By Dave Andersen
Are you motivated to train? Just like many of you, I start each year feeling motivated. But motivation can be tricky – it comes and goes throughout the year. I develop motivation by setting goals, picking my races, and mapping out my training cycles for the season. I ease into my training routine and get into the daily and weekly rhythm of working-out knowing that each month will provide variety by having its own purpose and specificity toward the big picture. Many months of the year all I do is train, and don’t race. There is a comfort in the daily routine of training. During these periods I realize just how important and nice it is to be fit. I dream about the upcoming season. Motivation is not a problem.
Would I be as motivated if I didn’t race? I think so. Let me explain. I love being fit – the desire to live a fit and balanced lifestyle keeps me going. Over the past 35 years I’ve varied my sport (running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, xc-skiing, etc.) to keep it interesting. And just like many of you, I’ve had periods where racing was not the priority; staying fit (and training) becomes the goal. That said, when everything is clicking along nicely, when I am healthy and life is calm, then racing makes the training all the more focused. After all these years, I still have a strong desire to reach my potential.
Would I train as hard if I didn’t race? Probably not (hill repeats hurt like hell) but I wouldn’t back down completely! I’d keep training for all of the reasons I listed above and also so I don’t get dropped on those weekend group rides!
The question remains: Are you motivated to train? Every day ask yourself, “Do I want to finish that group ride with the pack?”, or “What can I do today to become a better cyclist, runner, or triathlete?” These questions will remind you daily of your goals and will challenge you to be motivated to become your best.
Good luck and remember: training never ends.
Keep It Tight,
*Dave Andersen lives in Boston and works in the educational publishing business. He shares his passion for cycling and sport with a wide range of friends and competitors.