~360), but my weight has sky rocketed from 67kg to almost 75kg. I’ve tried to lean down, I think im just getting to the age where that becomes harder (35).

Many people will have different examples, such as crashed, getting busy at work, but question is how you find motivation when comparing to a previous fitter self?

Pretty much boils down to 2 options (or has done for me in the past). One is to use that frustration at being less fit to fuel your motivation to get back to where you were. Second is to accept that for whatever reasons (and work and life stress are common ones), you’re at a place right now where you no longer have the desire to do what it takes to be the best cycling version of yourself, and adjust your goals accordingly. E.g. doing some different races (and group rides) which are flatter and where your extra weight isn’t so much of a penalty. ~4.8W/kg and 360W FTP are still outstandingly good numbers and plenty enough firepower to be competitive in a whole bunch of different events. I’ve found for me a big help has been having quite a broad network of people to ride with both within and outside my club. I have ride buddies who will kick my arse up a hill however fit I get. But I also have groups I can go out with where their idea of a hard ride is more like endurance-tempo for me when I’m at peak fitness but that also means that as and when I’m struggling for fitness I can join those rides and still have fun. Most people I know who have kept up their riding over a period of many years have gone through plenty of their own fitness peaks and troughs, so there’s also understanding and acceptance of where you’re at.

On the age thing, shifting excess weight certainly gets harder as you get older but absolutely still possible to get and stay lean, just maybe takes a bit more discipline in the kitchen than it used to. And 35 isn’t that old!

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