Avoid the midsummer slump and keep riding well to the end of the season
How to stay fresh all summer
Staying motivated throughout the full season is a big challenge, even for the best riders in the world. Many of us start off our winter training with loads of motivation. We dream of big rides and lofty goals. By midsummer, this motivation can often be flagging. We find ourselves struggling to get out on the bike. Yet, this is the time of year we should be enjoying riding the most. To keep you from falling into a midsummer slump, here are some ideas to keep you passionate about getting out on your bike.
Try switching disciplines within your sport. For instance, if you are a roadie, hit up some trails on the mountain bike. Or vice versa. A change of metaphorical scenery can do wonders. Even better: an actual change of scenery can be a real inspiration. Think about planning a long-weekend getaway, such as a mini-training camp on some new roads in an area that you have never explored. Also, put aside your head unit and just enjoy riding. Don’t worry about heart rate, power numbers or Strava. These can often be detrimental to your enjoyment of a beautiful summer’s day. Finally, from a training perspective, you might simply need a bit of time off. Think about not riding for one weekend, maybe taking a break from that group ride.
Think back to the riding you’ve been doing to date. You probably trained with some discipline all winter and then started doing group rides once the weather improved. Group rides often turn into mini-races. If you’ve been doing them a couple of times a week all summer that means that you have been racing two or three times each week. We warn everyone at the gym to manage their efforts and be careful not to overdo their group-ride racing. Even the pros get tired when they race too much. So, skip that hammerfest for a week or two. Do a couple of weeks of simply riding, enjoying the scenery with some like-minded company. Then, refocus on your end-of-season goals.
Plan out a mini-block of training to get your legs feeling race-ready again. Perhaps some tempo and microintervals. You want to do just enough to feel spritely, but don’t overdo it and put yourself back in that fatigued hole.
Summertime is when we all should be doing the most riding. Change up a few small details to find some new interest in your sport. Enjoy the rest of the season. Some of the best riding is yet to come.
“Heart rate, power numbers or Strava – these can often be detrimental to your enjoyment of a beautiful summer’s day.”