Most of you probably set yourself up for success earlier this year by reflecting thoughtfully, writing down some big fitness and cycling goals, and completed the process by setting smaller process goals to help you get there.
Awesome! Even with the best of intentions and plans, it is possible to lose sight of your objectives. Don't let your big dreams get derailed; instead, use these tips.
With all the plans and intentions you have, sometimes you can lose sight of your goals. Don't let your dreams get derailed, follow these tips to help you stay focused on what matters most: your training. The time you spend cycling is about so much more than just that ride.
If you're struggling to stick to a training plan for more than a few days, you may need to adjust. Make a list of chores that you hate and block them out so you can use the extra time to focus on training. Practice gratitude and reflect on your goals after each workout.
1. Discover And Remember Your Why/Rewards
Whether you're an elite or Olympic athlete or a busy mom who makes time each week to ride her bike, the time you spend pedaling is about much more than just that ride. That workout enables you to be present for your friends, family, children, and clients—it transforms you into a happier, healthier person capable of doing anything, whether it's climbing a mountain or delivering an outstanding presentation at work.
2. Be Serious About Your Training
Let's start by the language we use to refer to your weekly exercise goals for clarification on what they ACTUALLY are: training sessions. Using the term "training" rather than "exercise" or "workout" not only sounds more badass, but it also implies that you have a plan in place and are working toward a specific goal. It may encourage others to take your goals more seriously—or it may serve as a reminder to you to take your goals more seriously! (This is also why, if you have big cycling goals, a good place to start might be to find a training plan that includes workouts designed to help you reach those goals in the most efficient, effective way possible.)
3. Practice Positive Self-talk
Self-talk is more important than you might think! A training session may seem like a chore, but telling yourself that you get to ride for 90 minutes today can completely change your outlook on the situation. (For more information on the importance of self-talk and positive affirmations at any level of endurance training in multisport, see this blog post.)
4. Immediately Get In Motion
Getting yourself "ready" can be the most difficult part of a training session when it comes to cycling, triathlon and ultra running. If you want to make the process easier and quicker, start by looking at your current way of doing things.
Do you have a convenient place to charge all your electronics (watch, bike computer, lights, electronic shifting) and is it readily accessible to you? Do you keep your snacks, drink mix, water bottles, multi-tools, and pumps in a centralized location? How easy is it for you to get to your bibs and t-shirts?
Make getting on the bike as easy as possible to avoid getting stuck in prep mode right before your training session. Level Up Tip: Stuff your cycling shorts and bra in the back of cycling shirt or triathlon tank pockets so you can grab quickly to go change or head out the door.
5. Maintain Consistency
There is no magic interval session that will make you faster overnight: Consistent training effort yields true progress. If you're having trouble sticking to your plan for more than a few days, it's possible that you've taken on an overly ambitious training plan that doesn't fit your life right now, and you'll need to adjust. The best cycling training plan for you isn't the one that takes up all of your free time; it's the one that fits into your schedule and makes you feel good rather than overwhelmed.
6. Adhere To A Time Schedule
Be accountable to yourself by setting aside specific blocks of time for training—and blocking that time on your calendar so that no one else can book time with you during those sessions—increases your likelihood of showing up and doing the work. If you still find yourself procrastinating, make a list of chores you despise, such as scrubbing the baseboards.
Make a deal with yourself that if you miss a training session, you will not be able to spend free time scrolling through social media; instead, you must use that time to complete those chores. The bike will suddenly appear much more appealing.
7. Be Grateful And Reflect On Your Goals
After you've completed your ride or strength training session, take a few minutes to write down or record a Vlog of your thoughts on how it went. Include a few things you're thankful for, such as good weather on your ride, tires that stayed inflated, and a strong feeling in your legs during the final interval. If you do this frequently, you'll find yourself grateful for your ride before you've even gotten out the door.
BTW, did you know you can leave private notes on each workout in Strava, Garmin Connect and Training peaks.
How To Stay On Track & Meet Your Cycling/Triathlon Goals
Reflecting on your action plan—a.k.a. your training—and how it's progressing you toward your lofty goals makes you much more likely to stick to your plan and achieve your objectives. To address those tight hips, you may need to make some tweaks and adjustments, such as adding a yoga session instead of an easy spin on Fridays.
Consider your training plan to be a road map to your goal: you may encounter detours or roadblocks along the way, but you can always find another way to get there. Also, make sure you're celebrating victories in your daily training and not just looking for ways to improve: Be proud of your self-control!
Use these tips to help you stay on track and focus on the things that matter most to you. From finding and remembering your 'why' to using positive self-talk, we've put together a list of tips to keep you on track for success. If you're struggling to stick to a training plan for more than a few days, you may need to adjust.
The best plan is one that integrates into your life and makes you feel good, not overwhelmed. For example, perhaps you should add a yoga session on Fridays instead of an easy spin class to help you decompress from work, recover and get you ready for a long group ride or run training session with your club or endurance training partner.