motivational advice

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by cyclebum, 26 Nov 2007.

  1. cyclebum

    cyclebum Senior Member

    I have had so much advice from you lot on here, and now I am after some more though I don't know how much you can help.

    I have astounded both myself and my friends and family with my progress since March. I had a good start then hit a difficult patch at the end of April and through May, it wasn't that progress was slow but more that I felt I was regressing (if thats the right word).Luckily I perservered and was amazed to come out stronger at the end of it. By October I was going really well (for me at least) but I appear to have hit another low patch and I have really started to struggle. I am also finding very hard to keep motivated. I did go out and brave the rain this morning but most of the time it was really hard going and how I stopped myself from taking short cuts I don't know.

    I have just over 8 weeks until I go to India and by now I should be planning 2 consecutive 50 mile rides but I don't think I could even manage 30 at the moment! I also have a bit of a family 'crisis' going on at the moment which doesn't help. I only managed about 18 miles today and would have a good pace going one minute but then suddenly feel drained and have to slow right down. I got up to 21 mph on the flat at one stage without too much effort but then the next struggled at 12 shortly after that!

    How can I get my motivation back, is it that thats effecting my riding or is it the other way round. I am trying not to panic too much about this but I am getting worried as time is running out. :sad::sad:;)
  2. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    I don't think you need to panic too much, cyclebum. :sad:
    This time of year, full of grey, cold, miserable days, isn't really conducive to good/enjoyable cycling, so from that point of view it is fully understandable.
    If you're concerned about not getting the distances in, then try spinning or turbo-ing. Otherwise get out when you can/feel like it.
    Once the trip starts, then you will cycle yourself to fitness, purely by getting the miles in your legs.
    As the date for departure approaches, you will find yourself becoming more excited at the prospect of cycling on the sub-continent and all that that entails.
    Stick at it, but don't push yourself if you don't feel up to it. After all, we do it mostly for fun/beneficial reasons.
    Good luck! ;)
  3. Is it your general fitness level thats worrying you S? It might be time to consider a heart rate monitor if you dont feel that you are progressing.

    A formerly sedentary person who started riding a bike over the kind of distances you have would soon see a marked improvement in their fitness but after a certain point their fitness level will plateau and it then requires a more advanced approach to training to see any significant gains. A heart rate monitor enables you to train more effectively because you can tell when you are in the optimum heart rate zone. Mrs Mickle covers 2500 miles a year and has been riding that kind of mileage for nearly ten years now. Her training (if you can call it training) is ad-hock, she simply goes out and rides her bike around but because she has no idea what her heart rate is its impossible for her to know if any or all of those miles are doing her any good. Obviously riding her bike is a good thing, she is quite fit (!) but like you I think she needs to move up to the next level if she wants to see any significant improvement.

    I wouldnt worry about the India ride to much tho', you'll actually adapt to the mileage as you ride it. Your base fitness right now is probably good enough.

    Hows that saddle?
  4. OP

    cyclebum Senior Member

    Thanks for the words of advice from you both.

    Dayvo, I do alot of xbiking (as much as 4 times a week though just lately more 2-3 times) I do aerobics once a week and weights after x biking if I have the time. But it's actually getting the miles in and being used to sitting on the bike for long stretches which is difficult in the gym. The problem is I have been up to about 45 miles by October, but I really don't think I dare doing a long run at the moment incase I end up stranded, especially as I ride alone!

    Mickle, I could try and find a heart rate moniter and see how that goes. I used to moniter my heart rate on the cv equipment in the gym but soon realised that 1/2 the time they are incorrect.
    As for the saddle, so far so good, though lacking the distances mean it's difficult to be sure yet. However yesturday I felt my 'bum' at around 7 miles and did a few stretches out of the saddle. It was only when I got home I realised it was fine for the rest of the ride but then I only managed 13 miles. Today it was about 10 miles before I noticed anything but it didn't last long so I am feeling hopeful. At least that is going right at the moment.

    Sorry if I sound like a miserable s*d, I am looking foward to India and booked my shuttle flights last week which was exciting, but I look forward to getting home and settling into a more enjoyable pace without fretting about distances or average speed!!! ( I may well have a ceremonial burning of my log book!)
  5. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    sometimes it is tough to get on the bike and ride in the pissing rain and strong winds etc...i didnt ride today because I was just too exhausted and a bit down in the happens...tomorrow is another day...and anyway at least you are the one in 10,000+ in your town who is actually even riding at all this time of year
  6. OP

    cyclebum Senior Member

    Thanks BTFB, trouble with my down it seems its getting worse, though at least I havn't given in so far. As for being the 1 in 10 000, I don't know if our population is that big, i'll have to check that one:wacko:
  7. frog

    frog Guest

    When you start writing about turning over in bed and going back to sleep instead of getting out on the bike then you have motivational problems.

    Be kind to yourself. You've come a long, physically and metaphorically. You ain't a machine which constantly improves each and every day. There will be peaks and troughs but you're still bashing away on the pedals, and that's what matters.

    OK, so your expected mileage is down. On the other hand you have a lot of previous miles in the bank you can draw on. When the time comes to do the long rides your body and mind will tell you you can and you'll breeze it.

    The family which hasn't got a crisis brewing somewhere doesn't exist. You've amazed yourself with what you've done on the bike and you'll do the same with the crisis as well. You ain't the girl you were at the start of the year. She might have had a problem with all this - the new cyclebum is altogether a tougher nut to crack.:sad:

    Just keep plugging away at it and you'll do just fine. ;)
  8. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Hi Cyclebum
    I don't think you're alone on this one. I've barely turned a pedal in the last 4 weeks, not even been out for a little fettle of the old steed. But hey, is that such a problem? I cycled heaps this year, maybe this is my body saying it's time for a little R&R before I get back into a new season after Christmas. Slowly but surely my motivation is returning, I am certain yours will too. Don't beat yourself up. This is not the nicest time of the year for cycling anyhow, at least you're getting out. Take it easy, the enthusiasm I'm sure will return.
  9. There was something in the air at the weekend. I got up on Saturday looked out the window and rolled back into bed :sad: and on Sunday I just done 34 mls and I'm down to a 6mile commute. The only thing that keeps me from feeling too guilty is I know the urge will return, a trip to India would do it. Good luck
  10. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    I notice in the blurb on your trip the distances are defined in kilometres, but it is good that you are thinking in miles and mph at this stage. When you get to India the kilometres can be eaten up so much more easily than miles. It's all in the mind of course, but that is what longer distance cycling is all about.:sad:

    I am no expert on training regimes, but think you have had a lengthy build up to this event, I would say low periods are inevitable, they will pass.;)

    21mph:ohmy: that is fast, and fast is tiring!!!! If you can hit 21mph , I am sure you will be able to maintain lower speeds for hours and hours.

    I think you should not dwell on the daily mileage you will have to cover on the trip. Divide it by two, and that is what you will cover in the morning. Sounds "do-able" now?
    As you will probably stop for a midmorning and mid afternoon break, you could divide that daily distance into four manageable chunks. It gets easier the more you think about it:biggrin:

    Good luck, I think you are doing well.:biggrin:
  11. longers

    longers Veteran

    Some very good advice from people here.

    You've done good so far and you're still trying and getting out there and doing the hard work. ;)

    You've already done a lot of hard work. :biggrin:

    It's not the most conducive time of year for cycling, but you're still getting out there and doing it. :sad:

    Take advantage of good weather and free time when you can. If not don't worry. :wacko:

    8 weeks is still a long time until you go. You've got time rest and relax and still get some miles in beforehand. :biggrin:

    If you went tomorrow you would do the trip easily. You're better prepared than you think. :sad:
  12. Big Bren

    Big Bren New Member

    Have you considered that you may be suffering the effects of over-training? It sounds like you've worked your arse off for quite some months now and it's quite possible that your body could be asking for a break. From personal experience, a few enforced rest days can be really beneficial.

    I wouldn't discount the effects of stress on your motivation either; you're clearly taking your cycle challenge very seriously and putting an enormous amount of pressure on yourself to achieve a certain level of perceived fitness before the trip. Stress can be positive when it motivates and energises us, but can easily become negative. As your stress levels rise, it's not uncommon for your motivation and confidence to fall; again, a few days off would do no harm.

    Good luck with it - whatever you do, don't let your achievements thus far or your upcoming trip be spoiled by setting yourself impossible targets!
  13. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Cyclebum: if you can get up and go out in the rain you are more of a man than me ! AND many more....

    If that usualy happens its usually running.

    Ive got to congratulate you soo much on the ability to go out in the rain: your doing fine - work on the miles, chill-out, seems your mindset is good, optimism 50/50...fairly obvious really considering the factors that abound us in this part of the world !

    All the best man !
  14. Blue

    Blue Legendary Member

    N Ireland
    Where I ride is conducive to 40-50 mile out and back rides along the local coastline and I do this on a regular basis during the spring & summer. At this time of year the wind and rain often put me off even the thought of such rides. I managed to find a nice loop of 12 miles near home and do laps of that if I feel the wind/rain rule out a long grind out and back. It is boring, but it is also surprising how a decent number of miles can be covered when secure in the knowledge that I can bale out if conditions are unbearable as I find I throw in an extra lap more often than I head home early. Could something like that be available to and help you?
  15. OP

    cyclebum Senior Member

    Wow, I knew you guys wouldn't let me down, there has been so much common sense written here. Maybe I have just lost a bit of focus. I know in my heart of heart I can do this but being as I have never done anything like this before and it scares me. I'm still worried but reading all this this morning has made me feel a lot better.

    I think in retrospect I started too early. The reccomended training programme they sent us is for 6 months but by the time I get out there I will have done nearer to 11! I decided to start straight away as I had serious doubts I was going to be able to manage it. I only followed the programme for the first 2 months and since then I have just stuck at what I was doing just increasing the pace every now and then, whether it be in the gym or out on the road. The next couple of months however is where they reccomend putting in the miles. Perhaps if I slowed down the pace and concentrated more on the distance.

    Anyway, thanks again you lot for helping me sort my head out. I think I will have to re read it all a few times to relly get the full effect.
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