RideLondon 100 and a thought on training motivation

So you will no doubt see plenty on this blog about my preparation for RideLondon (or RideLondon-Surrey 100 to give its full, rather catchy title).

After initially failing to secure a place in the ballot, I’ve been offered a place by Macmillan, the cancer support charity, to ride (and raise money) for them. I have a very strong personal reason for supporting this charity, which I’ll share in due course.

In the meantime, the purpose of this post was to ask a question (which may turn out to be rhetorical if no one responds). Please bear with me during the ‘set up’.

Here’s the background:

  1. I know I should really get out on the bike, particularly in light of the need to ride 100 miles in 7hr 30m in August (that’s what I’ve said I can do…)
  2. The riding conditions are ok: it’s above freezing and I don’t think there was a frost last night; it’s dry with perhaps the odd spit of rain
  3. The biggie: I’m just not feeling it.  I’m a little tired; there’s a bit of a fug going on in my head

Here’s what I know:

  1. I should put my kit on – this is easy to do and the feel of tight lycra on skin is not unpleasant (ahem)
  2. I should tell myself that all I’m going to do is ride around the block
  3. Once I’m out and riding, I’ll just keep going and I will enjoy it

And here’s the question (thank you for your patience):

Why don’t I just do that (put the kit on and ride down my street)?

More specifically, why am I still thinking about the longer ride (which I’m obviously procrastinating about) and not trusting the judgement of the future me (the one that will be sat on the bike, either enjoying it or not) to make the decision then?

Am I worried that the future me will decide to go for it?

If so, why does that bother the current me, who should arguably be pleased that he would become the sort of future me that elects to ‘just fugging do it’?

What do you think? Am I just going mad (in a slightly philosophical way)?

16 thoughts on “RideLondon 100 and a thought on training motivation”

  1. Tricky one my friend, but I hear you. I too spend more time in winter buying kit, reviewing new kit, signing up for rides and planning elaborate training regimes than I do in the saddle. I too am v much looking forward to donning some summer lycra and hitting the streets without having to clean the bike and bleach oil out of my kit upon my return!! Got the interesting challenge of balancing Blenheinm Tri, London Tri and the Ride100 – I feel a spreadsheet coming on! Well def get some training rides in…. someday?! I also put 7hrs 30! I fear I’ve over-egged it a touch! Wes. PS now get out on the fugging bike!

    • Good news Wesley. I made it out and, as expected, the future me was a better person that than the original lazy me. I don’t wash my bike as much cos I don’t have a Pinarello….

  2. Didn’t understand this blog, Andrew. If you’re finding excuses not to ride your bike, then perhaps you don’t like riding your bike…?

    • Thank you ‘Lantern Rouge’ for your helpful comment. I was looking for someone to give me the final push to get out there. Luckily my wife did, I enjoyed it and generated considerable wattage that my strava followers will have been amazed by. What are your cycling ‘A’ events this year? The Hell of the Kent in march?

      • Ah. So you DO like riding your bike. Or is it that you don’t like not liking riding your bike? Anyway, glad you got out. No doubt the fug and tiredness have gone!

  3. Interesting question, and for me the answer to which explains why it is much easier to motivate oneself if you do have a challenge like the RideLondon 100 in the diary. I like to think of it as saving up for something, to use a banking analogy (a subject I know is dear to your heart). Lets call your account the Banque de Fitness … you don’t have any money to start with so you have to make regular deposits to prepare yourself for the inevitable withdrawal at the end. If you don’t, you’re not going to be able to pay for what you want (oh and you will pay, believe me, but it’ll be worth it). Some of the deposits will need to be large, but “every little helps” and what you don’t want to do is leave it to the last minute and have too much to do. So even if you ride round the park, that’s a little positive step in the right direction to your goal. When you do a bigger ride you can be sure you’re getting there. I have had some horrific, cold, long, hilly, hard and morale sapping rides but you can always kick back at the end and know you made a huge deposit in the fitness bank. So my advice is don’t beat yourself up about not hitting 70+ miles every week, sometimes it just doesn’t work out, but do keep an eye on where you need to get to and keep chipping away at it …. it’s a lot easier to get your ar$e out of bed if you realise that by accumulating the odd missed session you are in fact putting your whole target in jeopardy. Happy climbing Monsieur Grimpeur (ps I didn’t get a spot but in fairness I may have forgotten to enter …)

    • Thanks John. I am prepared to accept the analogy topic (just!). I guess my ‘bank account’ is online for all to see (on Strava) so you can kick me up the backside if I’m falling behind.

      • Dear Grimpeur, as my moniker suggests, I’ve been struggling with my pedalling technique for some time. Books and the internet give all sorts of advice. Perhaps you might blog on the subject of perfecting ones pedalling technique and when and what variation might be appropriate? (excuse the random Q but there isn’t anywhere else to post it on your website).


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