This may sound like common sense but if you have a specific goal or aim in life, it is crucial to organise and implement your activities in line with achieving your goal.
Imagine that deciding on your goal is the mental creation.
Well, how are you going to get there?
Unless you have a personal cycling coach or a mentor who is with you 100% of the time to motivate you, your motivation will have to come from inside YOU. This process can be referred to as the physical creation: giving yourself the tools and strength to achieve your goal.
If you want to make progress, you’ve got to take action to make things happen.
It is no big surprise.
But you know the feeling: You know what you should do to get better. But you just don’t do it. Something is stopping you.
You are scared.
Do you recognize this problem?
When you have a big goal then you also need to be committed for a longer period to achieve what you aim for.
You will have to train more hours, perform extremely difficult VO2 max sessions, train on your own etc. That’s incredible hard work.
So why don’t just stay in your comfort zone riding moderate distances, no hard interval training and group rides only?
And guess what happens if you step out of your comfort zone AND fail?
There ARE definitively reasons to be scared and not take action.
But that’s why you don’t achieve the goals you are dreaming about: You are so scared of stepping out of your comfort zone that you never take the necessary steps to achieve success.
So how can you step out of your comfort zone AND succeed?
As soon as you realize that it is you who are responsible for your own results then you will start to move.
I have seen several riders who have been fighting overweight for years and instead of doing what is obvious to everyone, they don’t take the necessary steps to get slim. Instead they do all they can to postpone stepping out of their comfort zones.
Obese people search the internet for advice about weight loss (without changing habits), they ask questions to several cycling coaches and weight loss experts hoping to find a magic training formula, they spend lots of money on nutritional supplements etc.
But they don’t take the necessary steps to achieve their goals.
I have also seen lots of riders who want take their performance to the next level, but feel unsure about riding more hours, training more intervals, using a different cycling training plan etc. Instead they decide to do things as they are used to – and achieve almost the same results as they are used to.
These riders are scared too. They are scared to fail (and maybe even scared to succeed).
It is important to notice that when you aim for a big goal then failure may be the outcome. That is just a part of the game.
But that shouldn’t stop you.
Be honest: What have you got to lose? What is the worst thing that can happen?
Here are some simple steps that will help you to develop some effective habits that make it easier and not-so-scary for you to step out your comfort zone:
1. Train with successful riders
If you train with successful athletes then you can be almost sure that they have already developed habits that help them to get their training done.
No magic intensities or intervals. No magic recovery drink.
The real secret is that they get they get their job done.
Sure, successful cyclists and triathletes have bad days and bad habits too. But they have developed strategies to achieve success. And they take the necessary action to make things happen.
2. Make a training plan (and a plan B as well)
Cancelling is not an option if you want to achieve really good results.
Take the initiative and proactively design an alternative plan for when you need it. Blaming the weather is definitely not a successful approach in the long run. But please don’t panic if you can’t keep up with your planned training due to bad weather or other complications.
That’s a part of the game. It happens to champions as well.
Just try to relax and remember your long-term focus.
Concentrate on what is possible and what is inside your influence ‒ not outside. It’s more important to get back into your solid training routine as soon as possible than starting a negative spiral where bad decisions lead to more bad decisions.
If you have a real target that is tangible to train for then every decision you make should reflect that target. You can ask yourself this simple question: “Will this decision take me closer to that goal, or move me further away from my goal?”
So be organised, manage your time efficiently and be proactive. Draw up a training schedule and stick to it.
Don’t be distracted.
If you do get distracted then make time elsewhere to do the training. This is a key point to ensure your cycling training program is a success because there will be days where something interrupts your plans.
3. Make it easy for you to stick to your training plan
If you want to achieve great results, you also have to give your training the attention and priority it deserves. When you give the highest priority to your daily training session, it’s also much more likely to be successful.
Scheduling your planned training session in your calendar is one way to secure that you get your training done. And if you do so, please remember to do what’s in you calendar (before checking emails, SMS, watching television etc.)
Television is probably one of the biggest time consumers in the modern world. However, there are others that might be your worst enemy for example internet surfing, mobile phones, social media etc.
Try to eliminate, or at least dramatically reduce, the time you spend on these tasks.
The more actions you take to improve your cycling performance, the more positive habits and attitudes you build, the easier for it will become for you to commit to a strong and ambitious training program.
But most riders will NEVER achieve their goals.
You can whine about it.
Or you can man up and start taking action today.
Choice is yours.
Here is a good place to begin: