Motivation can be hard to find, sometimes (not just in cycling- you have no idea how long it took me to write that first sentence). Sometimes you just want to curl up in bed, hit the snooze button and accept the repercussions of that missed ride later in the day. But that doesn't fit in with our #TWCMotivember theme for this month, does it?!
- What is #TWCMotivember?
- We'll be publishing articles to keep you motivated through November
- You can win cycling goodies by tagging pictures #TWCMotivember on Twitter and Intsagram or as a comment on our Facebook page - read more here
The truth is that getting up, putting your kit on and getting out the door is a lot like writing the first sentence of an article. Once you've done that, the rest is so much easier. The alternative is 'making another cup of coffee', 'doing a couple of jobs around the house' such as organising your sock draw, with the intention of going out 'later'. Those jobs (most of which will impact your life to a degree if zero if you don't do them) can well end up eclipsing the entire day - especially during the winter when the sun will drop by 4pm.
Here's a look at some of the simple ways you can motivate yourself to get out of that door quicker (even when you're finding it hard to muster the energy to get to the coffee machine)...
Arrange to meet friends
Well, you wouldn't want to leave your friend standing on the corner of an agreed meeting place, internally cursing you for letting them down, would you? So don't. Organise to ride with a friend, and you're both considerably more likely to make it out.
Choose a goal
Have a sportive, race or challenge to work towards which will keep you focused. The event doesn't need to be competitive or intimidating - it could even be simply completing a set distance by a given date (though competition can be fun and confidence inspiring!). Take a look at this article about how to plan training, write yourself a schedule and stick to it. The feeling when you complete your challenge will be so worth it.
There are tons of events out there that that allow you to raise money as you ride, either through your entry fee sponsorship. These events usually have a fantastic, welcoming atmosphere (such as the Cyclists V Cancer event featured above) - and if you're training for one you'll know that every pedal stroke is about so much more than just you turning the wheels on your bicycle. If you're after a mega challenge, Cyclists V Cancer do a John O'Groats to Lands End ride....
Get all your gear organised and ready the night before the ride. Check the weather forecast, lay out your clothes and give your bike a quick once over. It's got to be said that having kit you know is reliable, fit for the conditions and makes you feel good can make that ride all the more inviting. Your lovely gear will be calling to you when you wake up and your bike will feel like a puppy that's seen the lead come out of the draw: raring to go.
Shout about it
Ok, so Jo Rowsell Shand (pictured) was probably going to line up for her race without tweeting about it. And we don't suggest you do this for EVERY ride (you will lose friends!), but if you've got a major challenge coming up, tell everyone. That way - well - you've got to do it!
First things first: Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is becoming a scary reality, and you do need to remember that what you see on social media isn't a real reflection of most people's lives.
Strava though? Well, there ain't no lying about that (actually there is if you're lame enough to 'Strava dope' but hopefully you don't know anyone like that).
Taking a good look through your Strava feed will show you how much riding - well - everyone else is doing. If that doesn't motivate you, see point number one and organise to go with them next time.
Join a cycling club
By joining a cycling club, you'll automatically have ride mates every weekend - and maybe in the week. It's also a great way to pick up group riding skills, mechanical skills, local route knowledge - and a brand new social circle.
Mix it up
Maybe you're not motivated because you're a bit bored? It is ok to admit it if you're bored of your normal cycling routine - even awesomely fun activities can get tired.
If you're aiming to lose weight via cycling, then replacing all the calories you just burned on every ride (and then some) is perhaps not the best idea for you. But if you're happy with your weight and completing some tough sessions to improve your fitness, then having a little incentive waiting in the fridge isn't a terrible idea.
Of course, rewards don't have to be food related (though - best kind, right?!). Maybe it's the cycling jacket you've been lusting after, once you've proved you're hardcore enough to ride in the rain and warrant it, or the trip to watch the track cycling at Revoloution once you've got on the boards yourself at a taster?
Choose a goal, and pick a reward that reflects it - and go get it!
Buy a new bike
Extreme? Well - perhaps. But nothing beats that new bike feeling!
Here's some inspiration for your next N+1...