Picture this scene: You’re lying in bed – before even having time to open your eyes – a tidal wave of realisation drowns any ambitions you had for the day.
The crash of thunder that woke you, that’s actually the bins you put out last night getting effortlessly tossed around by a relentless wind bellowing through the streets.
The running water you can hear, it isn’t your other half in the shower. That’s the sound of perpetual rain hammering against the window.
You’re supposed to be doing seventy-five miles of endurance on your bike today, and you can’t help but sigh,
“That’s going to be like doing a four and a half hour ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”.
It’s January, still dark outside, and your goal for the year isn’t until October. How do you motivate yourself to get up and head out into the weatherbomb exploding outside?
Living in the North West of England, this is exactly what I expect to wake up to this weekend. Luckily I have a few tricks to help get me out of the door.
At least it isn’t as bad as…
I think back to the last time I was really, truly, miserable on my bike. Today can’t be as bad as that can it? For me, this is during the Festive 500 in 2013. I was at the furthest point from home. Where turning around was going to be no quicker than carrying on when it started snowing. Sideways.
I was at the top of the biggest climb of the day, completely exposed. It was Christmas, I’m on a hill in the middle of nowhere and the cold hurts so badly that I want to cry. I don’t get phone signal out there, and no one was around to help anyway. I had a complete feeling of isolation and it was terrifying. So, no. Today will not be as bad as that. Man up and get out.
This is going to toughen me up
Miles are training for your body, the weather is training for your mind. If you can get yourself outside even when every fibre in your body is telling you to stay in bed, you can get out of the saddle and attack the last climb when every fibre in your body is telling you to back off. Drop the other guys, not off the back. Man up and get out.
If / Then
Using power to train gives me some lovely graphs that reveals just how fit I really am. If I can make these bigger than ever during winter, that means I have a larger base to build an even higher peak when it matters. One that towers over my previous years personal bests (and rivals). Man up and get out.
I’m more committed than the guy that’s still in bed
Which means I’m going to beat that guy in Spring. Lets look at it another way. My average cadence is 98-100 rpm. If I pedal for three hours today that’s 17,640 more times I’ve practiced turning the pedals. In one ride. Have I convinced myself yet? Most likely! Man up and get out.
It’s still fun!
Windy as hell? Great, smash some Strava segments for godsake and show the internet how tough you are for going out in such ridiculous weather. Man up and get out.
Coming home feels awesome
There’s nothing like getting home after a few grim ours, showering, getting dry and indulging in a delicious home-made hot chocolate or cappuccino and watching the Kudo’s and comments of how crazy-tough you are come rolling in… Man up and get out.
I always make sure I reward myself for going out. Something I wouldn’t normally have or do that day. I try not to go crazy (maybe some sweets or a trip to the cinema), but thinking about this little treat while I’m out is sometimes the only thing that keeps the legs turning when things get really grim.
I imagine willpower like a torch shining a bright light on my goals, but every time I switch it on I’m using some of the battery. Eventually it’s completely drained. My little treat recharges it and I’m ready to go again.
Those are my pro-tips. So what gets you out the door when the weather’s poor?