August 24, 2016/ Maria Parker
This is week ten of a twelve week series to help you train for and successfully complete a century ride. Check out the free 12 Week Couch to Century training plan here.
The mid-way point in any challenge can be the hardest part. We can feel good about what is behind us, but we know that what is ahead of us is probably tougher. That’s true for building up to ride 100 miles or for halfway through a business project. I tend to get the most discouraged when I am half way through. I’ve learned some tips to get me through the midway blues.
Tips for breaking through the blues:
- Sometimes you do need a little break. I remember during a mileage build-up I was doing over several months, I started feeling very sad and overwhelmed at the prospect of what I had ahead. My body was tired, but mostly I was mentally tired. When that happened I took a week and just did fun rides with friends: no timed sequences no hard miles, no early work outs. It was just what I needed. I returned to my regular workouts feeling fresh and ready to go. Other ways to break through a low point are to do a different kind of exercise, or the same exercise with different people or in a different place. The most important point is to listen to both your body and your mind. Sometimes you need to push through a hard day or two, but if that continues, you need to take a break.
- Enjoy the journey. This is most important when you are experiencing mental tiredness from training. Remind yourself to take in the beauty around you on rides, to be grateful for your muscles, bones and heart. Gratitude can completely change your mental status. Practice gratitude during your workouts.
- Start eating the elephant. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I’m a planner, I can spend a lot of time looking down the road at what’s ahead and this often leads to feeling overwhelmed. When I start to feel this way, I bring my focus closer and remind myself just to do this workout, this section of the road, just ride to the next mailbox. The more tired and discouraged I am, the smaller the pieces into which I break down what I am doing. When I get to the next mailbox, I feel a sense of accomplishment and that helps me get to the next small goal.
- Discipline begets discipline. No one demonstrates this more than my son Steven. He is married, with a child and one on the way. When we talk, I always ask him how his workouts are going. The reason I ask him is that I know if he is working out, then everything else in his life is going well. By his own admission, when he works out he is a better husband, father and employee and, in general, feels much better about himself.
- Keep in mind what’s really important. When feeling overwhelmed and blue, remind yourself of what is really important. That you are alive, that you have a family and friends that care for you, that you don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from.
Next up in this series: Event Day
Congratulations on taking on your first Century ride! Maria Parker, world record-holding cyclist and Cruzbike CEO, put together this 12 week training guide and blog series to help you successfully complete your first century ride. Share your progress with the Cruzbike Community @CRUZBIKE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll cheer you on through your first 100 mile ride.