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The Mental Aspect of Winter Training

The mental aspect of training in winter can be the hardest part. We worked with Utmost Performance  to figure out what you can focus on to keep those winter blues from derailing your training even with a vast majority of rides on the trainer. Here’s a brief interview with Mario Arroyave on how to stay fresh and focused in winter.

Whats a good tip to stay fresh and mentally motivated in winter when your choices are ride the trainer or experiment in other sports (skate skiing, Fat biking,) ?

First off let me say that if you live in a place where the winters are harsh you should not feel guilty if you are lacking motivation to train at times. For many folks the appeal of riding your bike is to get outdoors. When that is taken away from us it makes it harder for many of us to get the prescribed work done that we would have otherwise done if weather conditions were in our favor.

That aside however, we all know that the work still needs to get done, so many of us are willing to look for other ways to make that happen.  Whether you choose an indoor activity or something outside it’s not always cycling and this is a distant second for many of us in terms of its enjoyment.

Remind yourself why you are putting in the work. The principle of training in order to gain fitness and compete at a certain level is a powerful motivator. Notice it is a principle and does not have feelings or emotions tied to it. You believe in doing the work and thus it gets done. Simple in theory but difficult to apply I know. If you ingrain this mindset principle deep within yourself however you’ll be surprised at how much joy you can begin to find in doing the work even when it isn’t riding your bike on the road.

What can you focus on to stay happy and confident in winter when you’re fatigued and training hard but it’s not the time to see high numbers but it is the time to train?

I gave a long answer to the first question so this one will piggy back off of it. When you commit to doing the work you need to have some idea of how all of the pieces of the puzzle your coach is putting together for you work. This will help you understand why today’s workout may read differently than the work you’ll be doing a month from now. This takes trust on your part. Your coach has put together a plan that is aware of goals and metrics that you’d like to achieve.

If the work your coach is laying out for you gets completed then you’ll be where you’ll need to be when the time is right. This mindset takes patience as well. Below I have included a graphic (above) showing how growth and improvement happens. If you notice most of the time the person looking to be successful will be in a plateau. This means you cannot necessarily see the growth but that does not mean it isn’t happening.

Mario Arroyave owns and operates Utmost Performance. He is a Mindset Coach with a Bachelor’s degree from Florida International University in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Sport Psychology from the University of North Texas. He is a member of the Association of Applied Sport Psychology. Mario was a former NCAA Division I runner and is a current Category Cyclist in Texas. Learn more about Utmost Performance. Up your mental game this year!

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