This may sound like common sense, but if you have a specific goal or aim, it is crucial to organize and implement your activities to achieve your goal.
Imagine that deciding on your goal is a 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.
You are the only person who can give yourself motivation. But, unfortunately, it’s an inside job!
Many people think they need outside help with their fitness goals, but it takes more than that. You must first motivate yourself by setting realistic expectations for what you’re capable of.
If you want to 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 improve. But you don’t do it. Something is stopping you.
You are scared.
Do you recognize this problem?
When you have a big goal, you also need to be committed more to achieving what you aim for.
You will have to train for more hours, perform challenging VO2 max sessions, train on your own, etc. That’s challenging work.
So why don’t you stay in your comfort zone riding moderate distances, no hard interval training, and only group rides?
And guess what happens if you step out of your comfort zone AND fail?
There ARE definitive reasons to be scared and not take action.
But that’s why you don’t achieve the goals you dream 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?
You will start to move as soon as you realize that you are responsible for your results.
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 several cycling coaches and weight-loss experts to find a magic training formula, spend lots of money on nutritional supplements, etc.
But they don’t take the necessary steps to achieve their goals.
I have also seen many riders who want to take their performance to the next level but feel unsure about riding more hours, training more intervals, using a different cycling training plan, etc. So 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 afraid to succeed).
It is essential to notice that failure may be the outcome when you aim for a big goal. But 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 practical habits that make it easier and not-so-scary for you to step out of your comfort zone:
1. Train with successful riders
If you train with successful athletes, you can ensure that they have already developed habits that help them get their training done.
No magic intensities or intervals. No magical recovery drink.
The real secret is that 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)
Canceling is not an option if you want to achieve outstanding results.
Take the initiative and proactively design an alternative plan when needed. Blaming the weather is 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. But, unfortunately, it happens to champions as well.
Just try to relax and remember your long-term focus.
Concentrate on what is possible and inside your influence – not outside. It’s more important to get back into your solid training routine as soon as possible than to start a negative spiral where bad decisions lead to more bad choices.
If you have a tangible target 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 organized, manage your time efficiently, and be proactive. Draw up a training schedule and stick to it.
Don’t be distracted.
If you get distracted, make time elsewhere to do the training. This is a pivotal point to ensure your cycling training program is successful because there will be days when something interrupts your plans.
3. Make it easy for you to stick to your training plan
You must give your training the attention and priority it deserves to achieve great results. It’s also much more likely to succeed when you prioritize your daily training session the most.
Scheduling your planned training session in your calendar is one way to ensure you get your training done. And if you do so, please remember to do what’s on your calendar (before checking emails, SMS, watching television, etc.)
Television is probably one of the biggest time consumers in the modern world. However, others 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, and the easier it will become to commit to a solid and ambitious training program.
But most riders will NEVER achieve their goals.
You can whine about it.
Or you can find the courage and start taking action today.
The choice is yours.
Where to start?
12-Week Winter Training Program (e-book)
Time Effective Cycling Training (e-book)
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