Tips from the Pros: Staying Motivated while Social Distancing

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We reached out to some pros and asked them how they are staying motivated while they’re inside or isolated during the Coronavirus outbreak. They had great ideas to help us get through, and even make the most of this time.  

“With all the gyms being closed in my area, I was forced to get creative and make a home gym. Luckily, I had a few items such as a barbell and a few kettlebells, but I also got creative and played tug-of-war with my dog to replicate battle ropes. Box jumps are an integral part of my gym routine, so I decided to use the tailgate of my truck. Just make sure to exercise a bit more caution if doing this! I think it’s important to accept that what you put together won’t be perfect, but staying on top of your gym routine will be advantageous for when you are able to return to the gym.”

-Keegan Swenson, Professional Mountain Biker and Current XC National Champion

"Sugar Beets Cycling set up our first team Zwift ride this weekend replacing our usual team ride outdoors. We are really trying to stay healthy as a team, because who knows what kind of havoc this could cause in an athlete's lungs! After a few bumps with our IT department (we ride bikes, we don't do computers!) we were off! Chatting through our team comm app was a riot, the usual torturous trainer sesh was crazy fun, attacks were made, taunts were thrown, and no one wanted to end it. We are in this together, and the ride felt really special! Now we are planning our next meeting, a weekend dance party, and happy hours virtually to stay in touch, but stay safe, while we are at home with our families, and continuing to train."

-Sugar Beets Cycling Team

“Cycling is such a beautiful sport in the sense that you are able practice with friends and socialize. However, now is not the time to do so. Riding solo is strongly encouraged and something I plan to do until we are told different. Riding by yourself can be a challenge if you are lacking motivation, but it can also be a rewarding way to connect with nature and clear your head. I really enjoy riding solo and utilize it as a time to let my mind wander. Enjoy the process and know that its only temporary. Hopefully in a few weeks (or month’s) time, we will back to riding with friends and toeing the start line."

-Russell Finsterwald, Professional Mountain Biker and current Marathon National Champion

“Being told to stay indoors quickly becomes more challenging after a few days, so I’ve decided to utilize the extra time to test out a few new recipes that are normally a little too time consuming. Often, recipes require items you may not have in the kitchen, so I’ve made a list of items needed for a week’s worth of cooking and then purchased it in one trip to the store in order to minimize my time in public places. Doing so has allowed me to have fun cooking new things and pass the time.”

-Sofia Arreola, Professional Cyclist for Team Twenty20

“We are living in a unique time, experiencing something that likely has each of us dealing with some level of anxiety and uncertainty.  It can be difficult to find order in the world right now when so many things seem so chaotic.  Our routines have been disrupted, our communities and sources of support have been altered.  All of this can be a little unnerving. 

In the midst of all this, it’s important that we remember that we need to take care of ourselves, physically and emotionally.  There are some simple things we can do: get 8+ hours of sleep each night, drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet, stay connected (virtually) to friends/family and exercise.

For many of us, riding bikes is a key component to our happiness and well-being.  It provides us with an outlet, helps us manage stress and maintain a positive outlook.  While we may need to alter the way we do that right now, we need to make sure it remains part of our routine. 

Normally we look to have a lot of structure and focus to our training, ensuring that we optimize the effectiveness of our time on the bike.  Given our current situation, that approach may end up causing more stress, thus negating the goal of helping us manage stress.  Allow yourself some latitude, take a more relaxed approach towards training right now to make sure riding stays fun and enhances your daily happiness.  Think of it as you did when you were a kid, you’re going for a bike ride rather than a training ride.  Keep the joy in riding and maybe even try a few new things.

Use these solitary, social distancing rides as an opportunity to clear your head, get lost in your thoughts.  We are being bombarded with news and updates, this is a perfect time to shut that off and escape for an hour or two. 

Zwift is great option if you’re unable to get outside.  There are plenty of options for workouts, group rides and racing.  This will alleviate the boredom of riding inside and provide you with some stimulation and motivation.  Follow this link to get rolling and sign up for your free seven-day trial.

CTS has made their entire library of training videos available as a free resource to athletes as well.  There are over 20 workouts from which to choose.”

-Jim Lehman, CTS Coach

What’s keeping you motivated? Let us know!