It's now just over four weeks until we set off on our challenge. How time flies! And this last month is going to be where the training really kicks it up to the next notch. With that in mind, here's ten tips to help you power through a training session...
1 : Have a mantra!
When your legs are burning and that little in your voice in your brain is telling you to stop, having a mantra to repeat can save the day. Remind yourself what you’re working towards, repeat that it's all about willpower - whatever works for you.
2 : Savour the pain…
“Pain is weakness leaving the body,” as they say! It’s proof that your workout is making a difference and that after your recovery you will be stronger and fitter. If you’ve got to this point, why waste the moment?
3 : Train together
If you normally exercise alone, then go out in a group or pair and make a competition of it. It’s much harder to quit when the person next to you is still going strong.
4 : Think soothing thoughts!
"Ouch, ouch, ouch!" If this is what you’re thinking, of course you’re going to want to stop. Instead, try thinking of a meditative hum which can help you to relax and keep your focus.
5 : Change the pace
If things really are getting too much, switch down your workout to the lowest gear to allow yourself some time to recover. You’ll still be making progress, and it will be much easier to pick the pace back up than if you had stopped completely.
6 : Picture the finish line
There’s no better feeling than that post-exercise high – and it’s always in proportion to how hard you pushed yourself! Use the promise of that ‘afterglow’ to keep pushing yourself further.
7 : Count up or count down
It can be really help to motivate you and keep you focused if you count. If you’re going for distance, try repetitions of counting to one hundred to give yourself to work towards. Alternatively, some people find it easier to push themselves when they see their workout as a countdown. Try both and see what works for you!
8 : Switch on the music
Make a playlist of your favourite upbeat, heart-pumping tunes to help you power through the tough spots. Loud, fast music has been proven to have a positive effect on cardio performance! Alternatively, slower and more rhythmic music can help you maintain a steady pace.
9 : Set mini-goals
Rather than thinking of it as one 50 mile ride, which is a lot to handle for nearly anyone, think of it in smaller sets – 10 lots of 5 miles.
10 : Plan your rewards!
Dangle a metaphorical carrot in front of you to inspire yourself to keep on pedalling. Whether it be a premade smoothie you’ve brought with you, the promise of a pub lunch at the end, a new piece of kit or a hot bubble bath when you get home, make sure that you have a reward in mind to keep yourself motivated through your tougher rides.