Motivation

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Motivation Monday: What’s London Got To Do With It?

If you read my last “Motivation Monday” you'll know I was somehow suckered into riding the Monkey Knife Fight in April.  I'd suggest you read the previous column to learn a little more about the race itself.  The short, short version of it is this: it's a spring classic, PA style.  That means dirt roads, gravel, steep climbs, shitty weather and lots and lots of fun.

Since I've been suckered into this via a good buddy of mine (thanks again Nate…) I can't let him take me out to the middle of nowhere and leave me for dead.  No sir.  That's not an option.

This week, I'll explore a little of my training theory and what I'm going to do to get my butt in shape to actually finish this ride without breaking down and crying.

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Motivation Monday: Monkey Knife Fight For Fun and Fitness Profit

It's been no secret that last year was a tough year for me when it comes to riding a bike.  I spent much of the year planning and executing a plan, but not a typical training plan.  No, buying a business (most of you know I'm a chiropractor by trade) was a plan unlike any other that sucked most of the time out of my life.  I raced all of four races last year and put in the fewest training hours I've logged in any year in the last half a decade.

Because of that, and because I now have the additional responsibilities of running a practice, it's time for a renaissance of sorts.

“Friends don't let friends get fat”

I had been looking for a little motivation to build my early season on.  Sitting on the trainer isn't the most fun, so a fun early season target would be most welcome.  What was out there that would be worth doing, though?

This most recent challenge, which I intend to document in a series called “Motivation Monday” is based on a challenge/request from a friend of mine (thanks, Nate!)  Nate, much like myself, spent much of last year on the sidelines, albeit for very different reasons.  Those reasons don’t really matter, suffice to say he was in the saddle less than I was.  Recently, when he texted me and asked if I had any interest in an early season ride, he framed it a little differently then most requests people make:

“Monkey Knife Fight – April 14th.  I've been intrigued by this ride for a few years and I should really stop being fat.  Any interest?”

How can you say no to that?

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Quick Tips For Maintaining Cycling Motivation

How do you maintain cycling motivation through a season?  What about those people who seem to race season after season and still have the drive to compete?  It seems like some people are able to keep going out and riding for years on end.  Those cyclists never get tired of training and they always have an infectious enthusiasm about the sport.  Riders like that have a unique kind of cycling motivation that we all envy a little bit.

How do you grow that kind of cycling motivation?  How do you keep climbing on your bike every week and have enthusiasm about flogging yourself for a couple of hours of training?  Wouldn't it be nice to wake up every morning and be excited about the day's workout?

Just like you, I struggle with motivation sometimes.  When the mercury hits triple digits or it's drizzling outside, it's easy to sit in front of the TV with a coffee and watch racing on TV.  But if you want to become a beast, you have to train like one.  That means having the motivation to get off your sofa and onto your saddle.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your motivation levels up.

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Is there value in “junk miles”

Traditionally, Labor Day marks the end of the road and crit racing season and the start of cyclocross.  For me, that means it's time to shut down the training and wind down for the season.  Most people start easing into the off-season by riding for fun and putting in a few “junk miles.”  I've mentioned in the past that fall is my favorite time of year to ride, and this year will be no exception.  Getting away from training is often a refreshing change of pace.

This year, I've spent most of the year away from my bike, so there's no training to get away from.

For the first time in many years, I've put in less than 2,000 riding miles.  I've done minimal training and I've raced fewer times than I have fingers on one hand.  My riding has been limited to 40 miles every 10 days or so.  With that little riding, it's been impossible to train with any regularity.  I've been stuck with short, high-intensity efforts in a desperate attempt to find some form and fitness.  Alas, it was not to be.

This year, my riding has basically been “junk miles.”

Just this morning after a short hour on the deep back roads of NJ, I came to this realization.  I also realized that I have learned something through this year's lack of training.

Click through and learn what junk miles mean to me and what they could mean to you.

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Don’t Let Your Power Meter Kill Your Performance

A power meter is now a ubiquitous piece of equipment for many cyclists.  With the emergence of affordable power meters more and more riders are training with power.  Training has become more specified and directed.  Coaches have options to evaluate fitness improvements that they never had before.  Athletes are able to build their own training programs and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses with minimal direction.

But for all the benefits, your power meter may be hurting your performance when the chips are down.  Click through the jump to see if you're guilty of any of these performance killing power meter faux pas:

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