Book A Cycling Tour
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on LinkedIn Share on Email
Cycling Training Advice – Keeping Motivated

Cycling Blog

Cycling Training Advice – Keeping Motivated

Tweet This
Share This

January 14th, 2015

We’re two weeks into 2015 and the usual platitudes are being passed around with abandon: we’ve all got the January Blues, we’re all broke, we’ve all put on pounds over the Christmas break, and we’re all going to fail our new year’s resolutions.

All absolute rubbish.

This year we’re choosing a different, more uplifting narrative and would like to invite you to do the same…

2015 is the year of setting realistic cycling goals, then absolutely smashing them!

Our thoughts on what you need to do in order to succeed in 2015:

1) Be ruthless with yourself

You are the person deciding whether you succeed

Ride25 Google Tour de Yorkshire80The 1st of January can be a great Square 1 for setting yourself new and lofty goals for the coming year, but using an arbitrary date as a starting point for all of these life-changing decisions rather than a genuine desire to make the changes is setting yourself up for failure. Accept from the start that it is your responsibility to ensure you succeed.

2) Set long and short term goals

Give yourself something tangible to aim for

Short term goals ensure that you don’t go too long without achieving something, and a long term goal ensures that you have something big on the horizon to keep you motivated. The Couch to 5k program is a great example of this structure: a 12 week training program is given that clearly outlines short term goals for each week, with the end goal of running 5k established from the start. Testimonials for this scheme have been excellent:

A Ride25 is a perfect long term goal to aim for. Our rides are tough but achievable, and they take place later in the year giving you plenty of time to get training!

131-Ride25-Geneva-to-Milan3) Set goals that are hard but realistic

Push yourself, and prove that you can do it

If you’re easily achieving all of your goals, that means you can probably push yourself harder – there’s no point setting goals to cycle 10 miles if you can comfortably hit 80. You want to be pushing yourself all the time, ideally to a position that makes your long term goal seem easy!

When I was training a group to ride from Leeds to Berlin via the Netherlands (very flat!) I had them going up and down Otley Chevin (very hilly!). This showed the riders that they had more than what was needed to achieve their end goal: their resulting confidence boost was huge.

4) Aim for incremental successes

‘Complete a century’ puts anyone off – break it down! 

The psychological theory of Flow suggests that you are more likely to achieve a goal (and enjoy achieving it) if you have incremental goals along the way. These mini-goals also have the combined benefit of letting you evaluate whether your training program is working by gauging the difficulty and results along the way.

5) Set measurable goals

Use apps, Strava, a notebook, or whatever works for you

Identify something quantifiable that you can measure to track your progress along the way. This can be distance, time on the saddle, feet climbed, amount of days you’ve cycled, or whatever you find motivating,

Join us at the Ride25 Pioneers Strava Group if you want to compare and compete with other people training for the same thing as you!

6) Phrase your goals positively

The words don’t, can’t and won’t are banned

This can come across as a bit new-agey, but phrase your goals in a positive manner. Saying “I will finish my 30 mile ride in 2 hours” rather than “Don’t take longer than 2 hours to ride 30 miles” gives the goal a different nuance that can  can change the way you perceive it.

7) Write it down – and then tell the world

Writing down your goals makes them real – and not a dream.

Use a pen and paper, a blog, a twitter account, or whatever works best for you. The public accountability of putting your goals online can be a great motivational factor, and it forces you to  qualify your goal in clear terms.

8) Do it with friends

We’re all in this together!

Ride25 London to Paris Cycling Holiday 121
Originally we phrased this as “don’t do it alone”, but we reworded it to reflect the previous point: let positive language fill your training program.

Involving friends in your goals can make make them more achievable and ultimately more enjoyable.  You never know, you might make some new friends along the way too! Again, please join us in the Strava Group (see point 5)!

drinks in paris9) Reward yourself!

Make achieving success a challenge, not a chore

Achieving goals is rewarding in itself, but a few bonus treats on the way can be motivational too. If you hit your mileage target for the week? Have an extra glass of wine with dinner. Managed to do the Tour de Yorkshire route in one day? Maybe it’s time to buy that new bike you’ve been looking at.

However you decide to structure your rewards system make sure it’s something that motivates you, and something that will keep you going.

And that’s it.

We think that with that list and a desire to succeed, you’ll destroy whatever targets you set yourself this year.

If you need further training inspiration, you can follow my training diary for June’s ride in this blog (watch this space!). These posts are me being publicly accountable in my goal to achieve the fitness level required to ride from Geneva to Milan this year, and to successfully climb the Nufenen Pass. There will be information on planning rides, keeping the training fun and interesting, and anything else helpful that I come across.

A thought to finish: look at this trend graph for Google searches of the term ‘gym membership’. Every year there’s a spike in January and a trail off in February. This year we challenge you to escape from the failed new year’s resolution cycle.

Google trends graph

Leave a Reply

Sign Up For Updates

* indicates required