Lessons From Winter: Laying the Foundation for Long-term Gains

In the sport of cycling, winter is a time for base training, which is essentially long, slow, and relatively boring miles of riding. We cyclists often find ourselves riding alone this time of year due to our competitive mindsets. We know that if we ride with others we will probably end up racing, which is not a smart way to train this early in the year. Even though this is the least physically demanding time of year, psychologically it is the hardest part of training because you feel like you should be doing more.

This feeling that you should be doing more seems more pervasive this time of year than during other seasons. The dark and quiet of winter offers time for rest and reflection, a natural break in activity, preparing for the new life that will come forth in spring. But technology has allowed us to defy this natural break in activity and enabled us to stay on the go constantly. With the advent of the Information Age, we are now also constantly aware of what everyone else is doing. The constant comparing and competitiveness often leaves us feeling both exhausted and inadequate.

If you are constantly on the go but somehow feel like you should be doing more, then you are most likely in need of rest and reflection. Just like in base training for cycling, this sounds easy but can be mentally difficult to execute. However, it is vital in laying the foundation for new and exciting things to emerge.

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