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What can I do to stay motivated to cycle this time of year?

Ask a Pro — Diane Stibbard

Coach, Personal Trainer, and Two-Time Canadian Duathlete of the Year

Diane Stibbard - two-time dualthlete of the year

Question: “I’m feeling lost now that summer is over. What can I do to stay motivated this time of year?”

Diane’s reply: 
It’s easier to feel motivated and to stay committed to riding during the summer months when long hours of sunlight, make it easy to get the miles in before or after work. But what do you do this time of the year when daylight hours are waning, outside temperatures are dropping and the amount of time available to ride is much less?

Below is a list of the top ten things you can do to keep you motivated to cycle during November before the busy holiday season begins.

1. Create a motivating in-home riding environment by setting up your trainer in front of a TV or computer where you can watch your favorite shows.
2. Down load 2 or 3 new play lists of music to motivate you while riding.
3. Sign up for some spinning classes at your local spin facility or gym
4. Search the web for a race or event in 2017, and mark it in your calendar.
5. Just like a meeting is scheduled in your calendar, schedule in a minimum of 3 rides per week, and set a reminder on your phone/computer 30 minutes before to allow you to prepare.
6. Enlist a friend to ride with indoors. The company of others makes the time go by faster.
7. Set a weekly goal of riding minutes, then create a training log on your computer to record the time you spend on your bike.
8. Add variety to your weekly riding schedule. Search the web and download some new ride workouts.
9. Incorporate cross-training activities into your weekly schedule which will help you become a stronger cyclist. (e.g. yoga, strength training, core stabilization training)
10. Set a monthly workout goal, and reward yourself with something like a massage when you meet it. This will do both your body and mind good.

Why don’t people set goals?
Setting goals is a fantastic way to stay motivated.

* Most people don’t have clear, measurable, time-bound goals
* Many people don’t realize the importance of goals.
* Some people don’t know how to set goals effectively
* Other people fear failure.

Goals can be short term such as weekly or monthly, but you can also set longer-term seasonal or annual goals. To achieve your goals try adopting the S.M.A.R.T parameter below. This will help you define exactly what it is you want to achieve and how to go about doing that.

S – Specific – It must be clear and specific

M – Measurable – It must be measurable and quantifiable

A – Attainable – it must be both believable and achievable

R – Realistic – it should have a reasonable probability of success when you begin

T – Time bound – there must be a specific date attached to the goal

In addition to using the SMART paradigm you may also want to identify any potential setbacks or old habits that may prevent you from achieving your goals. From this list create a corresponding list of things you could do to counteract these setbacks. For example, it may be helpful to enlist a friend or partner to be accountable to, or perhaps a trainer or coach to touch base with monthly or every 2-3 months to help you stay on track. The main idea is to be proactive before things get in the way of achieving what you set out to do.

I hope this information helps you to stay on track with your goals but remember, we all need some down time, so make sure you take a break from your riding routine before getting into your off-season training.

Training for a two-day cycling eventDiane provides training programs for recreational and competitive cyclists, duathletes and triathletes, including nutritional counseling and personal training. Does your company need a fitness consultant? Get in touch with Diane to discuss fitness seminars for corporations

You want personal training but don’t live near Diane? No problem. Diane does email and telephone consultations. To learn more, visit Diane’s website or contact her at

Check out Diane’s e-programs: Keeping Fit in the Off-Season and Training For a Two-Day Charity Event For the Time-Starved Cyclist.

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