What I do if I’m not feeling motivated.

After getting out of my Spanish class today, I felt bluh. Bluh means that all I really wanted to do was eat a gallon of ice cream while binge watching The Good Place. It means my motivation was down the drain. Why? Well, there could be a few reasons.

  1. I didn’t have anyone to ski with.
  2. There’s no new snow and the skiing is pretty mediocre right now. It’s hard to find soft turns.
  3. I’ve been eating way too much sugar recently.

So what do I do when training sounds like a bad idea? I start. Usually, all it takes is 10-15 minutes of getting ready to go train, putting on the clothes, and getting out the door. And then maybe a few minutes in the activity and the motivation comes back. If it doesn’t, then I allow myself to take it easy and just go as far as I can. Someone once told me that motivation is just there to establish habits, and then it’s the habits that keep us going. It’s nearly impossible to be motivated every day. There are almost certainly going to be days, maybe even weeks, months, or for some people whole seasons where motivation is hard to find.

Another trick to help me get my training done, even if I don’t want to is music. I intentionally don’t always listen to music, so that when I do it has a more powerful affect. Music can help me get pumped and get moving, when I really don’t want to.

Finally, a 30 minute power nap can transform you. If you’re really not feeling it, take a short nap and chances are you’ll be able to have the motivation to get started afterward.

There are a few things that have helped me to stay mostly motivated.

  • I try to keep things fun by riding fun trails, exploring new areas, skiing good snow etc. This helps me see it as an adventure rather than training.
  • If I have intensity work, I try to do a small local race or chase KOM’s.
  • Having short term goals, both daily, and bi-weekly like I discussed a few weeks ago.
  • Get a training partner. The chances of both of you feeling unmotivated on the same day is pretty slim. Having someone to meet up with at specific time to go train with increases the probability that you’ll get it done, even when you don’t want to.

What you shouldn’t do when you’re feeling unmotivated:

  • Scroll Strava or other social media. It makes it easy to get in your head, which can lead to problems on race day.
  • Eat sugar: Sugar can give you a spike of energy, but the problem is that it’s followed by a crash.
  • Stay up late. It’s important to feel well rested and recovered to be motivated.

So today, I combined music with getting started and it helped me get out the door. Once I was on my moped driving up to Rock Canyon, I felt pretty good again. The first 30 minutes were excellent! After a little over 30 minutes the snow started sticking to the bottom of my skins, making the transportation slow and a lot less fun. This pretty quickly tanked my motivation so I went to step 3: go as far as I can. I ended up getting out for about 2 hours. It’s not as much as I needed to be on track for my weekly Training Stress Score (TSS), but it’s not bad. I’m also going missile sledding with a friend tonight which should give me a bit more. But if I want to be on track and get 750 TSS this week, I’m going to have to do a big day tomorrow. Probably 7+ hours of activity. I’m not sure if that’s on the table, but I guess we’ll see.

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