1. Take It Easy
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.