Have you ever been focused on a goal, dedicated for weeks, for months and you have been working really hard only to find out your motivation vanishes and you feel it fades away? Buff! Welcome to the club.
It´s been an intensive period of training in the books. The training has been growing steadily each month, but for now, I’ve hit a plateau. The moment I need it more than ever, my motivation starts to fade. It is the middle of summer only 6 more weeks to Ötzi and I wonder where my spirit has gone. Don´t get me wrong – I know that cycling is that what I love and makes me feel so AMAZING afterwards, with the sole difference that a couple of months ago I would have never allowed myself to skip a training session or take a shortcut knowing that I should go further but now, that I should be more focused than ever, I am tempted to take the easy way. Where are my stretching sessions, my blackroll- evenings, my abs and core training gone which I have constantly pursued? My “ now do this the hard way and go fast uphills” or my “now push more and sprint on that crest of a hill” cycling-moves changed in a easy slow mode like I do not want to stress myself out…I tend to skip it and I am too lazy to get it done. I have worked really hard but recently I’ve can find myself sinking too easily into a total unmotivational trip. I do ride my bike- but easy going.
Yet somehow, after a few weeks, that motivation high has gone. The project I was previously so excited about feels like a burden but hey, I want my motivation back – why can´t I stay passionately and madly in love through the entire duration of my training period? I would rather go for a coffeeride with a cycling mate chattering like old washerwoman in a lovely row of two than for a hard training sesh. I enjoy cycling because it keeps me healthy, because it challenges me and because I get to be outside and see new places. I enjoy it because I like going really fast and it gives me freedom, it gives me a boost of energy. Starting to ask myself the question, if there is anything I would rather do, the answer is no. So it does not seems like a problem at all, huh?
But it is hard out there, Ladies.
You can ride a bike and you can ride a bike. If you are constantly training and you have a motivation deep, I feel you! If you feel burn out after a while mentally, I feel you!
Sometimes all you need is a small change of perspective to get the flow flowing and feel motivated again. Talk to people with similar goals, buddy up with other cyclists, it is normal that a sparkling fire will turn into a flame, so do not stress yourself too much. I do have a motivation deep but knowing I get out of this sooner or later. Speaking to someone who is dealing with similar issues can help you to realise that you’re not alone. Suddenly your problems won’t seem so difficult. I can therefore talk from my own experience, it helps a lot to speak to people with same interests and targets and ride with several cyclists not always with the same.
Avoid comparing yourself to others. It’s easy to become disheartened when you see someone doing better than you. Always remind that your progress is unique. Envy and jealousy can cause a lot of anxiety and will slow your progress down because it is a bad feeling and causes frustration. However, psychologists have recently suggested that there may be two types of envy: malicious envy and benign envy—benign envy is being proposed as a type of positive motivational force. Only the good type of envyness will bring you forward: 1. It shows you the way 2 . You’ll work harder.
You need to help yourself to stay motivated about it and if nothing helps, take a break. Sometimes the best do is to do nothing at all, a night out with friends, a bit of self-indulgence can really improve your mood and put you back in touch with what matters. But do not give up when things get hard.
Think about how far you have come – from where you’ve started. I finally feel like I am part of the club, that elite group of people who can manage to ride 100+ km a day and do not only NOT look like a rat drowing in their own sweat but glowing. For no reason I would give it up, it was just too hard to get there. Even if you have not reached your target yet, you have made huge steps. Go with the easy flow and remember that as long as you are doing something, you are making progress. It may be a long, slow journey but if you’re on the right path you will get there. Sure this is hard sometimes. I get endlessly frustrated wishing it get’s easier – it may be in a year, or two years, but it will happen.
Visualise yourself achieving your dream. Focusing on your end goal helps your dream to remain alive. If you can imagine yourself there, you’ll be inspired to work even harder to get there.