Australia is currently enjoying a break from road racing as it is winter, which means motivation to train can sometimes be hard to find.
As a coach, racing season is actually the easiest to schedule: race, recovery, one harder workout earlier in the week, recovery, race, repeat. In the off season however, there aren’t as many “check points” to keep the motivation high.
Variety is key and mixing up the intervals and training stimulus is important. For the athlete, the weather is often cold, wet, or icy and snowy, the days are shorter and you’re constantly being pulled to holiday functions and family obligations.
So how do you stay motivated and keep your fitness up over winter?
It’s all about perspective
It’s important to look at your workouts the same way you put money into your savings account. Time spent sweating during intervals, getting the full prescribed time in on the bike, even if it’s on the trainer, is making a deposit you’ll withdraw later during race season.
Make sure you complete those last few minutes on the trainer instead of shutting it down early. A few minutes here or there will add up quickly. So make sure that every time you put your leg over the saddle, you have the intention of putting some money in the bank.
Mix it up
Incorporate something different. Have a mountain or cross bike? Are the roads sloppy with ice and snow? Now is a perfect time to break out those fat tires and explore your local trails and neighborhoods. Bundle up and get outside – it’s a great way to break up trainer rides.
And if life happens and gets in the way, remember you are the master of your destiny. Look at your training in advance, plan for the week and rearrange your workouts when necessary to make it all fit.
Training doesn’t tickle
There are days when it just feels better to not go hard, to back it off just a little. Remember though, training doesn’t tickle. It isn’t meant to be easy. Visualize going toe to toe with a competitor if you need a little extra motivation to keep pushing through the pain cave. Your efforts will be rewarded.
ALP Cycles Coaching is a Boulder-based coaching company with three female coaches at the helm: Alison Powers, Jennifer Sharp and Patricia Schwager.
Each coach brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. Road racing, track, endurance mountain biking, time trialling, making the leap to living and racing in Europe – they’ve got you covered. Find out more about Alison Powers and her Alp Cycles coaching company at here.