Staying Motivated During Coronavirus
It’s no secret that Coronavirus has massively impacted how we are allowed to participate within our sport. For many, it’s also massively impacted the way in which we can train and what is available to us in our area / country. For example, many of us could not go away to our desired locations for pre season warm weather training camps and closer to home many gyms have been shut for a prolonged periods of time. All of this on top of a reduced race schedule can prove problematic for motivation levels, so how can we stay motivated during such uncertain times?
First and foremost it’s important to have a coach, someone who not only sets your training and specific sessions in order to help you improve, but a coach who can also motivate you. I’ve found it to be really beneficial for my own motivation levels when my coach sets me smaller goals within my own training plan. This could be time specific or watts specific goals. For example: increase your FTP to 300W and so on. Having something to aim for while there’s so much racing uncertainty will for sure help you to get out of bed and onto the bike in order to keep you training consistently.
Find ways you can stay competitive, for example you can jump on Zwift and participate in some virtual races. Though I appreciate this is not the same as the real deal and many people have voiced their concern over others lying about weight to get a better W/KG etc, but if it’s for training you shouldn’t focus too much on what others are doing: focus on yourself and getting the most out of the races you take part in on Zwift. At the end of the day, it’s just good fun and a great way to stay motivated!
Participating in local TT’s and races is also a fantastic way to stay zoned into you training. Though I appreciate many of us have not been as lucky as others when it comes to local races going ahead, if you do have any in your area it’s a fantastic opportunity to race. During these turbulent times racing locally is also a great way to support race organisers and ensure that they are financially able to carry on organising races into the future. It's also a good low pressure atmosphere to try out new tactics. So what's there to lose?
Another important aspect of training which can help you stay motivated is ensuring to include strength and conditioning within your weekly schedule. Within this type of training motivation can be found when setting goals within the session, for example: first week hold a side plank for 15 seconds and gradually increasing to 30 and then to 1 minute week to week. This helps to keep you focused on the task ahead and stay feeling competitive against yourself. The gains that you receive from doing strength and conditioning regularly will also improve your all round strength on the bike and ability to be more efficient in comparison to before.
Mixing up training can also be very effective in keeping motivated through variation. This could be doing different disciplines within training such as: gravel riding, mountain bike, track and cyclocross. However, there are other ways in which you can mix up your training such as adding in yoga and gym work if you haven’t already. All of which can add a lot towards your performance and recovery on the bike. Not to mention it of course helps to keep training interesting and enjoyable.
All in all we just have to try to find things during difficult times which can aid us in staying positive and focused on training. There’s no real hard and fast rules, just makes sure you talk to your coach and keep the communication flowing regarding what motivates you and how you can keep focused.
Fingers crossed more races can go ahead very soon!
Until next time, Charlotte