WHY DO YOU DO IT?

"You can have too much, of a good thing" A statement that is very true when it comes to hobbies and sport.

When your training, riding or running experience becomes very samey, or if you lose sight of what you want to get out of it enjoyment can dip and you can become bored very easily, this leads to frustration, agitation and falling out of love with whatever it is that you previously loved so much.

Lockdown doesn't help with us only being able to exercise in our local area, so running and riding can get repetitive quickly for one.

In today's blog I want to show you that these feelings are normal, and that there are ways to get over them. Starting with a bit of relatability:

My personal story:

Over the course of recent weeks (and months) I have been off the boil with riding. I was plagued with mechanicals towards the end of last year meaning I didn't get much consistent riding in. This made me feel unfit and lacking in skill. My fitness is very important to me so I wanted to get that back.

This lead to me constantly wanting to be on the move, not enjoying the social and fun side of riding that I also value. And getting frustrated when people stopped to talk.

I was always wondering why I wasn't enjoying myself, riding out of my comfort zone on things I regularly ride was also getting to me and I just didn't enjoy the adaptation process to a new bike, new tyres, the weather and not really knowing why I was on the bike.

Essentially, I had lost two things about my riding.

The first, was balance. I wasn't getting the correct balance of fitness and fun. Something that I knew I had to rectify.

The second, was purpose. I wasn't going out on the bike with a purpose in mind. So everything was kinda being done as an all in one. Which, as a friend of mine rightly said. Can't be done.

For me riding in the winter was always about being fit and not stopping as I hate being cold. But I always rode with mates on weekends and that was where I had the most fun. With training rides being done during the week.

So what did I do?

I took a step back, looked at why I wasn't enjoying my riding. Why I wasn't bothered about getting up early and narrowed it down to the above two things. 

So how was I going to rectify these things?

On the balance aspect, I had nothing to actually train for. I wasn't racing this year and didn't really have many plans to race at a serious level anyway. In my opinion it's going to be a while before that stuff happens so why was I putting pressure on myself to be the fittest, why was I hammering myself and doing things I didn't want to do for the sake of it?

I don't like riding in the snow, or the crazy ice so why?

I sacked off the I must ride mentality and put on my trail running shoes once again. Accepting that I wasn't going to be as fit as I was through the last lockdown with regards to running I went out for a run in the cold fresh icy weather and loved it. It was still being outside, it still got my HR up and there was no cleaning the bike in the cold weather, no faffing about after.

This moment was an eye opener for me as I realised I had done something becoause I wanted to, and actually enjoyed doing it. Helping me plan balance into my life.

So I had this moment, I then needed to get the balance back. I did some reflection, realised that I was at my happiest when I got two fitness focused rides/runs done during the week and focused on enjoying myself on the bike during the weekend.  So this went back into the schedule. 

This is how I have always trained, and how I have found for me, the perfect balance in terms of riding.

2x fitness focused rides a week and 1x more relaxed ride where I can have a laugh, get some photos, work on skill and sessioning jumps/drops.

This reflection allowed me to create a plan of action for my riding so I go into every ride now knowing why.

If I am on a fitness ride I will plan a route out, and then attack that route with no deviating off course. If I am out for fun then I will scope out new trails, ride what I want to ride and slow things down a bit.

The last couple of rides I have had have been the most enjoyable ones I have done for a while, so I want to ask you:

Why do you do what you do?

Is it fun, fitness, or both?

And have you ever fallen out of love with it recently?

I would love to hear your thoughts so                 here and share your story with me!

Have a great day.

Adam.

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