Motivation and the lack there of

Motivation!!! Race day is Sunday morning I’m planning on pre riding the course Saturday night!
I have been off and on the trainer for the last two weeks with some XC rides… yesterday I was exhausted from work and allergies today I a little bit tired from the same but lack motivation… I can’t leave the house cause of the kids and I don’t want to ride tomorrow so I can save my energy for the weekend… I’ve had a lot going on this last month with the kids sports work and side work… really feeling it at the moment…

What do you all do to get yourself motivated to get on the trainer? I’m hoping I can get back the horse next week and start TR during the week and race Sunday (9 race series)

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I focus on my goals, and remind myself that negative thinking doesn’t help me get to them :slight_smile:

In my experience, motivation will always come and go but it is discipline that will get you through. If you make things habitual then you are more likely to ensure that you don’t have to rely on motivation which is always so fickle in human beings. My advice is to make things easy, water bottles in the fridge, bike on trainer, food next to bike, etc. Try to make your workouts coincide with time that sits outside your schedule (morning before family wakes up) so it becomes just another thing that you do like cleaning your teeth…

Easier said than done I know but this is what has worked for me…


Early am rides / run/ swim is how I do it. Even when I don’t want to, I (normally) do what is on my schedule. (Example: today skipped swim but did a ride instead as I needed to be home for the family this am).

Lots of music. What the Trek CX Cup. I watched the women’s this am and was very pleased to see Neff racing. The mud … oh the mud! My drive train cried just seeing it.

When in doubt, do SOMETHING!


I’m not one for motivational videos but watch this and remember it:


I take a break. This is just a hobby, for fun, to take up some time etc…if your not a pro (maybe even if you are a pro) why find motivation doing something you don’t want to do? I don’t get it? Do something else.


Give yourself (or myself) a break. Beating yourself up achieves very little in my opinion. Life, real life, often gets in the way and I think you have to accept that fact. Regardless of how much planning and preparation you do, there are those times that the unexpected can and does happen.


This close to your event you aren’t going to change your fitness - take a few days off, you’ll be fine

Alternatively - when you are far from your event - focus on the process and why you’re doing the things you’re doing. The why is what gets me on the trainer in January


Struggling too. A hard summer of non-stop work, training, parenting, trying to be a good partner, son, employee, father. At some point priorities shift and getting that PR at the last race of the season may not happen. Being ok with that is a start. Or, HTFU and make it stick. Either way. It’s especially hard mentally when I know the missing part for me is added volume and I just don’t have the luxury of that extra time. I think my biggest week this year was 8 hours and that felt epic (sadly). Ah the years I wasted being single.

I can tell you I may need some different goals next year, and I’m even considering riding all year in different base phases and seeing how I feel by spring. I’ve pushed through lack of motivation before and I can tell you that I really have to be enjoying it, if I’m not the results don’t follow. Pulling the plug in training for a few weeks and going back to riding for fun is key for me at times.

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You only have so much energy to expend. Sometimes you need to take a step back from the bike and take time off. Catch up on your other parts of life and get that balance back. We can’t crush it year round, so sometimes you need to crush the other things in your life, so then you get your motivation back for the bike.

I’ve had a long year starting big training in January and followed through to August. I needed time off the bike and when I started riding again, I immediately needed more time off. I wasn’t sitting on the couch during the time off. I had to catch up on projects around the house and at work, and put more energy into my relationships. Now I’m getting my motivation back.

Sometimes you need the discipline to know that your mind and body need a break. I would also suggest if your going to be doing a full season of cross, a nice break now is going to help you do even better at cross.

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Consistency is key. Everyone has motivational issues, that’s completely normal. Instead of doing a workout, swap it for a Zwift race, I do this for long SST efforts, or even sprints. Or join a group ride, so you know you have to join at this time. Kind of like a IRL group ride.

I’ve found that if you can’t bring yourself to do something you’d normally enjoy, it’s usually because you’re tired. Get some rest, relax, and motivation might come back.

Also, if you’re close to your goal event, sometimes nerves can stop you from training. In that case, either dial it down or shorten it, or just rest - close before your A race, being fresh is more important.

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I would probably not completely stop riding, just reduce the volume. Skip a day or two, but don’t stop for a week or more. Motivation will come back.
Every time I stopped completely in the past due to motivation, I found it is harder and harder to get back into it - it is this knowledge I will suck because I haven’t exercised at all - and it does. It takes a lot more to take off again after a complete stop. Just my experience.

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So after a couple of days off I got back in it. I’m about to finish up my sesh next week is tapper then onto Mid Vol. I found that jumping onto the trainer right when I get home from work and focusing just on that works the best… once I got it out of the way I’m more chill about it… and definitely once I was on and half way done was more encouraging…

I think with life pulling in every direction it’s hard to get some training in. You want to but then you want to relax…

I would say just make sure you get a ride in the day before. Your legs will thank you for it. If you can, check some of the warm up threads for TR. These had me feeling really good before my race.

I’ve been in situations like you describe and missed the day before event ride. The result was pretty crappy feeling legs. Good luck and try to not stress too much about it if you can’t do everything you feel you need too. It happens to all us and things come around.