There are lots of things that we can worry about, and right now, in the depths of an incredibly wet winter, it would be all too easy to lose direction and motivation with your training and lifestyle. The best way to stay focused and motivated is to hone in on a few things that you can control that will make a big difference over time.
Here is my list of the 5 essentials you can focus on right now:
- Be consistent with your training (yawn 🥱). I know I am a stuck record on this, as is every other coach on the planet, because it is the MAIN, MAIN THING. Fitness is a compounding asset in your life that will bring you much more than simply being a better bike rider! Consistently taking exercise and following your plan is sowing the seeds for years of better performance and health.
- Pimp your indoor set up 🚴♂️ 📺 🏞.. Invest some time and money in making your indoor cycling set up more fun and engaging. Zwift is great for integration with Training Peaks workouts and for races and TTs. For more real life riding, try Rouvy, where you can ride many of the all time best routes on the planet. The more entertaining your indoor set up is, the more enthusiastic you will be about riding indoors.
- Nail it in the kitchen🌶🍏🍌🥩. Take time to make sure that you are eating enough calories, of good quality food with a sensible blend of protein, fat and carbohydrate. For performance and health calories trump everything else - you have to give your body the energy it needs to perform at the level you demand of it. If you are looking to change body composition, use a calorie tracker to make sure that you understand what you are eating and that you are not starving yourself. I have spent January learning how to cook more vegetarian food, which has been fun. If you are stuck in a cooking rut, then mix it up and learn some new dishes and styles of cooking.
- Sleep like a dog 😴 🐶. Aim to sleep for 7-10hrs per night. When you are sleeping, your body releases growth hormone and synthesises protein to aid recovery. Sleep is the NUMBER 1 recovery tool in your toolbox. If you really want to maximise the training you are doing, then get off your phone ☎️ and get to bed!
- Flex and stretch 🧘🏻♂️🧘🏻♀️. I started Yoga 6 months ago, and it has been a game changer in terms of recovering from sciatica and enhancing my lifestyle. Improved flexibility and mobility BUT the main insight has been gaining a better awareness of my body. Where I am tight, what movements I find difficult or painful. Yoga has allowed me to develop much better balance, something that will improve my bike handling, and it has taught me to control breathing which will have benefits when the hammer goes down!