When I see how often some folks struggle to find the will to ride their bikes, I realize I’ve been blessed with what seems to be relatively high motivation to ride. I love riding bikes. I really enjoy riding and training, and racing is just the best. I’m usually pumped for solo rides of many, many hours, and rides with friends and family is so amazing I feel like it’s a gift when I’m out there. I can even get fired up to ride my trainer or rollers. And if not fired up, I don’t dread it, at least.
One thing that really helped to boost my motivation was becoming a father and having less time to ride. I usually get pretty excited about my times to ride and am not likely to squander them away. However, like most, I can suffer from low motivation from time to time.
Just recently I had an obligation during my “normal” riding time on a Sunday, but did have a window to get out later in the day. On my training schedule was an endurance mountain bike or road ride, so nothing too taxing. It was a beautiful day, blue sky and the sun was shining. It was a bit chilly, but a long sleeved jersey and leg warmers would be sufficient, so throw out that “excuse.” But for some reason I was dragging a bit.
I did all the checks: I was feeling fine; resting heart rate was normal; training stress supported a ride; life stress was “normal.” No reason to not ride.
I said to myself, “Just get dressed, throw a leg over and get out there. Ride to the woods, do a little loop, and come home.” So I did just that. As I hit the woods, though, all of a sudden I got instantaneous boost of energy and motivation. As I pedaled and enjoyed some great singletrack, riding became essentially effortless, and the fun-o-meter began to escalate. It turned into a GREAT ride and I certainly wasn’t going to go home early. I finished that ride with more energy than I began with and had a huge smile on my face. Stoked!
So that’s one good tip when low on motivation--just show up. Note: Always do a self-check or talk to your coach if not sure, though.
Get dressed and just start pedaling, allowing yourself to turn around after 20 minutes if you’re still not feeling it. This is again assuming you shouldn’t take a rest day, you’re not getting ill, and you’re not forcing extra stress into your life. You might be surprised how great you feel once you get rolling and before you know you’re an hour into your ride.
Here are some more great tips when low on motivation presented by the awesome folks over at GCN:
GCN Tips for Motivation
What has worked for you to get you out there door when running low on motivation? What’s your best tip?
Keep in mind that sometimes that low motivation is speaking to you and you quite possibly SHOULD take the day off the bike. But if the green lights are there, go for it.
Chances are you won’t regret it.
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.