The best thing to do is stop training.
That’s right, you read correctly, stop with your interval work, stop with your super dialed in on-bike or running or swimming workouts.
And just RIDE (or run, or open water swim).
There is a time and a place for super structured riding and training, but when your motivation is at an all time high (for the year at least) and you just can’t seem to get the legs or mind to dial in for a structured session, then scrap it, and go for FUN.
The concept of FUN and exploring has been lost the last few years, as more and more folks join the “structured training for fitness” bandwagon, and we forget that life isn’t just about discipline, it’s about enjoying the fruits of the long term discipline and enjoying from time to time!
Crazy? Perhaps, But It DOES Make Sense!
This seems so counter-intuitive, as many think to take time off, sleep a little extra, eat some more, and look to maximize recovery. I’ve found over the years, that while each of those items is important and plays their part, what is often happening is mental burnout.
You’ve been training and pushing for so many months, and hours, that your MIND is just running on empty.
The motivation is there, you feel the strong pull to ride/run/swim, but once you get out there, you just can’t seem to push and get the workout done.
Now let’s make one thing very clear, if you are:
- having trouble sleeping at night
- waking up with sweating episodes
- Waking up in the middle of the night starving
- are waking up lacking energy and zeal
- are dreading your exercise sessions
- Have been dubbed “The espresso pit” by the baristas at your favorite cafe
then you’re going to want to talk to a professional dietician or coach about being in an overreaching or overtraining state. Both of which need to be dealt with properly and swiftly, to get you back to healthy and strong.
But I’m not talking about that today, I’m talking about when you are EXCITED to ride/run/swim.
But as you get going into your workouts you can’t push like you want.
The energy is there, but the inner drive isn’t.
There are times and places where you should dig and and double down. . . but mid-season when your motivation is high, and physical energy is plentiful, is more often than naught a time to USE your fitness.
Go explore a new route.
Go ride at a time you don’t normally train at (I have fallen in love again with dusk riding, it’s amazing!).
Go ride without your data displayed- put your bike computer in your back pocket and go where you feel like it!
Go enjoy the freedom and tap into your inner explorer.
Go have FUN and PLAY, instead of train.
Cool story: as a side effect of having fun, your fitness will improve, your desire to get out and ride/run/swim will go up even more, and you’ll find you finish more sessions with a smile and mental relief, than grimace and mentally fatigued.
2 thoughts on “When Motivation is at a High, But (Mental) Energy to Train is Low… Do this:”
Dusk riding, so clever. I have been spending time in the park at dusk walking my dog until dark. Maybe she can sit on the couch and I’ll hop on the bike.
One thing I would add to put the fun back in: get out of your kit and ride around the neighborhood on a junker bike. It’s fun, right?
YES!! Just go out and ride for fun/to explore!
I love dusk riding, and is actually how I got started training for the bike, as I was never really much of a morning person, lol.