6 Tips for Making it Stick

12
Jun
2013

We’ve had quite a few readers write in asking how they can find passion for cycling and use it to help achieve their fitness goals.  Today’s post is the starting point for making it happen.

Cycling saved this runner

So you’ve decided you’re going to get that body of yours into better shape, and you’re going to use the bike to help make it happen.  Good job.  I couldn’t think of  a better vehicle to take you there. But to make sure this thought becomes a lifestyle that sticks, here are a few tips:

  1. Start Slow – A lot of times people get so fired up with their new fitness motivation that they go gang busters for the first week or two….then when they realize they can’t keep up with the intensity, they totally drop it all.  Start small.  Make a goal of getting on the bike 3 times per week for 30 minutes.  Get comfortable with that and then slowly start increasing the amount of times and duration of your rides. A great way to track your riding and stay committed is using Daily Mile to journal your rides.
  2. Get a Good Bike – If you’re pulling out an old hardware store, no-name brand bike from your storage shed to take out on the rides….you likely won’t be enjoying the ride like it’s intended.  Invest in yourself and buy a good bike.  Whether you go with a road bike, mountain bike, hybrid, or whatever….a good quality bike will make it easier to stick with it. It will provide a smoother ride with minimal maintenance and the funds you sunk into it will also help add to your motivation to get on it. (if you need help selecting a good bike, please ask us or stop by your friendly neighborhood bike shop and have them help you out)
  3. One Bad Day - Okay, so you got caught in a rainstorm while riding…a dog chased you down….your neighbors saw you in your spandex; don’t let it stop you from getting back out there and doing it again next time.  Same thing goes for missing a couple days.  All it takes is one step back in the direction of your goals and you’re back on the way to success.
  4. Friends – If you’re the type of person who finds motivation in numbers….find someone to go out riding with you.  You can also join a bike club where you can get in on group rides catered to your riding level and make some new friends.
  5. Eat Well - Just because you’re burning up calories and boosting your metabolism by riding your bike, don’t think you now deserve to splurge on all those treats.  Your body needs good quality food now more than ever so that it can fuel you through those increasingly tougher rides.  Eat Well My Friends.  (Hydrating yourself properly is equally important).
  6. Suffer – Don’t let the thought of a tough cycling workout scare you.  If you truly want to get in better shape, you’re going to have to push yourself.  A nice easy ride through the neighborhood is a good way to get you started, but before long you’re going to have to start challenging yourself more and more. Yeah, that means lots of sweat, pain, and suffering….but, believe it or not, it just may be something you start looking forward to.  When you’re out there pushing yourself to the limit you might be hating it….but I’ll guarantee that when you’re all done and back home, you are going to feel like a million bucks…and just itching to do it again.

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to cycling or just wanting to take your cycling to the next level, these 6 tips will be the building blocks to success and for making it stick.  In my opinion, there is no better form of exercise and I hope that you too are able to use it to make that body of yours better. Remember, it’s the only body you’ll ever have.

I know at least a few of our readers use cycling for weight loss….if you’ve found something that has helped you stay on the bike and stick with your goals, please share them.

Enjoy Your Ride
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6 Responses to “ 6 Tips for Making it Stick ”

  1. Eric Hutchins on June 27, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Great Advice
    I also like Chris’s comment about Commuting,I really wish that I lived in a place you could do that, would gaurentee me at lease a little saddle time.

  2. Paul Kirby on June 15, 2013 at 9:41 am

    These are great tips. I’d add that, if you don’t ride much in the winter months, take it slow again in the Spring. I have a tendency to hop on and go for it which has resulted in aggravating a knee injury to the point that I couldn’t ride and went to physical therapy earlier this year. I’m back on the bike, but it’s reinforced the need to go slow if you’ve been off the bike for a bit.

    Also, when I first started I got really caught up in “training”: How many miles I was riding per ride, miles per week, average speed, time, etc… This got really old and started to bum me out after awhile. Eventually, I simply decided that the numbers weren’t as important as the fact that I was out and about on my bike. If you’re into the numbers, great. They can be fun to track and a good way to gauge fitness and progress. But if you’re not, don’t get caught up in them or in the “training” mantra you see in bike magazines and on line all the time. I don’t call it training anymore – I just go out for a ride.

  3. Chris. P on June 15, 2013 at 9:22 am

    If its feasible. Commute to work every day on your bike. That’s what I’ve done for the last year and a half. Rain, snow, hot or cold. I found it a challenge to learn what kind of gear I needed for different conditions. I learned in the summer when it’s 90′s and 100′s that I will need to bring a change of clothes. In the winter I learned layers and a good rain and wind proof jacket are a must. And I the rain fenders and rain pants will keep you dry.

    Selling my car also helped.

    • Paul Kirby on June 15, 2013 at 9:42 am

      I did that a couple years ago and LOVED it. I really enjoyed biking to work almost every day. Due to kids’ schedules and so forth, I can’t commute by bike anymore, but I hope to get back to that some day.

      • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm

        I always love hearing about people’s passion for cycling and commuting. Thanks for posting, Chris and Paul.

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