The Occasional Athlete

A cyclist trying to be fast(-ish) again

Maintaining Motivation and Sticking to the Plan

Posted at — Dec 11, 2018

In the two weeks since my last post, The Plan has been going well. In fact, this is the most consistent period of training I’ve had in years! I’ve been completing my four planned rides per week along with some strength work and the odd run. A few weeks ago even moderate intensity was a struggle. Now I’m handling around 60 minutes of sweet-spot no problem. I’m surprised by how quickly I adapted to this training intensity. I guess having nearly 20 years of hard work in the legs has had lasting benefits!

So, how have I stuck to The Plan and stayed motivated? Well, writing this blog has helped as I’d hoped. I didn’t want to write about how I failed due to my own laziness. Turns out public shaming is a great motivator! I’ve also lost around a kilo, down to just over 86kg. Of course, exercise has helped but it’s more down to eating less junk food. Besides this blog, competing with one of my colleagues has been a great help here! We get a point each time we eat or drink something we’re trying to cut down on. In my case, this means points for junk food and drinking more than three coffees per day.

What’s coming up then? I’m over half way through TrainerRoad’s first sweet-spot base plan and have two hard weeks left. The second of these falls during my Christmas break from work so I’m planning to make this a big one! By “big” I don’t mean more intensity, I mean a higher volume. I’ll be able to fit in another couple of long-ish easy rides over the week. It’s tempting to add lots of intensity during a week like this, which is something I’ve done in the past. This rarely works out well. You might think you will have lots of time to recover. But, speaking from experience, if your body isn’t used to that amount of intensity you’ll end up breaking down. Be sensible, increase your training load gradually and consistently with no significant spikes and you’ll be on top form after a few months!