I don’t know about you, but if I know I have some challenging intervals on the menu, I get really nervous. I actually procrastinate and come up with a lengthy list of reasons why I can’t or don’t need to do it today.
Of course, I do need to do it, not only because my coach prescribed it as part of a larger plan towards my (self-imposed) performance goals, but the actual session is important for a physiological reason, as the duration, intensity, and recovery time will actually, in the scheme of things – make me a stronger and faster rider.
Herein lays my first bit of motivational magic. Know the PURPOSE of the session. This really helps me. Ask your coach (or yourself), what is this session aiming to achieve? Why is it best done indoors? What sort of physical goals am I working towards? You can write it down if you must, stick it on the screen on a post-it note!
Knowing why (eg, “I want to finish the course at nationals”) or (I want to podium in the B grade club crit) is helpful, but really zooming in on session specifics and how it relates to the bigger goal is a huge helper for me.
Indoor training can achieve things in a shorter period of time with the ability to get really consistent quality in that sometimes you cannot replicate outdoors.
GET SET UP… PROPERLY
I have self-sabotaged my intervals before by procrastinating until the last minute of my available training time windows, and then tried to sync Bluetooth, set-up my bike, find the course I want to ride (sometimes scrolling FulGaz rides is like scrolling through Netflix options, top many good options!) and all the while made myself stressed and thrown the whole session in the ‘too hard basket’.
To overcome this I set an alarm on the phone an hour before or the night before my session. Fit the bike in the trainer, the get session file loaded to FulGaz and the power meter paired.
Make sure you have your bidons in the fridge full and ready to go. Plan your ride fuel food and lay them out next to the bike. I often choose a podcast the same length as the session so I have to get through it in sync.
Climb aboard your bike and let’s get going!
JUST. START. PEDALLING.
Let’s be real, sometimes I have no issues getting on and smashing out a solid session, but in respect to the days where the first 5 minutes feels like an eternity, I simply start pedalling and focus on just that. Next, I break it down into smaller chunks, and this is a proven method for working through what feels like a large task.
I even do the same in races, “okay, stay with the break for the next 10km! Okay, just attack for one minute, just one minute!”
I will just focus on doing the 10-minute warmup. Then I think, “okay, it’s just eight minutes of threshold, so do two minutes, okay, now another two, I am at four minutes, halfway! Two more minutes, okay, bring it home!”
Then focus on the recovery interval, and don’t start anticipating the next hard hit out until you actually start.
Sometimes I don’t get through the whole session, but sometimes that is okay! Doing two thirds of a quality session is better than not doing anything at all. When you do get through the whole session, don’t forget to congratulate yourself and finish on a high note, satisfied and spent, so you can feel a bit more confident about getting the job done in your next session.