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Where Does Motivation for Cycling in Winter Come From

By Jiri Kaloc

Training in bad weather or indoors just doesn’t compare to those epic summer rides. It’s not uncommon to feel a lack of motivation as the off-season settles in. If that’s happening to you now then this article will put you on the right track. Let’s take a look at a few things that are good at generating motivation for cyclists.

Plan races for 2020

Having tangible goals that have a specific date attached to them makes all the difference. If you know that your first race of the season is happening on the 20th of April, then you will look at your training differently. You might feel like your winter training is your secret weapon, your advantage over the other competitors who will start riding in spring. Having the season planned out will help to motivate you a lot for sure.

The 2019 L’Étape was a fantastic experience.

Try a different style of cycling

Trying something new can be the best motivator to train more. If you are a road cyclist, maybe winter is the right time to test out some mountain bikes or fat bikes in the snow. You can also try finding a BMX or skate park and try something completely new. Any form of cycling will transfer to your discipline in some way, be it better handling or more explosive power.

Get indoor training equipment

We all know that a new bike can make people ride a lot more than usual. Of course, most of us can’t buy a new machine every winter but perhaps getting new indoor equipment is a good enough excuse. You can either invest in rollers for your road bike to train on, buy an indoor trainer or a Wattbike if budget allows. The novelty will surely make you motivated to train hard.

Rouvy is one of the possibilities.

Buy some new winter gear

The same goes for riding outdoors. There’s plenty of useful gear for winter you have probably been planning to buy. So, if the motivation is running low, maybe it’s time to get those new warm gloves, merino base layer, new lights, waterproof windbreaker or overshoes.

Exercise with your friends

Social accountability is a surprisingly effective motivator for most people. You know what happens when you say you will go to that spinning class with your friends and then you don’t show up. The fear of being ridiculed, teased and made fun of by your peers is usually enough to make you go even when you don’t really want to. And when you do decide to go, you might even enjoy your training a lot more than alone.

Friends riding the Col de l’Iseran – the highest pass in Europe at 2,764 metres above sea-level. © Graham M. Lawrence / Alamy / Alamy / Profimedia

Try different sports

Cross-training can be helpful year-round but especially in winter when the weather is not great and you don’t have a great indoor setup, a new sport can be just the thing to keep you motivated. You can go for the winter classics like cross country skiing, swimming, yoga or the gym. Or you can try something completely new to get yourself excited like an indoor climbing wall, skateboarding or ice hockey.

Rest up

One thing that’s often overlooked is that motivation is also affected by the physical state of the body. A well-rested mind and body crave exercise naturally. So, perhaps a good rest is what the off-season needs, especially if you’ve been training hard while doing overtime at work and preparing for the holiday celebrations. Maybe an easy week or even two is all it takes for motivation to come back in full force.