Photo: ebis50, "Kitsap Color Classic" via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.
We’ve teamed up with Marilyn Trout, certified USA Cycling Elite Coach to answer Voler Newsletter List members’ training questions. You can view her coach profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/mountainpedalscoaching80903 Send your cycling inquiries to Marilyn, and for a limited time, if yours is selected to be answered in our Training column, Voler will send you a $20 gift certificate that can be used towards any purchase from the Voler Store at http://www.voler.com. To submit your inquiry, e-mail her at Marilyn@MountainPedals.net, and type “Voler Training Question” in the subject line of the e-mail.
After I received a note from a reader who was unable to get motivated about spending any time in the saddle, it got me thinking about what I do when my energy plug is pulled. For me, finding simplicity in foundational principles gives me an immediate boost for regaining productivity. Whether coaching, landscaping or life, removing distraction and complication clears my mind and relaxes my body to reset the energy levels for the goals that lay ahead. For many athletes, the hardest part of training is resting; in fact, the real culprit is now known as “under-resting” as opposed to “overtraining.” Resting is not for sissies. It takes intention. It takes planning. It takes confidence.
1. Pause – Take a break without any guilt…whatsoever. The break means so much more than just removing physical activity for a period of time. What’s more important is the “mental holiday.” Extricate ALL reference points or comparisons with yourself and the amount of training you’ve become accustomed to in the past. Do the same with other riders and what they are presently doing. Believing in your “rest” is just as important as being rock-solid confident in every aspect of your Annual Training Plan.
2. Pace – If you have taken a break and you are still feeling “less than your motivated self” perhaps you need a change of pace. Something that will bring enjoyment and rekindle the energy. Be creative and manipulate one or more of the ingredients that are involved with your structured training program. A good place to start is to free up the structure. There will be plenty of time to do the hardcore intervals and such down the road. Relax on the speed, intensity or frequency to make room for a smile rather than a grimace. Until the energy returns, consider removing the gadgets off the handlebars so you can make the most of the “mental holiday” and avoid “analysis paralysis.”
3. Perspective – If you have taken a break from your structured training schedule and you have had a change of pace, a change of perspective may be in order. Perhaps you have sunk to a level of bondage with your training, goals, health or cycling. Freedom to enjoy your sport with good health vs being a slave to a routine of structured health and fitness is an extremely fine line. Motivation is a good indicator to show you which side of the line you are riding on.
Good things await us down the road,