No Motivation on Weekend Days

Kind of a strange thing I’ve noticed over the past few months or so. And at first glance it seems illogical, but I have some theories.

I have zero motivation to ride on the weekend. During the week, I’m ready to go. I’m in the middle of a VO2 Max block, and my weekday workouts are great. I’m pumped and excited for them, I get home from work rearing to go. But my weekend workouts I have zero motivation. I’m sluggish and dread my workouts. I just want to sit on the couch and be lazy. I seriously question why I ride and wonder if I even like cycling. It’s weird because I feel like after work I should be tired and want a break, and when I have full days off on the weekend I feel like I should be excited to ride. But I just am not excited at all to ride or train on the weekend, even when it’s the same workouts I get so excited for during the week. What gives?

Here’s my theory. I work a lot. Like 75 hours some weeks, and the shortest work week I’ve had in the last year was 55 hours. During the week, I’m active, I’m busy. So my body is ready to go. If I have a workout planned for after work, I think about all day and plan my meals (high carbs) around it. I’m excited to get off work and hop on the bike. When I finally get to the weekend, my body is almost shutting down. It’s like it knows I have time off and tries to make me recover. It’s like, “no, don’t workout, just stay in bed all day and relax.” I sleep in, I sit on the couch slowly enjoying my coffee. It’s a let down after my long work weeks. The problem for my training schedule is that I don’t have a lot of time to ride during the week, so I want to maximize my weekend free time. But my body has different ideas. I don’t think I’m fatigued physically. Once I do get on the bike I usually can nail my workouts. It’s almost all mental. I just don’t have excitement towards riding. During the week, riding and training is fun and enjoyable, I look forward to it. On the weekend it feels like a job and there’s zero enjoyment.

Anybody feel similar? Got any tips?

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Maybe how much caffeine you are taking in during a work day is the difference.


Are you doing different things for the workouts? For example, during the week is it 1 hour indoors? And on the weekend it’s 3 hours outside in the cold? Or maybe hard vs. easy? Etc.

Maybe your work stress just leaves you mentally cooked and your brain and body wants the weekend relaxation instead of more stress?

Maybe your sleep pattern changes? Or eating/drinking pattern?

Maybe on the weekend you have other things you’re looking forward to? Time with friends and family…your favorite show… book…whatever, that turns riding into an obstacle?

Morning vs. evening motivation?

Just throwing out things to consider.


I definitely drink more coffee on the weekends just because I have more time in the morning so I don’t think that’s it.

I thought that, and they’re definitely shorter, but usually more intense. So I might do a SweetSpot workout during the week and long zone 2 on the weekend. Though this week I had VO2 on Thursday, then again Saturday, so almost the same workout. Maybe I’m just tired of doing long Z2 on the trainer. I think I also suffer a little from SAD or at least feel down because I don’t see the sun. We had a week below 30F every day and haven’t ridden outside since November.

This is what I’m thinking. During the week, even after work, it’s like I’m still fired up fight or flight. So when the weekend rolls around, my body is ready for rest.

This actually kind of gave me a chuckle. I’m such an introvert. I actually look forward to not seeing anybody all weekend. I literally didn’t leave my apartment or speak to another person all weekend. And I love that. So maybe I just really am looking forward to putting my feet up and watching TV.

Good thoughts. I think my work stresses me out during the week, so it’s a mental and physical release come Saturday morning.


This sure sounds like a good reason to not want to ride on weekends.


Yikes, that’s a lot of work hours! I feel pretty over work after 30 hours in a week, so well done to you!
It’s crossed my mind to do multi-hour Z1/Z2 training on (in) a recumbent trainer, with my body in a position not that different from sitting up on a sofa. Disclaimer I haven’t got around to it, for various excuses. But just a thought.

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Thankfully it’s only temporary. There’s no way I’d do this long term.


I’d listen to your body. Low motivation to me is a key indicator that you need to back off. If you do ride, I’d make it a nice endurance ride, not a workout. Take your bike somewhere nice outside, ride to a cafe, enjoy the scenery.

If your high workload is temporary, you might have to wait until it calms down to increase your training hours.


Lol, if only. It’s 15F this morning with flurries. Honestly part of the problem is the weather I think. I’m a bit stir crazy. Haven’t ridden outside since early December. And doesn’t look like I’ll be able to for another month or so. My wife and I are looking to move soon and 95% of the reason is the weather actually.

Yea that’s what I thought too. It’s just weird that I have so much motivation during the week when I work a ton, and nothing on the weekend. Related to the above though, this is a winter phenomenon. It’s almost the opposite in the summer. The entire week I’m just “getting through” so that I can go out for hours on the weekend.

So yea, maybe I just need to realize that once it warms up the problem will likely solve itself.


This winter I discovered something that’s been right under my nose the whole time. If I drive 25 minutes, there is a really nice rails-to-trails route. Out and back is 55 miles. Because it’s rails-to-trails it’s relatively flat. Being relatively flat, the effort can be as consistent as you choose to make it. This means you can easily dress for the cold without sweating.

I’m totally good down to the mid 20s (-4c). And ski goggles are a game changer. Some days I have to wait until noon for it to warm up that much. But it sure beats the dread of long indoor trainer sessions hanging over my head.


Yea, I’ve tried everything to make winter cycling doable but it’s just not for me. Extra layers, full face hoods, warm gloves, pogies, various shoe covers and winter boots. Just doesn’t work unfortunately. Within 10 minutes I’m cold and miserable and questioning why I even try. So as much as I dislike indoor training, winter cycling is even worse. Which is why we’re moving. Both my wife and I hate the cold snowy winters and just can’t take them any longer. 40s is my cutoff. Below that I don’t even consider it.

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The only thing I’d add, if you’re stuck inside all winter like me, is to save ALL your shows/videos/podcasts you like and enjoy for your weekend trainer rides. So you’ve deprived yourself of the shows you enjoy all week and you GET to finally watch/listen to your entertainment.


Ooh, that’s a good idea.


This is one thing I do. I still watch things off the bike with my wife but there are certain things that she refuses to watch that I would like to. So I save those for when I’m on the bike.

Also, one big thing I’ve noticed for me when I’m on the trainer for a long time (idk what a long time is for you but for me it’s probably 3+hrs) is that changing the thing I’m watching really helps.

So a 4 hour monster documentary or 5 episodes in a row of some show will just get more and more tedious. But if I do a 20min youtube video, then a MotoGP race, then a 1.5-2hr movie, then another youtube sesh, etc will keep me more distracted and fresh.

I’ve even started reading books while on the trainer doing Z2 with light jazz playing. It’s been an interesting thing where sometimes the hours of youtube and other high energy distractions becomes an emotional drain so doing something slower and calmer is a nice switch up.


Personally, I would just enjoy the weekends off. Just be okay with it. If you are doing multiple weekday workouts, then a restful weekend isn’t going to hurt.

If the motivation does hit you, then jump on. No reason you can’t decide at 5pm after a long restful day/weekend to jump on and do a workout then.

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With the low motivation is there any other symptoms?
Poor sleep
Usual appetite hungry or not
Low libido
Mood swings or changes to your usual mood

Id say even with just low motivation your over trained and body is just saying no.
I work long hours when i go away for work 12h days for 3-6 weeks straight it does take its toll while trying to get some training in too.

Listen to your body and maybe take a rest week or 2 see how you feel. Just dont go too deep into the ot hole i was there a few years ago and had to take 7 months completely off the bike.

Yea, usually if I was unmotivated in general I’d think I need a recovery week or something. It’s just weird that it only happens on the weekend. Like today I have a VO2 workout and I can’t wait to hit it. I’ve been eating all my high carb meals (same meals on weekend) and getting antsy to finish work so I can hop on the bike and smash these intervals. Motivation today is great. And it usually is during the week. I had the same workout planned Saturday and had zero motivation to do it. Similar VO2 last Thursday and again tons of motivation.

No major changes to sleep (a little more on weekend because I can sleep in), mood, or libido. It’s just a weird thing that I I’m doing the same workouts (VO2 block right now) and my mid week workouts I have lots of motivation but my weekend workouts I have zero.

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I might have to. At least until it warms up. The sun usually motivates me. It’s just dark and gray right now.

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I’m 42 and I’m experiencing one of the lowest points mentally speaking in my life. I changed country 3 years ago, my wife - now ex-wife - decided to split up, but we are still living together because it’d be impossible to pay the bills, we would starve. We are living like friends in the same apartment. It’s been tough. I don’t have many friends, no one, to be honest, a few cyclists that we rode together, but not friends. There are hard days and harder days. I haven’t had that much of good days lately.

Bright side: Hey, all my family is healthy. We don’t have to deal with hospitals or any disease. We all are great.

Point made, cycling is helping me a lot in this sh1t. I am really eager to go outside with my fat bike and train. There are days that I’m totally down, wondering and questioning my choices, regretting, etc. Then I go for an outside ride and guess what, I came home a new person with a totally different mindset.

IMO, that’s the counter-effect of indoor training is following the blue bars, being fast, FTP, carbs, zwfit race, watts, watts… Riding a bike isn’t this. Riding a bike is going outside, and seeing people, animals, nature, etc. Even a miserable day outside is better than a good indoor session. Don’t get me wrong, indoor trainer has its place for sure, I do it a lot as well, but I need to intercalate with outside pleasant rides, other than that, I’m cooked physically and especially mentally.