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Fighting the late summer blues

It happens to the best of us. You're training hard, feeling good, and then you hit a slump. Maybe you're not feeling as motivated, your fitness seems to be plateauing, or you're just not enjoying your rides as much as you used to.

If you're in a cycling slump, don't despair. There are a few things you can do to get back on track and revive your season.

Take a walk week break

Sometimes, the best way to get back on track is to take a break. This doesn't mean you have to give up exercise altogether; maybe just slowing it down and doing something more simple will help. So try taking a walk week by replacing your typical training schedule with 5-7 days of walking for about 60 minutes a day. Make these walks purposeful in a fun way.

Here's an example. About six years ago, I had just started working with a new athlete, and as we got together, she became interested in the old town I lived in. So (potentially much to her chagrin) during my walk week, I took her for a walk by targeting at least four cool historical sites each day, which I would take a picture of and send to her. This helped me shut down my training brain and focus on my "now" and my environment. This will give your body a chance to rest and recover, and it may also help you to clear your head and get back into a positive mindset.

Set new goals

If you're feeling bored or unmotivated, it may be helpful to set some new goals for yourself. This could be anything from entering a new race to simply riding a certain distance or elevation. Having something to work toward can help you to stay focused and motivated.

Find a new challenge

If you're feeling stuck in a rut, try finding a new challenge to take on. To me, this is one of the best ways to reinvigorate my relationship with training and the bike. This could be something like riding a new route, trying a new type of cycling, or even just setting a personal best on a familiar route. Taking on a new challenge can help break out of your comfort zone and get excited about cycling again.

Change your routine

If you've been following the same training routine for a while, it may be time to shake things up. Try riding at different times of day, exploring new routes, or even just changing the order of your workouts. A change of routine can help to keep things fresh and exciting.

Get social

Don't be afraid to lean into the cycling community. Many of us isolate ourselves as we begin to lose some enthusiasm and energy for cycling, but this might be the worst thing to do. Search out some new groups doing different things and join them. This takes a little social courage but can really be fun!

Reviving your cycling season enthusiasm is not always easy. Sometimes you may just need to step away, but I suggest giving some of the tips above a chance before you make that decision.


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