Have a goal and still be flexible
A goal is important to many when it comes to sports. If you can work towards a nice event or have a certain performance in mind, training goes without saying. How different is it now with all the perils around Corona. That nice tour is in the agenda with a very thin pencil but can be undone in a few moments with an eraser. Larger multi-day events have little chance of happening until after the summer, no matter how much we all want them. It is the reality that makes us realize that it is no longer a given. Does a goal have to be static or can it be flexible given the circumstances? It is an art to come up with an alternative and thus keep that incentive for a workout. It can be the right trigger for motivation.
Learning from mistakes
It's a real-life story I'm running into myself. In the early 2020s I registered for a multi-day event that was cancelled a few months before the start. The reason may be obvious, but my motivation took a dent. Where I was so well on my way with training, good nutrition and a decreasing weight, I had from one day to another nothing anymore. The goal was gone, the motivation was dead and morale was at an all-time low. The mental preparation for the start was suddenly no longer necessary. I kept on cycling and doing my mileage, keeping in mind that this trip would really happen one day. The year 2020 may be behind us, but the same cannot yet be said for Corona. As with many things in life, you learn from your mistakes. This year with the same question marks over goals that are fragile, I want to do things differently.
Think of an alternative
The event, my big goal last year, has been neatly moved to this year. Personally, I'm not so sure it will go ahead and that didn't help my training. Uncertainty is often not a good advisor and the doubt about whether or not to go ahead kept running through my head. So the issue kept gripping me and at some point during a bike ride it brought me clarification. To keep my motivation and to start training despite the uncertain goal, I thought of an alternative on the bike so I would not fall into the same trap as last year. I came up with the idea to ride my own tour on the days that the event is planned, in case it doesn't go ahead. With this I kill two birds with one stone. I have turned on the insecure button between my ears, do my rounds and finish my blocks properly. I am looking forward to the event, but at the same time I am also looking forward to my own alternative.
My goal: Around the Netherlands
For those readers who are curious, I would like to share my alternative in outline form. For the planned event I would be away from home for nine days. To make sure I can cycle, I will stay in the Netherlands for those nine days and make a circuit of over 1600 kilometers. On average, I'll be cycling 180 kilometers a day, which means I won't be skipping training in the coming months. I'll ride from apartment to Airbnb on my own, enjoying the Dutch landscape. Solved!
For more information on Round the Netherlands see this link
Have you come up with an alternative to planned (bicycle) trips? My tip: do it. For me, it provides peace of mind and brings back regularity and motivation for training.
Who is Bastiaan?
My name is Bastiaan Gaillard and I live in Hilversum with my girlfriend and two daughters. The sport of cycling is in my fibers and cycles at a smooth cadence through my blood. Cycling makes me happy, I can enjoy a cycling race on television without limits, I am a freak of materials and I express all this with love on socials and famous cycling blogs. I love to steer my beautiful road bike, get lost on my gravel bike and sometimes dive into singletrack on my MTB.