So you can’t do that long, 3-hour training ride you used to, either because you lack the fitness or the time to complete it. Don’t beat yourself up over it! Avoid the“all or nothing” type of thinking to get back to the fitness level you achieved prior to your break. Anything is better that nothing. Even with a short workout you’ll be moving in the right direction, or at least stopping the slip backwards.
2. Buy A Cookbook
Buy a cookbook! Go online or to an actual book store and find a book you like. I find that the inspiration from new recipes gets me charged back up for making good food choices.Keep your dietary preferences and time constraints in mind when checking out the recipes so that you don’t get frustrated and slip back into bad eating habits (ie if you are crunched for time, Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” probably isn’t right for you.)
3. Set Goals
Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Then, write ’em down and read them frequently. I like to stick mine to the fridge, my computer, car dash, etc. Lots of places to make sure I see ‘em. It’s great motivation for getting (and staying) on track. Start small with your goals and push yourself to work up to an beyond where you were before.
4. Reward Yourself
Reward yourself for success (not with food). For example, if you get in three workouts next week, get yourself a massage! Or, some new gear for your bike! New cycling shoes! Anything that will help associate your success with something you’ll enjoy and remind you that you’re on track.
5. Try Something New
Try a new activity that compliments your cycling goals. Cross Fit, rock climbing, skiing, yoga, Barre, TRX … Ease into whatever you choose to tackle to reduce the risk injury.
6. Analyze Your Excuses
Figure out what got you off track in the first place. Was it a busy work schedule or some other time commitment? Be honest with yourself to identify the excuse you told yourself every day to prevent you from doing your workout. Formulate a plan to overcome that excuse this time around! Perhaps wake up earlier or adjust your social calendar.
7. Look Within
Take a few minutes right now to remember how good it feels to be fit and strong. Remember what it was like at the peak of your fitness in the past. Now, write down why you want to be there again to remind yourself why doing your workouts is important.
8. Be Positive
Positivity goes a long way and includes not being negative to the way your feeling about your fitness right now. You may want to increase your fitness, but constantly saying negative things about your current fitness will not help. Recognize where you are now, and take the steps to get where you’d like to be!
9. Suck It Up
Yeah it’s a bummer that you’re off track, but it is what it is. There’s nothing you can do about the past but there’s a lot you can do about the today. And no, it won’t be easy — it wasn’t last time. Do the work, it will be hard, but worth it in the end.
10. Journal Your Progress
In Training Peaks you can update the post-activity notes section with how your workout went and anything you’ve identified as a limiter to work on in the future. A notebook will work just fine as well.
A coach can help motivate you and can be a source of strength, a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board and a friend. A coach will also hold you accountable. You may buy the excuses you make but a good coach never will.
Richard La China is a Professional Mountain Bike racer, USAC Certified Cycling Coach and a IMBA Certified Mountain Bike Skills Instructor who coaches beginner to pro cyclist. Currently working with mountain bike XC, Endurance and Enduro racers and other competitive and non-competitive mountain bike riders seeking to become their best.
I was actually surprised to learn so many little tricks!
Last Sunday I went to the Intermediate/Advanced mountain bike skills class in Malibu and loved it! I bike quite a...
Last Sunday I went to the Intermediate/Advanced mountain bike skills class in Malibu and loved it! I bike quite a bit and feel comfortable doing pretty tough trails, but I had never learned proper riding technique. This clinic focused on the skills needed to properly ride obstacles and how to ride them with maximum efficiency. I'm a professional drum instructor and I really enjoyed Richard's teaching methods. He not only showed us how to do something, but WHY we should do it. It really makes the information stick! Kris was great too, super motivating! I was actually surprised to learn so many little tricks and can't wait to practice them on my own! I'd love to go to another clinic or do a one on one session soon. ~Andrew T.
I love to ride bikes, and I love to ride them fast. After some years of road riding, I decided...
I love to ride bikes, and I love to ride them fast. After some years of road riding, I decided (read: my boyfriend suggested) that I should give mountain biking a try. And not just weekend lah-de-dah, pack-a-peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich mountain biking--I decided I was going to RACE mountain bikes. After all, it couldn't be THAT hard, could it? I mean, I knew how to ride/race a bike, I had great fitness, and I had a totally sweet custom-built race mountain bike (courtesy of said boyfriend). So I signed up for a local race series. Well, several races and countless crashes later (and, allegedly even some tears--although I will deny it to my grave), I wanted to put the kibosh on my mountain bike race career. I had so many cuts, scrapes, gashes, and bruises that you'd have thought I was trying to bring the "mummy" look back into style with all my bandages. (Honestly, I should have bought stock in Band-aids and Advil.) And those were just the external wounds.... My pride/ego and my psyche took a big hit, too, and not even my beautiful series overall winner trophy could take that pain away (yes, I did win, but it wasn't pretty). I just couldn't understand how I could be so terrible at something (ie, how I completely lacked the bike handling skills to navigate around a course crash-free). However, instead of heeding my calls to sell/destroy/part-out my mountain bike--which at that point I had taken to calling "That Stupid Bike"-- my boyfriend suggested that I take a mountain bike skills class with Ninja Mountain Bike Skills. (My boyfriend....he is so full of suggestions). So, in March 2013 I took the Beginner Level 1 class and, wow! Boyfriend's idea was great (for once)! What an amazing and transformative experience. I had...
Aaron Lucy ran an AMAZING training camp,even as an experienced rider I learned all kinds of new skills about corning,...
Aaron Lucy ran an AMAZING training camp,even as an experienced rider I learned all kinds of new skills about corning, technical riding up and down trails, even properly setting my shocks for my exact body weight and riding style! Aaron knows his stuff and I highly encourage anyone even considering a training session to get on it! I use the skills I learned almost constantly when I ride (about once a week!) ~Bruce Barnes
I recently took the intermediate/advanced clinic. It was excellent and would recommend it to anyone who is looking to improve...
I recently took the intermediate/advanced clinic. It was excellent and would recommend it to anyone who is looking to improve their skills. All the instructors were great and made the clinic very fun and informative. ~Greg E.
They’ve helped build my confidence and competence!
Coming from a triathlon background I had spent most of my time on the road, though I did have a...
Coming from a triathlon background I had spent most of my time on the road, though I did have a few seasons of cyclocross under my belt. I was a novice mountain biker with just enough confidence to get myself into trouble on the trails. I started by attending the free Tuesday night mountain bike workouts at Balboa Park, led by Coach Richard. While these are primarily geared toward building fitness, we learned some skills tips and I met some cool folks. Since then I've taken the intermediate and advanced skills clinics, as well as raced a couple times. Coaches Richard and Kris are great at instruction, which is not easy. Most great riders cannot teach others to do the same, but these two are exceptional at it. They've helped build my confidence and competence. In fact they have taken time during weekday and weekend rides to help give me pointers! I joined Team Ninja to train and race with this fun crew and would highly advise you check them out! ~Henry H.
This truly life changing gift will be greatly appreciated by the recipient and is the perfect choice for birthdays, holidays, or any other gift-giving occasion!Gift Certificates are available for all Mountain Bike Skills Clinics, Camps, One-on-one Sessions and Ninja Gear. Order yours here.