Training through grief

I would look for a plan with workouts that require a lot of focus and effort. A plan, so that there is an expectation to train being set, and tougher workouts so it functions as a distraction activity. An easy ride is very easy to become despondent and quit when you are feeling low.

You might want to look at LV Short Track Cross Country or LV Cyclocross, Sweet spot base to start or use Plan Builder…dont be concerned about work out completion etc.

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This is the saddest thread ever. No parent should bury their kids. My condolences to your family and may he rest in peace. Plenty of great advice above.


This could be one way to deal with it. The day after my mom died, I knew I would either want a very hard workout or no workout at all. During the first hard interval, I knew I had to pull the plug and get off the bike.

I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my 20 year daughter in April 2021. I was training for Iceland Xtreme in triathlon in July and ICON Xtreme in Sept.
I didn’t know what to do. I had never lost anyone like this before. I actually went for a short easy run later that day and fell apart at mile 2 hyperventilating. What was I thinking? I couldn’t.
I did start back into my TR program a few days later. I have been an athlete for over 35 years. Its what I do. It grounds ME.
Everyone is different. My fiance is a clinical psychologist, a doctor. She told me there is no wrong way to grieve. You just have to find what works for you and make your way through the process. Will you burst into tears a sob? Sob uncontrollably indeed. It happens less now but you never get over it. You do continue living life, doing things that bring you joy. Is this year the year you go out and crush the CX circuit? Maybe not. Maybe next year…or the year after. You have time.
I did go to my races. Halfway through the run in Iceland, on a volcano I tried to fight back tears for Sophie. I did cry while I was running. I wondered what I was doing there. I knew the answer and that I would go on to train because its what I do. It’s what keeps me sane.


this is tragic! I’m sorry for your loss. I can’t begin to imagine the pain you must be feeling here.

Take each day as it comes.

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First of all I am so terribly sorry for what you and your wife are going through. It is awful and hopefully you are both leaning on one another and getting the support you need.

7 months ago my wife was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer at 49. It consumes our lives now and forever. Dealing with treatment, test results, side effects, supporting our kids as they go through it, the anxiety and pain around the eventual outcome. From all indications we are all handling in the best possible way. But that doesn’t provide much consolation.

I went from the fittest I had ever been, on the way to setting volume, power, w/kg all time highs to not even thinking about riding. I have probably ridden about 5 hours over the last 7 months, all inside. Like you, I always used cycling to help with my mental health. But now, it is fraught. Too much time alone with my thoughts. Too much crying as HR and physical efforts increase. Too much worrying about getting hit by a car realizing I will be my kids’ only parent one day. Too much emotional overload listening to the music that always made me push harder.

Give yourself some space. Give yourself some grace and kindness. Know that cycling will be there when you are ready. As long as you find the combination of coping mechanisms and outlets that give you what you need, its OK if cycling isn’t one of them. I’ve turned to making music, reconnecting with friends, making new friends going through something similar, therapy, and trying to find some semblance of joy in changed perspectives. I do find myself thinking about biking again and the joys of it. Still not ready, but maybe soon. Or not. Peace to you and your family.


Best wishes for your wife and family, @llmonty


I am so saddened to hear this and cannot imagine what you and your wife are going through. I am sorry for your loss. Have you reached out to a psychologist with a special skill set in grief management? They are professionals and help navigate people through this delicate and immensely painful emotional minefield. The fact that you are even considering and trying to do a CX season is great though, your CX tribe will care for you. Sincere condolences to you and your wife.

I’m very sorry to hear that. That’s a lot that is resting on your shoulders. In my case the phase you are in now was easier: I was “functioning”, I had clear tasks as a son, as a brother to my siblings. It got hard once that clarity of purpose went away. Take care of yourself, you can only help others if you can sustain yourself.

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That could be the understatement of the century. :cry:

My wife and I are going through something similar albeit not nearly as devastating. I recommend focusing on your mental health, and strongly recommend seeing a trauma therapist, preferably one that specialises in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

I think getting yourself out of bed and onto the bike is a good goal. Even if it’s just an hour. If you feel like a push do it, if you don’t; make the objective “fun”, and if you just want to stay in bed then do that. In terms of looking at 2024 goals, I suggest taking it one day at a time for now.

Feel free to DM if you want to talk more.


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So sorry for you and your family’s Loss .
From a personal experience nearly 9 years ago I have learnt the following.
Don’t think to far ahead, Take 1 day at a time .
Don’t beat yourself up , your dealing with a horrible Life experience that is out of your control.
Don’t turn to alcohol or drugs
Don’t give up training it will eventually help you process this.
Embrace your loved ones and your inner circle.
When we are greiving we are stuck in time while the world passes us bye .
I wish you and your family all the best. :pray:


My deepest, sincerest condolences. Unlike (fortunately) most everyone else that has replied, I can actually understand what you’re going through. We lost our son 13 years ago just before his first birthday. As someone else said, it’s not something that goes away entirely, but in my case time has softened the pain.
You don’t say whether you have other kids, but I think the main thing that got us through the early stages was his twin sister - she of course still had to be entertained and looked after, and this kept us occupied every day.
To echo what others have said, I would recommend sessions with a counsellor. It’s one thing I regret not doing in the early days. We eventually did family group sessions with a fantastic organisation here, which helped both us and the kids, who were older by then, process it.
With regards to training, it was only a year afterwards that I came back to cycling, and I found it valuable in terms of just getting headspace on easy spins. As I’ve never trained for any competitive level, I’m afraid I’m off no use to you there. Maybe this is the year to take it easy as others have said? Also, very important, be attentive to your wife’s needs. While there has to be a degree of trying to make sense of it as an individual, it’s important to try to avoid shutting yourself off.
In the short term, my best advice is to take care of yourself and your loved ones. If you’ve got a support network of family and friends, lean on any support they’re giving you at this early stage. Inevitably they will drift back to the concerns of their own lives over time, but if they’re there for you now take advantage of it.
So while this has been something of a long, rambling post, I just hope there’s some little bit of insight that will help you. At this stage just take each day as it comes - this is almost certainly the worst thing that will ever happen you, and it’s the only way to deal with it.
Take care


What does that look like for you? In my case (slightly different, loss of a parent) the number of good days in between bad days increased with time. There are still moments, though, where I think “I’d like to pick up my phone and talk to my mom.” that I realize she is gone and it stings massively.

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