Can you stay motivated and train without a goal? I personally find this difficult. I end up giving myself far to much leniency for my own good. “I’ll ride tomorrow, or I’ll do those intervals tomorrow” seems to creep in. I end up finding a few weeks has gone by and, well, you end up having to start from zero.
The answer is to have a goal. Something to give you accountability for your actions. Something to measure yourself against. It can be simple, like achieving a personal best up your most hated climb, or to lose a few kilograms. ANYTHING is good. The only excuse I allow is the excuse to go ride.
Another very helpful thing to help keep training in the absence of an upcoming event, is to have a training buddy. A person who holds you to a commitment. Even if you guys don’t have a set program, but just ride and stay ticking over on the bike. This is way better than sitting dormant for days on end and losing fitness. Riding with a buddy is also way fun, because micro competitions always creep in to a ride. Who can reach the stop sign first before blowing or who can drop the other guy. You know the old saying, ” If there are 2 riders on the road, it’s a race”. The other guy may be 3 km up the road, but if you can see him, even without noticing, you lift your pace.
Consistency is the key to maintaining fitness. If you can manage to ride every day even for an hour, you will be better off than someone who does nothing for 4 days on end and then goes and does a marathon ride in one day.
Some days you’re the hammer, other days you’re the nail.
Here are a number of things I use as motivation to ride, even when I’m not training towards something:
- That view on top of the mountain
- Group ride to talk rubbish with my mates
- Remembering how much easier it is to stay fit, than to start from scratch
- New Kit
- Knowing how good I’ll feel after the ride
- The wind in my face
- The smell of the soil
- The taste of a hard earned Ice Cold Beer (rewards always help)
- The hot shower after
- Remembering that riding my bike is a huge privilege
It’s not always easy to stay on track, I know, but get out there and ride your bike. Don’t call it training, just ride because it’s the first true freedom we ever got as children. We were able to escape the nest once we could ride a bike. We could go meet our friends, ride to the beach, and build shady jumps to try out.
Get out there, ride and keep it rubber side down!