The race calendar tantalizingly drips promises of adventure and competition in front of us. The weather has finally cleared, the wind subsided… The open road beckons and tight, twisting single tracks awaits. And how do I feel about that?
A mild disinterest, at best.
My buddy and co-blogger Sheldon appears to be literally bursting at the seams with excitement over the upcoming season, but at this moment I just can’t rally my spirits, despite my best efforts.
So far I’ve been doing my best do put on a brave face – I have been getting out there and have managed to put a decent amount of miles under my legs. Long rides, hill repeats, even some interval work… It’s all on the books, and though I’ve been actively supporting my team mates and friends to buckle down and train hard, when I look in the mirror it’s just not in my heart.
I look back on last season, building up to the Transrockies, and sure there were times of burn out, where I struggled to keep momentum, but there was always the grand promise of the TR.
So what’s a disenchanted cyclist to do, when the season has yet to begin, and motivation is already stagnating?
Well – Quite obviously I can’t say for sure, but here’s my (hopefully) foolproof 6-step-plan…
- Get back to basics
Focus on why I fell in love with cycling… Just get out there and spin the legs. Don’t focus on the kilometers or the power output, but rather focus on the journey – Taking the time to enjoy the sights and sounds along the way. Take some pictures, chill out on the side of the trail for a bit, just soak it all in.
- Get inspired
I think I’ll lead with what got me stoked about things last year, a combination of The Collective, Roam and Seasons, coupled with videos of the past Transrockies. I think I’ll also toss in a descent mix of the odd Rapha film and independent flick. Since I’m doing my best to balance four sometimes conflicting interests in cycling, I have to ensure my inspiration is nurturing all of these needs (ie. mountain, road, cyclocross, and urban/commuting)
- Get mechanically re-connected
Many times I find that working on my bike to be a relaxing and zen-enducing activity – even if it’s just givin’er a good wash. Even though I’m not riding, it settles my mind into a state of preparedness and makes me want to ride. I need to get back in touch with my machine… Wait, that doesn’t sound right…
- Get goal driven
Though I’ve set some loose goals, and definitely have some “A” level races have yet to formally sit down and get organized. I would imagine, that having a formal plan in place will help focus my training. Being able to have targeted, measurable goals to work towards will undoubtedly be motivating.
- Get de-stressed
I need to focus on using training as a release… This has been a fairly aggressive year so far, many moving parts – I won’t bore you with the details, but rather than seeing training as an additional stressor, I think I’ll try to focus on incorporating it into my life as a form of stress relief. Sometimes easier said than done.
- Get some friends
Last season I was pretty regular on Dailymile and it did a pretty good job at keeping me motivated, seeing how other people are doing, being prodded by my friends to get out there, but this season I just seem to busy to manage another “social network.” I’ve been keeping track of my training, but mainly from a personal perspective.
It’s been tough attending any group rides that have been going on with my team or my friends as well – Most people seem to want to go riding on weekend afternoons or early evenings during the week. Unless it’s a truly epic ride, I prefer my weekend rides to start early and end with some room left in the day to take care of other stuff, and as for the weekdays… Well without a car, it makes attending events like weekday hammer sessions, or Midweek Mayhem pretty tough. I guess it’s just training… Maybe I’ll just ride there and see how long I can hang on ;-)
Any other thoughts? What keeps you motivated?