Most of us simply wouldn’t be human if we didn’t experience a lack of focus on our goals from time to time. As we emerge from the off-season into race season, goals were likely set months ago for the year ahead. Because of this, if you’re steadily ticking along through your plan, now is the time to revisit where you are at and see what you can adjust to make your A goal even more achievable. If, however, you’re losing the focus that you first set out with, there are some simple – yet highly effective – tricks to ease you back on track.
Check Back In With Your ATP
Your ATP (annual training program), essentially the same as your macro cycle, is the plan you’ve laid out for what you want to achieve in your cycling year. If you haven’t already established yours, do it now. It’s especially important of you’ve a busy working and/or family life to set a clear plan to work from. The questions you need to ask yourself include picking your main target A event and defining what training and racing you’ll need to get there – including (fixed) B events and (more movable) C events. If you’ve already got your ATP sorted – now is the time to revisit, spend some quality time with it and consider where you’re at – an ATP is not a fixed entity and it is ok, if not essential, to re-evaluate and adjust as the year progresses. Spokes coaches can help with this if you get stuck.
Work On Weaknesses
If you’re finding that focus on your goals is slipping, the likelihood is that it’s accompanied by waning enjoyment too – you may have even encountered some serious ‘why am I doing this’ moments! When the mojo takes a little vacation it is often highly tempting to default to the training you enjoy the most – which will probably be the stuff you’re best at, because you find it easiest and most enjoyable. This slipping of process goals presents the perfect opportunity to refocus your efforts onto working on weaknesses. Be specific, for example, you might want to increase leg speed by 10 RPM or your FTP by 20. By regaining strategic control over how you spend your valuable energy you’ll avoid junk training and get back on track.
Find A Coach
Yes – I would say this, it’s my business! But hear me out because when it comes to losing focus, the right coach can be exactly what you need. If you’ve lost your focus, despite how you may feel right now, there isa reason why you started your training – there was a real motivation and possibly even a tangible excitement at the outset about achieving something great. Losing focus and motivation or getting bored can – and likely will – happen to us all at some point, and working with a coach with a personalized training approach will refocus you, give you purpose again and most importantly, get you excited about your sport again.
Here’s an example: if the training load is getting you down, personalized coaching will show you how much you can achieve with fewer sessions. When ‘life’ happens, training can feel like a real struggle. But with a tailored program taking into account what’s going on in your life alongside the right support, not only will you get back on track but you might also improve other aspects of your life through the motivation and mental health that can be rediscovered through refocusing on your cycling goal.
The first thing that happens when motivation wanes is the ‘hiding away’ effect. We might stop engaging with online communities, local clubs or even cycling friends. The answer is often as simple as reconnecting. A great way to do this is to book a training camp which provides the boost you need as it’s a break from the routine and responsibility, and an opportunity to shake-off the dust. You’ll likely return rejuvenated – and with physical and mental gains that will last you well into the race season. If you can’t get away to a sunny cycling camp, even organizing a get together with cycling friends, such as a cycling overnighter, can be just the ticket to get you back on the road to success.
Nurture Your Motivation
Cyclists are a motivated – excuse the pun – bunch. What other explanation is there for forcing yourself up a hill, reaching distance goals on the bike, pedaling away for hours on end alone in a room or enduring lung-busting races?
It’s easy to think when you’ve bags of motivation that it’s as readily available as the oxygen we breath, but for many, it’s not – we must nurture our motivation because once it disappears it’s tricky to claw back. Work stress, relationship challenges, health issues and even weather are all contributing factors that can show up in life without an invite and have an effect on our ability to stick to the plan.
For motivation maintenance and rekindling, create a vision board – for cycling and for life. Make it visual and include all the goals and dreams you’ve got for the upcoming year and display it somewhere that you’ll see it regularly. Other great tips include reducing stress by eating clean, adding yoga and meditate/mindfulness practise to your routine, and remove negative energy from your life – if your job or a certain friend is bringing you down, remember that you are the master of your destiny – make changes to positively affect your life and your cycling performance.
Get in Contact:
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