Tips for Overcoming a Training Rut

Cyclist in a training rut
As a cyclist, there's nothing more exhilarating than training for a big ride or event. It gives you purpose, motivation, and a sense of accomplishment. But what happens when that excitement fades away, and you find yourself struggling to train? This is a common phenomenon called a training slump, and it can be frustrating and demotivating. As someone who has experienced this firsthand, I understand how it feels.

Let me share my story with you. In 2020, I was training for a tour across Texas, which was scheduled for the July. I had been cycling for years and had participated in many events, but this one was special. I had put in months of training, and I was excited to take on the challenge. However, around three months before the ride, I started to struggle to put in quality rides. Even worse, I found myself making excuses for not riding.

At first, I thought it was just a temporary setback, but the days turned into weeks. I wasn't making any progress, and my motivation was at an all-time low. I knew I had to do something to break out of this slump, but I didn't know where to start.

If you're going through a similar experience, know that you're not alone. Training slumps happen to everyone, and there are things you can do to get out of it. Here are some tips that helped me break out of my slump:

Change up your routine: Sometimes, doing the same thing over and over can become monotonous, leading to boredom and loss of motivation. Try changing up your routine by trying a new route or a different workout. Adding some variety can make training feel fresh and exciting again. I often find myself riding the same routes and so I started changing the routes up and found that I started enjoying it again.

Find a training partner: Having someone to train with can make a big difference. It can provide accountability and support, and make training more enjoyable. Reach out to your cycling club or find a friend who shares your passion for cycling. I'm pretty much a loner when I ride but when I do happen to see a fellow cyclist, I will try to ride for them a while just for the difference it makes for a few minutes. Sometimes, that is all you need to start feeling better about your training.

Take a break: Sometimes, taking a break can be just what you need to recharge and come back stronger. Take a few days or a week off from training and do something else you enjoy. This can help you clear your mind and come back with a fresh perspective. I often take a break when I feel stagnated in my training. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of days but rarely more than 4.

Training slumps are common and can be frustrating, but they're not the end of the road. By changing up your routine, setting new goals, finding a training partner, or taking a break, you can break out of your slump and get back to enjoying your training. Remember, cycling is supposed to be fun, so don't let a slump take that away from you. Keep pushing forward, and you'll be back on track before you know it.

Here is my next post:  A Terrifying Night: My Experience Riding from Lubbock to Pensacola


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