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  • A lack of motivation
  • Premier Icon mboy
    Free Member

    Apologies for the brain dump… Not been coping well with a few things (Christmas anxiety, miserable weather, lockdown, personal health issues etc.) and they’ve been taking a toll on my riding.

    Been struggling for a while with motivation to ride. 2020 has, in a way, been the perfect storm… Horrific flooding in Feb/Mar meaning I could barely get anywhere, then the virus and lockdown (though as it eased managed to start getting some decent MTB rides in, albeit not with my usual groups), and now we’re back underwater again!

    In the midst of all that, I had a minor stroke. Nothing lasting, but it really shook me at the time. It also meant no MTB for a while (and have only ridden MTB twice since now, and have been a bit wary not to push it), though I did get out on the road bike a bit more with my GF instead…

    On a personal level, I find the usual routine of getting out with a group of mates on a Sunday helps a lot to keep me motivated, so not being able to do that has taken its toll this year. I have ridden my road bike sporadically, but mostly only under duress when the GF has dragged me out. I woke up yesterday (Christmas Day) and for once was determined to get out on a ride on my own, and the break in the weather and 30 miles in the fresh air on my own did me some real good and I felt much better for it. Woke up today feeling crap again, no motivation to do anything! 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Trying to work out what the triggers are and to counter them. I know and understand I’m much more of a social cyclist, it’s very rare I’m inclined to get out on my own but when it does happen, I know to embrace it (like yesterday) as I feel much better for it albeit briefly.

    Also trying to work out another plan of attack. Cycling is generally my only form of exercise. I had got back into swimming a bit prior to lockdown and had also started a weekly spin class with some friends, but obviously that has disappeared. I’m not unfit, but I’m not as fit as I should be for sure, and I’m probably 10-12kg overweight too. Everybody keeps suggesting running, but I tried it again briefly last year to no avail. I do feel like I need something else for the winter months, when motivation for cycling is waning though!

    Thoughts? Ideas?

    Premier Icon mattkkitch
    Full Member

    Sorry to hear about your situation. Just focusing on the winter exercise and motivation, have you ever thought about indoor Bouldering?
    I had a few goes just before the first lockdown then have gone regularly since they were able to reopen, I’ve found it’s a brilliant side hobby to mountain biking.

    Being indoors has obvious benefits in winter. Its extremely hard work, a session is a full body workout, I’ve lost weight, toned up and am feeling the benefits on my bike. Its both a mental and physical challenge and offers a different type of progression and goal hitting to mountain biking. Culturally theres a lot of cross over too.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    Running can take a while to become fun or even tolerable for many people. I love it tho, especially in winter, so easy to get a quick workout from your door or as a commute.

    Premier Icon tb927
    Free Member

    That sounds tough. This is what has worked for me in the past:
    1) I used to be a very competitive runner but not for decades as am heavier now and enjoy bikes more mostly. Instead of worrying about running properly these days if I can’t be arsed riding I just go into woods with fell running shoes when the weather’s shit and explore weird steep muddy trails. If I feel like breaking into a jog for a few minutes then good, if I’m not feeling it I just walk for a bit and check stuff out, no pressure to be a proper runner, just fun and kinda less motivation needed to get started as just pop shoes on. (only equipment tip would be proper muddy fell shoes are ace as no stress gripping when it’s slimy out).
    2) I never go to the gym but quite like having a dumbell and a kettlebell in the house. I don’t do either properly or systematically just lift them and throw them about for 10 minutes every now and then. The kettlebell is pretty fun and I find doing it and then feeling strong(er) cheers me up!
    3) Ever had your Vitamin D levels checked? Mine were terrible a few years ago despite being an outdoorsy person, so much so I kept getting sick and was super lethargic and dizzy and couldn’t train at all. Tons of UK people suffer from it but because it rarely properly destroys people they just put up with feeling chronically rough in winter. My GP doctor buddy recommends all Brits pop 800IU of Vit D3 a day from September through to March, as tons of people don’t have enough, and you’d have to go seriously nuts with overdosing to get a dangerously high level.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Free Member

    have you ever thought about indoor Bouldering?

    Yes, but only in as such as that I think I’d be crap at it! 12kg overweight and all my strength in my legs, wasn’t a good tree climber when I was young and slim even… 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Besides… I’m looking for some positive action for right now hopefully, not for when everything goes back to “normal” (whatever that looks like). I’d go swimming again right now if I could, but nowhere is open!

    Thanks for the suggestion, but honestly, probably not for me.

    Running can take a while to become fun or even tolerable for many people.

    I used to be a very competitive runner but not for decades as am heavier now and enjoy bikes more mostly.

    So, 25yrs ago or so, I was a pretty good runner. So I’d never have troubled Mo Farrah, but we’re talking sub 18min for a 5k in my teens. I was 50kg then… I’m 90kg now! I gave running a go a couple of times last winter. It nearly broke me! I managed 3.2km (2 miles) in about 23 minutes with the help of my GF’s labrador. I couldn’t walk properly for days, and though it was undeniably convenient to do, I derived absolutely zero enjoyment from it whatsoever! Conversely, my GF is now out running 5-10km now most days, she takes the dog out with her and drops him back home approximately half way through her run when he’s too tired to carry on, and she does another loop! I could get on my road bike tomorrow and ride 100 miles if you told me too (would help if I had somebody to ride with and a decent food stop mind), but I am no longer built for running.

    I never go to the gym but quite like having a dumbell and a kettlebell in the house.

    GF has these… Never been inclined to use them. Same goes for her spinbike etc. too… Swimming for me was a social activity I tended to do with my best mate, same went for spin class. I’ve actually thought about joining a running club to counter the previous post, but obviously where we are right now, that’s a non starter.

    Ever had your Vitamin D levels checked? Mine were terrible a few years ago despite being an outdoorsy person, so much so I kept getting sick and was super lethargic and dizzy and couldn’t train at all.

    No, and I really should have to be fair! Spent years dealing with Chronic Fatigue, suffer with Seasonally Affected Disorder pretty badly, and most years from the start of November until the end of Feb I spend most of my time wishing for the sun to come back and for the days to get longer so I can get out and enjoy Mountain Biking again! Not ideal eh…? Come summertime, I’m often the unbearable one that’s finding any excuse possible to get a ride in, and several times a week! 😂

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    I was forced off the bike on and off (now totally off) through soft tissue/muscle injury 4 years ago. Have piled a load of weight on since then and during Covid as our local swimming pool closed so I canceled membership. Swimming had replaced cycling as my ‘lifeline’ and and was helping enormously until closures.

    I can’t run because of existing foot problems now combined with weight problems. Motivation to comfort-eat whilst being gloomy about the possibility of cycling being effectively over were taking their toll. So I packed down my bikes about 4-5 weeks ago. Took pedals off, wheels off etc. Cleaned and stored. ‘So now what’?

    I tried a different tack and began walking at night/evening. Started out with a stroll around the block and built it up slowly widening the local loop up to a current four miles. As the weight begins coming off (even a few pounds), I feel better and more motivated and walk faster. And the ‘me time’ is appreciated. It helps clean the head. I’ve never really liked running and can’t know anyway owing to injury, but walking is getting better and I have begun little jogs between the faster walking paces that are all happening naturally. A lot of stiffness from lack of use and so calf and ankle-joint stretching exercises at home are helping too. It soon became apparent that a little discipline (getting out of the **** door) goes a long way.

    No exercise/no motivation = depression. Depression = no motivation/no exercise.

    ^ A hard cycle to break, but take easy regular steps with whatever you decide to do (even if just breathing exercises, stretches, yoga whatever) put time aside daily for your healing time/fitness and make micro gains but daily gains. Every day or every other day. And don’t compare your efforts/activity to others or to your old self. Compare only to your progress in the here and now. Losing weight and keeping moving. Getting outside.

    I also bought a 26/20 foot bike, so now can ‘runbike’ which feels as hard a work out as running or cycling (harder actually) yet also comes without the problems I experience either cycling or running and is a lot of fun on the downs.

    Lastly, during lockdown I sold my road bike and bought an electronic drumkit as a total beginner. Luckily turned out to be (for me) the best thing for mental wellness at home. I just stick the big headphones and and disappear for 20 minutes, work on sticking and rudiments, use youtube as a tutor, and if feeling really grumpy will whack drums along to videos of favourite songs.

    I’m aching all over from all this new activity. But smiles are returning and the gnawing cares seem a lot less (but not yet gone).

    At this rate I may even be able to build core strength and fix uo old injuries enough to try a ride come spring. But determined nothing will stop me walking whatever. And will swim again. In short, keep moving. Get out of the house. It’s our job to be good to ourselves and our body. Have combined local walks with errands that I used to do on bike. Fetch this, or that. Last week I walked a few miles for some seaweed snacks from the supermarket.

    Have also begun a once weekly afternoon walk in the countryside. So I drive out a few miles and explore new (to me) rural byways (using NLS website side by side map viewer the night before to scope places/landmarks/remains which maybe of interest)

    Got a 16l rucksack and a stainless steel 500ml flask of tea/coffee and a small plastic bottle of water. A sprung walking pole and some good boots. An MP3 player and a small camera depending on how I feel. Sometimes just take water and a few sugar free sweets and fruit. Will park up, boot up, and disappear for four hours or so. Too notch.

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    * edit/corrext:

    Sometimes I just take water, a few sugar-free sweets and piece of fruit. Whatever, I’ll park up, boot up, and disappear for four hours or so. I make sure that I have the required OS map or else mapped terrain/paths saved as pics on my phone (am tightarse/broke so use cropped screen captures from Streemap) Top notch!

    All the best, OP. Thanks for providing the opportunity to share. Relating the above has already helped me with cracking this Xmas inactivity cocoon (it still doesn’t take much for me to temp me to break my exercise routine, but I notice I’m getting more protective of my time outdoors again, and also feel mad guilt if ai miss a walk, all of which indicates that real change is occurring!)

    So, time to timetable and kick self out again, beginning tomorrow. New socks no excuse. 🧦🏔

    Premier Icon downshep
    Full Member

    Anything and everything can and possibly will, get you down. Everyone has tripped on a stumbling block, some of us won’t recover, most of us will to some degree. Keep charging on and live your life as best you can. It’s all gonna end at some point so cram the good stuff in as much as you can.

    Premier Icon thecaptain
    Free Member

    Join a club on zwift.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Great stuff from p7eaven there 👍

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    I have in the past sometimes struggled for motivation to ride.
    However through injury I’ve been unable to ride for six months now and still not sure when I’ll be able to ride properly again.
    The one good thing that my injury has taught me is that I’ll not be missing rides again when I can actualy ride because you never know when it might all be taken away from you.
    Like p7 i’ve also started walking even though I used to hate it.
    It’s still really dull but at least I’m outside and doing something instead of sitting there feeling sorry for myself. Walking helps me stop the negative thoughts about never being able to get back to the one thing that’s been a constant through my entire life. Riding offroad in some form or another.

    Premier Icon timbog160
    Full Member

    OP you’re not alone in struggling for winter motivation. For me it’s the prep and clean up which puts me off. I’d second walking (esp hillwalking) as a good option. It’s relatively cheap and very accessible (assuming you have transport). Also make you targets realistic, even easy, initially. That way you can get some successes under your belt, which will drive motivation. Good luck!

    Premier Icon 5thElefant
    Free Member

    I spent a year trying to fix my motivation. Tried various things. What worked was I cut sugar intake, increased fat intake (significantly) and added vitamin B12.

    I no longer need any will power to do anything.

    Premier Icon asbrooks
    Full Member

    OP it’s been a tough year for sure for a lot of people. This time of year with weather as it is makes it even tougher.

    As someone above has suggested having your vitamin D levels checked, while your at it ask about B12 levels. Last year I was struggling with low energy levels, I would feel so tired in the afternoons that sometimes I’d begin to nod off at my desk and I was showing symptoms of Lymes disease. I went to see my GP, although not my normal GP who initially fobbed me off. Eventually got tested which came back negative, by which time I actually got to see my GP who did a blanket blood test. Results low Vit D & B12 levels. Low Vit D & B12 have a massive effect on one’s mood.

    You may need high dosage injections to bring levels back to normal. It still take Vit D & B12 supplements.

    Premier Icon Del
    Full Member

    Sounds as though when you tried running again you went straight back in to it?

    If you’ve been off it for a long while you’d be better off with c25k I’d have thought? Your body is adapted to what you’ve been asking it to do. If you haven’t run for a good while it’s not going to be ready for it. The BBC/one you app was very useful for me (later 40s, never really a runner) as it gives you a framework that can help get you out the door.

    Also – don’t look for motivation, practice discipline. (Feel free to tell me to piss off!)

    Alternatively just go out on your bike for a potter about and just see where it takes you.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Full Member

    I have a spreadsheet on the desktop of my laptop. “You never don’t feel better after a bike ride.xlsx” it’s got a record of rides; date, temperature, conditions, type of ride, duration, how I felt before, how I felt after.
    Before is usually “reluctant” or “very reluctant”. After is always ” Great!”.

    It’s useful to see that no matter how bad it looks, you’ve ridden in those conditions before and felt great.

    Premier Icon Duggan
    Free Member

    Have you though lot about setting a goal or objective of some kind?

    E.g. “I’ll ride x amount of miles in January” or “I’ll get in the top 30% of that local Strava segment” etc

    Not everyone is goal orientated in their riding but I always enjoy it more when I’m aiming for something.

    That way, you’re going out to work towards fulfilling the goal, not because you especially “want to”. You’ll probably find after going out riding for a bit just to fulfil the objective the enjoyment will follow.

    I love riding but tbh I’m rarely excited about getting up early in the morning to head out- if I waited for that feeling I’d probably never go out. But I know I’ll feel better and see it as an investment in myself- the miles tallied and the benefits accrued now will all make those days in the future when the suns shining and I’m loving being out in the lanes so much sweeter, sort of like that will be a realisation of those previous days when I headed out reluctantly.

    Premier Icon dsizzle
    Free Member

    When I’m in a funk I find the following helps (a bit):

    1) Little and often. Just ride round the block. If it gets you 10 minutes of fresh air that’s still better than sitting on the sofa. Do the same the next day. One of those days you’ll ride twice round the block, maybe more, but don’t pressure yourself or think every ride has to be a gran fondo.

    2) Don’t wait until your motivated to cycle – cycle to get motivated. This really worked for me when I was training to run a marathon. I enjoyed running (kinda) but I hated training. I spent a lot of wet winter evenings waiting for motivation to run and it never came. Instead, I just put my shoes on and walked out the house. I told myself just run to the end of the road and if I’m still not motivated just turn round and come home. I never turned round. I may not have always ran my scheduled distance, but I always ran.

    3) Never beat yourself up for what you didn’t do yesterday.

    Everything in life is a habit. It’s easy to get into the habit of not riding, not running, being miserable. It’s also easy to get into the habit of cycling or running a little bit each day and being happy(er).

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Full Member

    For me the trick was to not set any goals for the ride – I would give myself permission to just do 5 minutes up the road and back again, no pressure to go further or faster. Of course 99% of the time I’d just keep going a bit longer, sometimes it would be 30 mins, sometimes a few hours, but I was always allowed to sack it off whenever I chose.

    Tbh you’re not alone in struggling at the moment. This coming week is weighing heavily on me too – I’m someone who finds it hard to not be busy and I have nothing urgent to do, no work, the weather isn’t looking great for riding etc etc. I had been thinking about early retirement but I may well review those thoughts this time next week.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Full Member

    Similar here, haven’t not ridden now for about 3 weeks plus, though still managing a bit of walking every few days.

    We have been contemplating a puppy for many years and bit the bullet 2 weeks back, so currently in the broken sleep phase with nighttime alarms for toilet trips. In about 10 days time he’ll be fully protected through vaccinations and I am very much looking forward to getting him out for daily walks.

    Feel too tired to ride and limited to local stuff which I find boring, hopefully I’ll get out a wee bit over the holiday period.

    Premier Icon n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    Trying the Festive 500, all on the turbo so far, has been good for giving me something to focus on regards cycling after my third major setback of 2020 from late September to early November (second Covid infection, or a different respiratory infection).

    Using the turbo for endurance foundation building is something I hate and won’t usually do, because I usually get saddle sore by one hour on a good day, but I hate going out in the cold and wet even more when it’s not paid like when I’m at work!

    Joining group rides has helped me do my best ride time week since pre-Covid back in February, doing two of my three longest duration turbo rides of the year over the past two days.

    It’s a different set of challenges to outdoor riding, but seeing some squirm about the Festive 500 allowing virtual rides this year, is feeding my own motivation to complete the challenge… Despite the post-Covid fatigue and SAD fatigue I’m feeling with along with legs of lead and a sore backside!

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    @mboy Have you got a local neighbour with a dog? Ask them to take you out on a walk or two (socially distanced naturally).

    We go out with our neighbours quite regularly, it helps to meet other people and outdoors is great for post exercise feelings.

    Premier Icon Simon_Semtex
    Free Member

    Thought you might like this:

    They keep popping up on my Facebook feed.

    Quite like the look of them, actually.

    https://www.theconqueror.events/

    I have a number of physical events (sportives and duathlons) booked for 2021 but didnt have anything to aim for in Nov/Dec 2021 so I’ve just bought the “Ring of Kerry” Challenge (as above) and will use the Conqueror Events app to track my progress during Nov/Dec.

    Just something extra to aim for during the darker months. At the very least, I will end up getting a nice bit of bling out of it and will hopefully stave off the black dog a bit longer!

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    OP, have you got anything else to do in your spare time?

    I realised that for me at least a lot of my (for want of a better expression) “self-worth” was bound up in the idea that I was both an “outdoors” sort of person and that meant I was “fit”. A lot of my internal energy was devoted to maintaining that image for myself and projecting it to others, sometimes at a cost of finding that I wasn’t really enjoying what I was doing, but was just doing it just because “That’s what I do”.

    I still do mountain biking and other forms of exercise, but I do them on my terms, ie when I want to, not when I fell I should. and for those other times, there’s still a bunch of reading, podcasts, a bit of modeling now we’re deep into winter, some bike maintenance, some walking…but I still ride, and when I do, I pretty much always enjoy it. Although like BigJohn has said up there, even when I’m reluctant to go, I almost always have a good time once I’m out!!

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Full Member

    Going cycling really early helps me. Like when its still dark. If you set out just before dawn (if you have to drive first drive to get there before dawn) you can enjoy first light, get a couple of hours in and still be back for a late breakfast. We’ve been so busy at Bird its the only time I can find to ride for riding’s sake (as opposed to specific work related riding) thats not also supposed to be family time. It really helps as it removes all those ‘other things I should be doing’ feelings as you know you’d basically be doing nothing otherwise.

    Premier Icon RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    I lost my bike mojo a year or so ago – quite a few reasons but id generally had enough of it and sold up. It coincided with taking a rescue dog so hill walking became ‘my thing’. I absolutely love a good walk with the dog for company up on the Moors/lakes/Snowden/Scotland etc. Even exploring local areas with the OS APP.

    Get yourself some decent boots and take the GF’s Lab out instead of her running it. Pick the bike up again when spring /summer is here and the trails are better condition.

    Premier Icon 1981miked
    Free Member

    I am in the same boat, really struggling just now. I have really bad joint pain in my knees and left elbow. Had all the tests for arthritis but they came back clear and doctors don’t really want to know now.. well it feels that way.

    It stops me sleeping at night and when I do get to sleep it wakes me up about 3am and I just doze from then until I get up. I’m taking 2 co-codamol at night to get me to sleep and rubbing copious amount of tiger balm on the sore areas. Tried ice and heat but nothing touches the pain and discomfort. I hallucinate the through the night and just feel dog tired every day.

    I try to stay motivated but I have zero energy at the minute. It feels like ground hog day every day, wake up, go to work in the dark, slog out a days work in the cold and go home when it’s cold and dark. I have a physical job (domestic fuel deliveries), so it’s hard on the body pulling the hose reel out 15+ times a day. My knees swell up and my left elbow screams in pain at night.

    I got an ebike this year as my knees are totally shot and I love riding it, the problem is finding the motivation to get out. I started hill walking again recently and went out yesterday for a 5 mile walk, nothing challenging really.. and I paid for it last night and today. Now that the excitement of Christmas is out the way it feels like spring time is a looooong way off. I hate winter time, got a couple of models for Christmas which I will crack on with once New Year is done but I have put weight on and I hate I can’t shift it because I feel I can’t do anything to get it shifted. Running is out the question, I swam before lockdown but that’s off the cards now aswell.  2020 can go take a run and jump.. can’t wait to see the back of this year.

    I feel totally bereft of confidence and self asteem. I like the idea somebody posted about the conqueror challenges so I’ll look into them. As always STW proves I’m not alone in suffering, the black dog is indeed bigger than ever just now. Good luck to everybody suffering and thanks to all those posting helpful advice so far.

    Premier Icon jodafett
    Full Member

    I was 95kg last Christmas with not much motivation either. Only got out on MTB with mates now and again but was too unfit to enjoy it much. I started running in lockdown and quickly realised how quickly it can improve your fitness. I was always at the back on the mtb climbs now I leave them all standing! I think you started back running with too far a distance. Rein it in a bit and build up the distance. Running has vastly improved my mental health as well as my fitness. I genuinely can’t recommend it enough. Just start slow.

    PS – I’m 80kg now.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Full Member

    I’m in favour of thepurist’s trick.
    Don’t confront the whole marathon session head on. Start with putting on your gear, throwing a leg over the saddle and saying 5 minutes will be enough.
    2 hours later you’ll be home, muddy, knackered and happy.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    I’ve been running for a couple of years. It’s still not fun, but it is oh so convenient (as you say).

    It’s a cliché, but the best form of exercise for you is the one that you’ll stick to. And that’s probably not running in your case.

    If you would like to have more motivation to ride, what I’d suggest is that you schedule in something like two rides a week for a month – and treat them like you would a work commitment, making them non-optional.

    And if you haven’t felt the motivation return by then, consider extending to three months.

    This should be sufficient time to embed it as a habit, so that motivation becomes a less
    important factor in getting you out the door.

    And if cycling just isn’t happening for you in the winter, consider joining the gym for those darker months. Getting stronger will boost your mood and motivation as well.

    PS. It’s my job to write about exactly this stuff and the above has been shown to work.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    Get yourself some decent boots and take the GF’s Lab out instead of her running it. Pick the bike up again when spring /summer is here and the trails are better condition.

    This is good advice. The Lab will really enjoy his favourite thing and you get a fan who will look forward to your arrival as good things happen.

    Premier Icon rockbus
    Free Member

    I feel pretty much the same, told myself I’d take opportunity of having time off work to get out on my bike agin but done nothing. Just not motivated and have zero energy. I realise that it’s probably a vicious circle but can’t get out of it.
    I use to mainly road bike but haven’t done it for so long that I’ve lost previous fitness levels so no longer feel comfortable joining the club rides and do t have motivation for solo rides. Only mtb I do is with my teenage son but he only wants to do trail rides so time and weather not helping with that.
    Also done some running in the past and I know that’s an easier quick exercise run but have no motivation to do that.
    It’s tough and I guess only answer will eventually to give myself the kick in the arse I need but it’s not easy

    Premier Icon djflexure
    Free Member

    Just get up and do something, early in the day, most days. Might put you in a better frame of mind for the rest of the day and stop any fretting over motivation too.

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    Everybody keeps suggesting running

    Walking. Two hours, eight miles. A proper Zone 2 walk. I know too many people injured from running. Comfortable shoes, normal clothes, add a coat, hat and, ideally, a dog. Sadly we don’t have the dog any more. But a proper walk with music is some substitute. And you can post it to Strava too 🙂 . My eventual aim is a sub-six hour marathon. I’m half way.

    Premier Icon Anna-B
    Free Member

    Mboy, sorry to hear about your stroke. Sounds really scary. My suggestion would also be running, but as others have said, not perhaps the speed or distance you started with more recently. Run/walk when bored of running, for me at the start that was after about 100m, I built it up so I ran for 200m, walked, etc. This was about 15 years ago and no c5k apps. Crucially for me, I never compared myself to anyone, i still don’t. No strava etc. The thing about running is it really helps cycling fitness, and is very convenient.

    hope you find what works.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Free Member

    Thanks all for the positive words, and to those suffering similarly good luck dealing with whatever is ailing you yourselves.

    I’ve had a difficult few days, not gonna lie. The day after Boxing Day was fab, it snowed, the GF was up for a walk and a play in it and it even got her kids out of the house briefly! The Dog loved the snow too, he’s mad for it! After her kids had had enough, we drove over to the Malvern hills for more of a play higher up in the snow, got some proper exercise and fresh air, and I’ve never seen the dog so happy which was great!

    Next day, I had to run a few errands, and went to pick up a new (to me) fatbike, taking the opportunity to take advantage of the conditions and seizing the opportunity of a bargain! All good… Long day mind, and was pretty exhausting. Next day was a wipeout as a result! Nothing… Didn’t even get out of the house! Felt quite annoyed with myself as a result.

    Anyway… Christened the Fatbike in the snow over the Malverns today. Glorious sunshine and an amazing sunset, and 2hrs of messing about in the snow on a bike that was arguably the right tool for the job (if very little else!). Feeling better now… 👍🏻 Planning on another ride tomorrow, so gonna get an early night… Just hope I actually make it, rather than wipe out in bed yet again!

    Great stuff from p7eaven there 👍

    Yes thank you indeed p7eaven… Put some things into perspective for sure without being patronising. 👍🏻

    The one good thing that my injury has taught me is that I’ll not be missing rides again when I can actualy ride because you never know when it might all be taken away from you.

    Good point well made Stu. Heal up soon! 👍🏻

    OP you’re not alone in struggling for winter motivation. For me it’s the prep and clean up which puts me off.

    This has been a part of it for me too, though not the sole reason… Still… A rigid Fatbike should minimise that excuse at least! Just need to get some hideous Mudhuggers as soon as the shops are open again and fully winter-proof it.

    I spent a year trying to fix my motivation. Tried various things. What worked was I cut sugar intake, increased fat intake (significantly) and added vitamin B12.

    Not saying it couldn’t be lower, but my sugar intake is a tiny fraction of what it was 10-20 years ago. I didn’t struggle then like I do now! 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Will look into the Vitamin deficiencies though…

    I have a spreadsheet on the desktop of my laptop. “You never don’t feel better after a bike ride.xlsx” it’s got a record of rides; date, temperature, conditions, type of ride, duration, how I felt before, how I felt after.
    Before is usually “reluctant” or “very reluctant”. After is always ” Great!”.

    It’s useful to see that no matter how bad it looks, you’ve ridden in those conditions before and felt great.

    Another good point, well made. In 25yrs of MTBing, I can probably count the number of rides on one hand that I haven’t felt better for doing afterwards!

    For me the trick was to not set any goals for the ride – I would give myself permission to just do 5 minutes up the road and back again, no pressure to go further or faster.

    I totally get this, and do it myself already. I judge rides by the quality of the smiles rather than the quantity of miles anyway, so am not beating myself up in that regard. Just sometimes I struggle to even get out the door!

    OP, have you got anything else to do in your spare time?

    Sadly, there’s always something else to stress me out… Getting ready to put our house on the market right now so we can move to a bigger house, there’s a crazy amount that needs sorting (I closed my business last year, the remnants of it are in our dining room!) that stresses me out no end! I’ve take a storage unit on a month by month basis to help store some of it, and sort it out to get rid of, but it’s causing me no end of grief personally! Also the impending cut in Stamp Duty end in just 3 months time is looming like a very expensive dagger over my head too! 😔

    This is good advice. The Lab will really enjoy his favourite thing and you get a fan who will look forward to your arrival as good things happen.

    I wish it was that easy… He’s a nightmare as he’s middle aged and stubborn, has to stop and smell EVERYTHING and he drops anchor at least 3-4 times in a 2 mile walk/run… All of this is fine if you’re just going for a walk, as he’ll run himself stupid whilst you walk along gently, but if you want to run with him, he’s a bloody liability! He won’t change either… Old dog, new tricks and all that… He acts like he owns the house, he certainly has my GF and her kids wrapped round his paw!

    And if cycling just isn’t happening for you in the winter, consider joining the gym for those darker months. Getting stronger will boost your mood and motivation as well.

    Which is why I was swimming… Which is why I’m REALLY struggling right now, because of where we are as a country and society at the moment! I was even doing spin classes which though difficult to get motivated for, helped a lot.

    Just get up and do something, early in the day, most days. Might put you in a better frame of mind for the rest of the day and stop any fretting over motivation too.

    Easier said than done… Same advice my best mate gave me, but he doesn’t understand how mental health affects people and can barely feign any sympathy towards it!

    Walking. Two hours, eight miles. A proper Zone 2 walk

    Trying to do more. Sometimes don’t even feel like doing anything. The sun does help though, don’t mind the cold at all but I’m sick and tired of the shit weather here in the UK! That said, the snow has been fun the last few days.

    Mboy, sorry to hear about your stroke. Sounds really scary.

    Thank you. Scared the life out of me at the time, not gonna lie. Fortunately it was barely anything to worry about. MRI and CT scans revealed nothing abnormal, so it’s been written off as an “anomaly” by the NHS rather than an actual stroke of any kind (I had all the symptoms, dropped mouth, slurred speech, lack of motor skills etc.) and I’m not classed as at risk of it happening again any time soon as such. That said, I now have a guaranteed fastrack at A&E if it does happen again though I’m assured…

    Crucially for me, I never compared myself to anyone, i still don’t. No strava etc. The thing about running is it really helps cycling fitness, and is very convenient.

    I don’t compare myself to anyone else either, but I do like to use Strava to keep track of my own activities, mostly to see where I’ve been and who with rather than anything performance oriented. I know what everyone is saying about running though, I need to find a way that I can do it without totally debilitating myself for anything else. My GF has ridden 100 miles in December for instance (on top of her cycling!), mostly 5 miles at a time. I know from experience I can’t do 2 miles even at a slow pace any more… 🤷🏻‍♂️

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