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Early morning rides - a vicious cycle

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Early morning rides - a vicious cycle

Old 02-01-16, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
Seriously, if you wait for motivation, you may wait forever. People don't wait for motivation to clean the house, or cook the dinner, or take out the trash. It's their obligation to themselves. If you choose to see exercise in a similar light, you'll do it despite not feeling motivated, and motivation will return because you'll enjoy it and your mood will improve. What is it the Catholics say? "Behave as if you have faith, and faith will come". This is the same.
^I agree completely with this. I get down sometimes myself, OP. But my habits force me to move ahead. Btw have you seen those light boxes people with SAD sometimes use? Supposedly they work quite well, I"ve thought about getting one for my wife and I to use during the gray months here.

Oops, I see the poster above me already thought of that.

Editing yet aagain to add that yeah I see light boxes will not work for you now due to your eye situation. I'm probably still gonna try this for my wife and I.

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Old 02-02-16, 07:55 AM
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I make time to go to the gym and do some lifting, swimming, and cardio, usually stationary cycling or walking. I don't want to be weak when riding season comes back around, but I also have spring and summer chores to do, and vacation activities that require considerable strength and stamina. That's barely enough motivation. If my wife wasn't on board with the regular workout schedule, I would end up at the sports bar eating wings and mini tacos and drinking beer. I'm hoping to get into some CX, this season, so "fat, weak, and slow" are off the agenda!
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Old 02-02-16, 08:00 AM
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Woke up at 4:00 AM.

Checked the temp 67*F

Time to ride before the cold storm arrives.

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Old 02-02-16, 08:46 AM
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I know a guy that swears by Saint John's Wort. If you try it, make sure to get one that states how much active ingredient it contains. It has a subtle effect and takes about two weeks to build up in your system. He begins taking it in August as the days start getting shorter and stops in April to give his body a three month break.

Also handy is an alarm clock with a light that slowly becomes brighter over about 30 minutes before the alarm goes off.

Probably most important for this guy is going to bed early enough to get the necessary sleep.
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Old 02-02-16, 09:03 AM
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Are you in a situation where you can bike commute? I am able to bike commute year-round due to generally mild winters in NC, and that keeps me motivated to ride. I stay in such good shape from commuting that I have no trouble doing longer 50-60 mile rides on weekends and transitioning to higher mileage when the weather warms up and days get longer.

I started bike commuting 9 years ago during Bike to Work week, initially planning to ride once a week at most. I enjoyed it so much that I quickly increased the frequency to 3-4 days/week. I actually enjoy commuting more in the winter than summer because I hate hot, humid weather and it's much easier to dress for the cold. My mood is much better on days that I ride, and it also help me maintain my fitness and weight.

Another thing that I do to get more exercise and time outdoors is walk a lot. I walk during my lunch break at work and on weekends with my wife, usually averaging 25-30 miles a week.
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Old 02-02-16, 10:48 AM
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I don't suffer from SAD nor am I put off overly much by cold. I do try to keep my attitude fresh on those recovery days and when I don't feel up for a ride by walks. It helps to have a pleasant place to walk which for me a the local state park with fine views of Narragansett Bay and a soothing section of woods. The main thing is to get out and get moving.
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Old 02-02-16, 11:37 AM
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Lots of people have SAD here in PNW.
This year we've yet to get that week (or even a few days) of solid sunshine, regardless of the temperature.

My recommendation is to get out of the house.
Any place to go for a forest (or facsimile) walk? Regularly? Paceline it.
Grab an old hobby (must be fun & still do-able at your age). Clean & Rebuild a bike?
Turn off the TV. Radio or stream your favorite tracks.
Email an old friend or family member. Something happy.

Coffee helps me get things done around the house.
No alcohol beyond a beer or wine at dinner.

Good luck.

addition: Read a book, some funny stuff out there. We have 2nd Hand Books for cheap. Libraries have tons of magazines.
Don't beat the dog. What no dog? Foster one during winter months from a local shelter. Win-Win-Win = Dog/Shelter/You?

Fill days with volunteering. My favorites = ski patrol, forest service (wilderness + snow shoe).
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Last edited by Wildwood; 02-02-16 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 02-05-16, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring
Model Railroading gets me thru the winter months.
Now, if you use a bike powered generator to power your trains, you can keep in shape, too.

GH
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Old 02-07-16, 01:39 PM
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I've been in the outdoors so much that being out at 3am-4am isn't anything unusual (I used to mountain climb and early starts were the norm). Almost zero cars on the road at that time, and I live in a more modern suburban area with wide, well lit roads that makes it easier to get out there. And the toughest part is getting out there - once I'm out and pedaling it seems to be easy to keep going. Early morning is also a great time to look at the sky (find stars, planets) if you're an astronomy junkie (picked that habit up while climbing, too!). Anything you can do to keep up the workouts will also help with SAD.

Is there a 24 hour fitness club near you? Join it and try using the stationary bikes, rowing machines, recumbent bikes, to keep up a decent level of fitness.
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Old 02-07-16, 04:37 PM
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Thanks for all the comments and advice, which I will take on board. At the moment cycling has had to take a back seat as my 89 year old father has been hospitalised following a series of falls and free time is quite limited.

His situation will take a long time to be resolved and, in the meantime, I will fit in cycling and walking outdoors as time allows.
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Old 02-07-16, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick
During the summer I love getting up early for my bike rides, before the trails/roads get busy.

This winter it's a whole different matter. I've always suffered a bit from the SAD syndrome but this year it's been much worse, exacerbated by family health issues, plus the much duller/damper than normal weather. I'm taking vitamin D tablets, and they've helped a bit, but I still struggle to get out of bed before 8.00 a.m.

Hence the vicious cycle - I'm feeling down so I'm not cycling so much, and I'm not cycling so much so I'm feeling down. We had a bright day yesterday so I went for a ride in the morning, but I was so knackered I didn't really enjoy it.

I am a member of a gym, but don't even go there much.

You fellers in the the northern States and Canada must have even greater problems with winter weather so what are your ways of keeping motivation through the darker months - or is it just a case of me needing to shake myself and follow Rule Five?
I live in SE Va. It gets cold, but we don't have the winter the northern states have. I don't leave as early as I do in the summer, but I put on 5 to 7 layers and go. I don't ride as fast because I can't make my legs turn that fast until I ride at least 15 miles and the blood starts flowing, but I stay in shape. Since I'm getting ready for a 200k in March, I'm doing centuries to prepare. Yeah, the non-cycling community including my wife thinks I am off my marbles, but that's the sacrifice you have to pay to ride long distances.
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Old 02-07-16, 06:15 PM
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My doctor advised me to get a light box. He said if I couldn't afford one to get two 2 tube 48" flourescent light fixtures and put daylight compensated tubes in them. Have one pair above me on the ceiling and the other pair on a board and standing up facing me. It helps a lot. So does getting outside even if it's cloudy as it's still far brighter than indoors.

In winter I do a lot of riding at night (dark) in the country. It's very quiet and extremely restful. I'm in Central Ontario, Canada.

Cheers
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Old 02-07-16, 06:47 PM
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Motivation? Having a job works for me. I have to get there somehow, eh?

Days I go in the car ... meh!

Days I go on the bike ... OK! LET's GIT'R DONE!!

I think I have taken the car maybe 5 times since the school year started in September.
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Old 02-07-16, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder
I've been in the outdoors so much that being out at 3am-4am isn't anything unusual (I used to mountain climb and early starts were the norm). Almost zero cars on the road at that time, and I live in a more modern suburban area with wide, well lit roads that makes it easier to get out there. And the toughest part is getting out there - once I'm out and pedaling it seems to be easy to keep going. Early morning is also a great time to look at the sky (find stars, planets) if you're an astronomy junkie (picked that habit up while climbing, too!). Anything you can do to keep up the workouts will also help with SAD.

Is there a 24 hour fitness club near you? Join it and try using the stationary bikes, rowing machines, recumbent bikes, to keep up a decent level of fitness.
3:00 AM is a normal time for us to go riding around here. We aim for that golden window between the drunks landing (not always where they had planned) and the commuters hitting the road (and often each other). We like to get outside the ring of suburbia before the sun rises and revel in the beauty that's so near to where we live.

My SAD issues ended years ago when I stopped wearing sunglasses from September to May and began making certain that I got out for at least an hour of daylight every day, usually more, during the fall and winter.
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