"Crunch" - Cyclist
Cycling is a sport that has a broad spectrum of participants - from the highest level athletes who compete around the world, to the weekend warriors who enjoy riding with other local cycling enthusiasts. The beauty of cycling is that there is a vast range of abilities and backgrounds represented under the label of cyclist.
The bike can take you on a myriad of adventures. It can be vehicle for exercise, transportation, friendship, competition, and much more. The sport of cycling lends itself to those who have patience and determination, with many of the sports' top athletes reaching their peak potential in their late twenties and early thirties.
Improving your physical abilities on the bike or having the time to ride doesn't just happen though; it takes planning and dedication in order to succeed. If you and your family really enjoy cycling, but are challenged with the time commitment required, you may want to assess your lifestyle. Are the little things you’re doing off the bike affecting your performance and success on the bike? These include things like work schedule, diet, routine, and sleep that can greatly influence your enjoyment of two wheels.
Your cycling should not become the dominant factor that controls all of your time and consequent actions. However, there are choices that you can make that will benefit you as an individual, as well as your family. Some factors you don’t have control over, others you do. This is your chance to have a say in how you choose to live.
We all know that this is important to have a grasp on, in order to accomplish the things we set out to achieve. Take a few minutes to sit down and look at how you spend your time in a typical week. What you want to do when you are assessing the ways in which you use your time, is to define what has importance in your life; create your own, personal mission statement. It can look something like this:
Spend time with family/friends
Be a good neighbor
Pursue cycling in a balanced fashion
Now equipped with your mission statement, you can use it to determine and rank the activities that are actually important and align with who you truly want to be, and what you want to accomplish. This can help you to weed out things that aren't truly important and end up taking you away from those things that actually are.
Work & Play
Most people work pretty regular jobs that require you to show up on time, wear certain attire, meet deadlines and quotas, etc. - the list goes on and on. Just what you need when you come home from work is another job waiting for you… Don’t let cycling become a job, because it’s not. Remember what we just talked about: think of the reasons you ride. The tricky part in all of this is to be disciplined, but not be a drill sergeant. Allow yourself some grace.
There are many things you can do that will set you up for greater success on the bike. For some it might look like waking up early before work to ride outside or on the trainer; maybe it makes sense for you to commute and save on fuel expenses while getting some riding time in; still others will come home from work to hop on the bike and catch the news while they ride the trainer and get some interval efforts in. None of these methods are proven to equal unmeasurable success, but they might help you to achieve the results you want in a more balanced, measurable manner.
If you are still reading, then cycling must be important to you, or maybe this blog is. What are you waiting for, go ride!
Remember when we talked about goals in last weeks' post? Well, assuming you've determined goals for yourself and defined your personal mission statement, you can create and action plan to implement the riding you want to achieve on a daily basis. Here’s a basic schedule you can use to help keep you motivated and on track for the week:
Monday - Easy/Off Day
Tuesday - Intervals/Group Ride
Wednesday - Ride How You Want
Thursday - Easy/Off Day
Friday - Intervals
Saturday - Longer Ride/Group Ride
Sunday - Medium/Long Ride
If you have a plan like this, it is much easier to be motivated to get your workouts in, even when life happens. Make sure to include rides that you will look forward to balance those that are more difficult for you physically and mentally. Riding should be fun, it should not be a chore.
Family & Friends
When it comes to family and friends - find fun ways to incorporate and include them in your riding experience. Just because those who are close to you don’t have the desire to ride like you do, doesn't mean you shouldn't find ways to include them in it. Think outside of the box. Look for events or races that the whole family can attend and enjoy the atmosphere of the area and the local attractions. You could roadtrip with a friend and have a portion of the trip that you ride and they drive support - stopping at cool restaurants and destinations along the way. The key here is to make it about everyone, not just you.
If you can do this, you may find that you receive more enjoyment out of the sport because you are sharing it with others - most importantly, those who are closest to you. You will also have a larger group of people to encourage and keep you accountable to what you want to achieve.
Our hope is that these words helped you to think of ways you can pursue your cycling, whether racing or riding for fun, in a more balanced, fun, and effective manner.
Please comment about ways that have helped you to incorporate riding into your daily routine. If we have enough content, we may have a user based post, that includes your ideas.
Coming up next week: Crunch: Runner