How to stay motivated for cycling in winter?30 Nov. -0001
TEXT / JACK THOMPSON | PHOTOS / BRAZO DE HIERRO
Its cold, its dark and it’s wet. The alarm sounds and while the last thing I really feel like doing is getting up, eating and jumping on the bike, there’s something within that keeps me motivated, wanting to get outside and stuck into my monday morning session.
The days are slowly getting longer, as are the hours on the bike in preparation for the year ahead. When I get home, eat and put my feet up on the couch, the sun is already setting and my mind focussing on the day ahead. But why? Why do I do it? We do WE do it?
I spent the weekend wrapping my ahead around what motivates me and thought that it would present a good opportunity to share some insight into what makes me leave the warmth of my bed for a long day on the bike. Perhaps the same things motivate you too?
Goals form an important part of my life, be it a daily goal, a weekly goal or a yearly goal. It is goal’s which keep me focussed. I’m a bit of a micromanager and so I like to break things down into small, manageable chunks. Every day on the bike, I have a plan (thanks to the coach) and so when the alarm sounds, I know what I need to do. When I execute a session well, it feels as though I’m depositing money into the bank. 7 good sessions equal a good week and 52 good weeks make for a GREAT year. Be it a monster adventure, a local race or an escape with friends, by setting yourself measurable targets, you will find yourself far better equipped to succeed at that goal and for me, having these small daily goals, motivates me in preparing for my bigger yearly challenges.
I love food and I think that one of the reasons I love cycling, is that I can eat copious amounts of the stuff, guilt free! It might sound like a stupid form of motivation, but for me, it works. Knowing I’ll burn at least 4,000 calories on any one day of training, I enjoy focusing my recovery around good food. Be it a coffee and a slice of cake when I finish my ride, or a meal out with friends later that evening. I hate the feeling of ‘guilt’ when I eat and so for me, looking forward to what lies ahead at the end of my ride, keeps both my mind and my stomach eager to get the session done so that I can indulge afterward.
I gain a great sense of motivation in knowing that the challenges I complete and the films that we produce go towards helping others. Some of the messages I receive through social media are incredibly powerful and I find that when either my training or one of my major goals gets really really hard, I just have to remind myself of why I’m doing it. I’ve suffered and continue to suffer from depression and if I can help to improve one person’s day or even change their life around as a result of what I do, then I’ll push myself until I can no longer push anymore. Helping others would perhaps be my greatest motivator of all.
So be it a major goal, good food or just a sense of helping someone by getting out of bed and going for a ride, this winter (especially so as we move towards the longer days and the warmer months) just think how lucky you are that you have a bike to ride, and can do so in a safe and healthy environment. There’s no excuses, especially when you’ve got the right equipment!