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Staying Motivated Through Fall

24 September, 2018

The sun is setting earlier, it's getting colder, and the switch from summer to fall can make sticking with your cycling and workout schedule difficult, which means you need a solid game plan in place to keep your cycling fitness levels up. While most of us want to keep up our summer bodies and outdoor cycling routines, the most important thing to that we focused on is feeling our best and find ways to remain strong as we enter a new season. Here are some ways to staying healthy and motivated this autumn.

GET YOUR DOSE OF DAYLIGHT
The change in available daylight during the fall creates an opportunity to really commit to those morning workouts. If you’re affected by weather and light like me, schedule your workouts at the beginning of the day to soak up that early sun. Morning outdoor rides or runs are hands down my favorite thing for this very reason, especially when I'm traveling, training or want to take advantage of a beautiful morning for a scenic fall ride. Another advantage? The rest of the day is yours. Working out earlier will guarantee that your workout gets done, this will then allow you time in the afternoons or evenings to relax and enjoy all that fall has to offer!

YOUR SELF-CARE SCHEDULE
At the start of every month, plan out your schedule. After that’s in place, decide when you’ll plan your "me moments.” These include your rides, appointments, holiday gatherings, coffee with friends – whatever!  Planning in advance lets you set a reasonable agenda and keep both your outside obligations and personal priorities balanced. We don’t want to feel guilty about things that make us happy, both our workouts and our extracurricular activities, but both are possible.

REASSESS YOUR Training
Have your eye on a spring century ride? This is your time to prepare for your fall workout and overall training regimen. I like to use the end of summer to reassess my goals for how I’m going to tackle my autumn and winter fitness. It’s not pretty and by no means easy, therefore I take time to check that I have enough weather proof cycling kit to get me through any weather–weather-proof jacketsweather proof gloves, warm but breathable jersey's and, most importantly, a program that allows me to work on my cycling fitness indoors. Make it an exciting time to try new things and carve out a prep period that sets you up for greatness.

STRETCH VS. STRESS
If there’s a reason to commit to stretching, this is it: with packed schedules and the holiday season right around the corner, stress levels can skyrocket. A way to balance them out is stretching after a workout. This is going to calm your central nervous system–when we’re stressed, it affects our hormone levels and that can lead to gut issues, acne, injuries and poor sleep. So, if I haven’t mentioned it yet, take a moment to de-stress by loosening up after all of your hard work.

SHOW YOUR STRENGTH
One thing I'm going to be trying is picking up heavier weights this fall and more leg days. Remember, if you want to see new results in your cycling game, you need to start changing factors in your fitness routine. Maybe it’s not everyday, but consider ‘graduating’ from those 5lb to 10lb weights! Similarly, up your indoor cycling game. If you’ve been mastering a few rides per week, now’s the time to see what else you’re made of comfortably indoors as temps drop more and more. For the first month plan for 2-3 workouts per week and the second month plan for 3-5 workouts per week. The third month? Leave room to surprise yourself!

You know the big secret to motivation? Find something you’re passionate about, that makes you feel better, stronger, happier than when you started and soon you’ll stop making excuses for not going for that ride or run. You’ll find yourself looking forward to your next session no matter how cold, early or dark it is. 

For more posts on staying motivated the autumn, you can read more of my post on Staying Motivated To Cycle and how to Stay Healthy On Your Bike This Fall.

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