Being a coach is so much more than just setting a training plan, this is just a part of it. True success is when you understand what motivates and what works for your athletes. Wanting to find out more I surveyed a range of athletes to see what does and doesn’t work for them and have included my top tips for getting your training done.
The most common reasons for training were fitness, events/races, to improve as a cyclist and lastly weight loss. Speaking from experience having an event to aim for really helps to keep me motivated and to stick to the plan even on those cold, dark winter mornings!
Of all the athletes surveyed a whopping 83% train on their own so you are not alone if you are thinking “it would be easier in a group”. The fact is most of us are time poor and unable to train with others consistently so we need to work out how to manage this and stay committed to getting the sessions in.
What’s stopping you getting your training done?
There is no surprise that time was the biggest barrier to getting training done with 50% of people ticking this. Next was weather and motivation. The easy win here is the turbo trainer which eliminates both barriers of time/weather.
The turbo is a great time efficient tool which is one of the best investments you can make to improve your cycling. A 40min turbo session can be the equivalent of over an hour on the road not to mention the time you save getting you and the bike ready to go outside and that is before anything goes wrong while on your ride! The most popular length of session surveyed was 45min-1 hour, which I have also found, works best with the athletes that I coach.
What would help you get your training session in?
The joint top two factors to help get the training completed are accountability to a coach and group training. Now I appreciate that not everybody can afford a coach however you see many athletes buying the latest “upgrade” or “fad” out there in the hope of quick gains but maybe if they were honest with themselves hiring a coach maybe a cheaper option? Remember it is all about consistency when it comes to improving on the bike!
If you like the group training aspect but lack time then why not join the thousands online using Zwift which combines video gaming with physical training. Other platforms such as Strava can be useful adding an element of competition amongst athletes on segments on the road and also Training Peaks to plan/record your training, seeing the session green and not red can have real psychological benefits.
My Top tips for getting your training done and staying motivated
Become Accountable – For me this has to be number 1 and you need to find out what/who you can be accountable to.
Turbo trainer – Not just buy one but get a bike set up on one and make the environment a place where you want to train so whether that’s posters on the wall, TV screen etc.
Enter an event or have a goal – Write it down and put it somewhere visible such as on the fridge.
Become part of a group or community – Joining a club/team and training with others will really help when motivation dips. This does not necessarily mean you have to train in person with others, although this is a good option, it can be as simple as joining a Facebook group or becoming part of a Strava group.
Be organised – Plan your training just like you would your work, set your sessions, write them down in your diary and lay everything you need out the night before so you remove any barrier to not completing the scheduled session.
Hopefully that has helped and if you have found something else that has worked for you then add in the comments below! #trainsmart