5 Tips To Increase Cycling Motivation
As much as we may love cycling, there may come a time when we lose motivation. We may struggle to reacquaint ourselves with that burning desire to ride at the crack of dawn. When we’ve hit this plateau in our training, there are a few ways to change the monotony of our routine. Here are five tips that will reignite the passion for cycling again!
Time of Day
Perhaps we’re losing motivation to ride because we’re too tired to wake up early in the morning due to overtraining or life’s general responsibilities. Although riding early in the morning does have its benefits, it doesn’t mean we are bound to riding as the sun rises. At times our bodies demand more sleep than usual and we need to listen. It’s helpful to change your ride times to late afternoons instead. By riding in the afternoon we have time to sleep in and get all our work done, rather than rushing to arrive to work on time post ride in the mornings. There’s also the added bonus of finishing your ride and watching the beautiful sunsets. The other advantage of a late afternoon ride is being able to de-stress after a long day’s work. Having something to look forward to at the end of the day, functions as a motivation to finish your responsibilities, and see cycling as your oasis rather than, “something you HAVE to do.”
If you’re someone who’s accustomed to riding alone and are beginning to find your sessions rather repetitive or lonely, it’s helpful to find a new riding partner. Riding with a partner who is highly motivated can be contagious as well as fun. Also, having someone who you can compete with when riding can not only push you to improve, but make you motivated to ride more. The same can happen when riding with a cycling group. In riding with a group you can take turns being the leader or drafting, both of which have benefits in increasing self-confidence when riding. Riding with a group is also a way to build camaraderie with others who are just as passionate about the sport as you are. Another advantage of group rides, is they usually have set times and days when they ride, forcing you to be held accountable!
Depending on where you live cycling routes may be limited, forcing you to use the same path constantly. However, in cities where cycling is highly supported there are several bike paths for cyclists throughout the city. Regardless of the circumstances, if you’ve been using the same route continuously it may kill your drive to go out and ride. At times it’s beneficial to stimulate the senses and choose an alternate route. It’s highly motivational when you’re seeing new sights, smelling different air (ocean side vs farm land), and feeling diverse wind patterns.
There’s nothing that can increase motivation more than buying a new bike! You count the days, hours even, until you can give your new baby a test ride. Immediately you want to investigate how responsive the bike is, its comfort level, or how smooth the gear shifting can be. Even if you’ve only bought new clothing gear, there’s always an itch to go and show it off. This can also relate to buying new cycling shoes, where you can assess the difference between triathlon shoes versus road shoes. Having new cycling equipment by any means is exciting, it’s a cyclist’s version of Christmas; hence, an effective motivator to go out and train as soon as possible.
As a rookie cyclist, every workout seems new, exciting, and challenging, but if you’ve been riding for quite some time now, these workouts can become repetitive. Although there are certain workouts, which act as staples and deliver results, it doesn’t hurt to try out a new regimen occasionally. “I Love Bicycling” has some great articles on different workouts that address specific weaknesses. Also, Joe Friel’s book “The Triathlete’s Training Bible” and “The Cyclist’s Training Bible” both have great workout routines. Friel does a great job on breaking down different types of workouts, providing drills to address weaknesses, differentiating speed work vs endurance work and when to do either one. By completing a new workout, it helps us feel as though we’re progressing towards our goal, and provides us with some confidence when we complete them successfully.
In trying any one of these 5 motivators we will certainly see a surge in our eagerness to ride and consequently in our efforts.