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Early morning rides - a vicious cycle

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Early morning rides - a vicious cycle

Old 01-31-16, 06:15 AM
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Early morning rides - a vicious cycle

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?
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Old 01-31-16, 06:40 AM
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I can totally relate to what you are going through - been there done that too many times.

There isn't one specific solution - may take a combination of things - part psychology, pep talks and motivation to yourself to make small changes to break the cycle; part environmental - consider trying one of the lights sold to treat SAD; if nothing else, ask your PCP about a prescription for Prozac or Paxil generic equivalent to get you over the hump - or try St Johnswort or SAMe - no shame in that in this day and age.

one thing that motivated me in the past was to sign up for a challenging event - long charity rides or competitive events / having a deadline helps me.
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Old 01-31-16, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick
.... I've always suffered a bit from the SAD syndrome but this year it's been much worse.....
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.

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 don't know what doctors are offering for SAD now-a-days... but your doctor is the one to discuss this with. Home remedies, and telling yourself to Harden the "F" up... may be a waste of time. I don't get to ride much in winter either... but I love and enjoy every ride I can get in. See your doctor... then count the days till spring.

It is hard to stay motivated in winter. Particularly here in the snow belt. I watch (stream) cycling videos and read about cycling (on ebooks). I make a point of getting outside. Even if for just a neighborhood walk... getting outside is good.
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Old 01-31-16, 07:56 AM
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maybe a meetup group would help

https://www.meetup.com/find/
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Old 01-31-16, 08:21 AM
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Do you have a local riding buddy?
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Old 01-31-16, 08:24 AM
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Model Railroading gets me thru the winter months.
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Old 01-31-16, 08:24 AM
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I'll admit that I can struggle with motivation. I try to remind myself that maintaining good fitness makes everything else easier.

We all have a vey limited time while we are alive. I remind myself that some cold and steady winds are to be expected during most of the year. I keep a bike with fenders for riding in damp weather. I try to reduce the amount of time needed to prepare by keeping my gear organized.

I keep a bucket list that includes a few hilly century rides every summer. These require a healthy level of fitness. Now, if I could just lose those extra pounds.
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Old 01-31-16, 08:32 AM
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See signature line. Experience tells me that riding=better and not riding=worse.
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Old 01-31-16, 12:14 PM
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I don't ride much in the winter either. Yesterday was an exception. It got up near 50, and the sun was out too. The club ride was short but it was great for attitude adjustment. Not so much for conditioning, but then I've decided that the infrequent winter rides do squat for my overall fitness; it's best to just enjoy them for what they are.
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Old 01-31-16, 12:30 PM
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People and activities!
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Old 01-31-16, 12:56 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 the buckle of the snow belt. This is my first year of snow riding. It has given me strength I've not experienced in riding. I only intended on keeping a portion of summer conditioning and keeping the Iron Maiden (trainer) in storage. What I didnt realize was how much fun it is. The physical and mental intensity of riding in the snow storms is indescribable. I may be even stronger than last summer.
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Old 01-31-16, 12:58 PM
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If you find the magic motivation button, please let me know. Even though we're having a milder than usual winter, I'm struggling this year to get out and about (walking, not biking), especially if it's damp and cold. And riding the trainer is even worse. Ten minutes of that, and I'm done.

Sad. I didn't ride much of last season because of injury, and I can't plan for this season, for the same reason. It's going to be a very, very slow start once I do get back on the bike.
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Old 01-31-16, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Boudicca
If you find the magic motivation button, please let me know. Even though we're having a milder than usual winter, I'm struggling this year to get out and about (walking, not biking), especially if it's damp and cold. And riding the trainer is even worse. Ten minutes of that, and I'm done.

Sad. I didn't ride much of last season because of injury, and I can't plan for this season, for the same reason. It's going to be a very, very slow start once I do get back on the bike.
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.
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Old 01-31-16, 01:20 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 stand duly corrected and chastised. There is no magic button.

But I still hate riding the trainer.
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Old 01-31-16, 01:24 PM
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I also have a tendency towards SAD. A light box has been very helpful for me. You can get a small light box that fits on a desk. Good luck!
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Old 01-31-16, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. As I said in the op it's partly the weather and partly other issues that have made the general feeling of ennui that I normally experience in winter, but which hasn't stopped me cycling or going for long walks in other winters, much worse than normal.

The vicious cycle has not been easy to break out of, but I am determined to get out on the bike more often the rest of the winter, although I suppose that I have to get my priorities right and eventually the cycling, which is a bit lower down the pecking order, will sort itself out.

P.s. I quite successfully used a light box for a couple of winters, but following two ops for torn retinas and a condition called epiretinal membrane in one eye the optician recommended that it was no longer a good idea. I don't want to mess with my eyesight.

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Old 01-31-16, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Boudicca
I stand duly corrected and chastised. There is no magic button.

But I still hate riding the trainer.
LOL. So do I. In fact I hate it so much I gave it away. Rollers are more tolerable to me, if only because they need concentration. But if I couldn't ride outdoors, I'd take up running. I do, sometimes...
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Old 01-31-16, 02:16 PM
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Our winters are mild by comparison to most parts of Canada. Winter largely consists of 3 months of low cloud, a little bit of snow, and brief moments of sunshine every couple of weeks. East of the Rockies there's a lot more sunshine, but much colder temperatures to match.

For me, the motivation comes from a humiliating experience about 8 years ago now, but in my mind it was like last week. I was on vacation in AZ and went for a ride with a snow bird friend. After five miles I was exhausted, and only too glad to have had a flat tire. I think the total ride wasn't more than 15 miles - which 8 years later seems short - but I still remember the feeling of exhaustion. If I don't ride the trainer through the winter, even a little bit, I'm destined to the same fate as that ride 8 years ago. I don't want to experience that again.

Riding the trainer is for me is an investment in the enjoyment to be experienced in just a few short weeks when winter fades away with the clouds and the sun comes back to make the sunny Okanagan, sunny again.
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Old 01-31-16, 02:40 PM
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We don't get much of snow up here this winter . What I have done since November 2015 is to run 45 to 60 minutes every other day . I know this is not the same as cycling but it will have to do till May .
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Old 01-31-16, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
LOL. So do I. In fact I hate it so much I gave it away. Rollers are more tolerable to me, if only because they need concentration. But if I couldn't ride outdoors, I'd take up running. I do, sometimes...
I still have my trainer, but haven't used it in a couple of years. I ride the rollers occasionally. Even during the summer, my schedule makes it difficult for me to get a decent ride in during the week, so I run during the week (get up at 4:15 and do 5-8 miles, to be at work for 7) and ride on weekends (in the winter I run on weekends as well if I don't go skiing). Once I got in the habit, I find that I really miss it if I don't do something.
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Old 01-31-16, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter
I make a point of getting outside. Even if for just a neighborhood walk... getting outside is good.
Winter may also be the time to get away from the bike some. I enjoy a good hike, or snow shoe trek if there is enough snow on the ground. I take advantage of the nice days to get in a ride. Then when the spring warmth arrives, I am ready mentally to get out and ride!
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Old 01-31-16, 07:57 PM
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I've never been much of a morning person and may have ridden two or three times before 9 am the past few months. Usually I prefer late afternoon, which often results in getting home after dark if I'm feeling like riding a little farther, or stopping more often to take photos.

The main problem is finding time to get away at all. If I can manage an hour or so two or three times a week I'm doing well.
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Old 01-31-16, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dannwilliams
Winter may also be the time to get away from the bike some.
That too! I weight train year around.... but more so in the colder months when cycling isn't as attractive an option. It's important to keep active.
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Old 02-01-16, 10:53 AM
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I have real problems getting motivated to ride for its own sake, even though once I am riding, I enjoy it.

However, if I'm riding SOMEWHERE for a specific purpose I have no problem.

Case in point, I live just two miles from my workplace, however I have different "commuting" routes I can take to and from work that are up to 25 miles long. Hey, two hours on the bike on my way to work, no problem. Two hours to nowhere particular on weekends...... doesn't seem to happen much.

Likewise, the REI store is about a 40 mile round trip from where I am, if I need something from there I actually enjoy the opportunity to take the bike. Otherwise 40 miles for its own sake prob'ly ain't gonna happen.

Is there a far-away Starbucks or something that you could ride to? And reward yourself with something you like when you get there.

I would ride a 40 mile round trip for a grande chai tea latte.

..and when you DO start out on the bike, if'n your feeling crappy, remember speed is irrelevant, go as slow as you like. Fifteen minutes later you'll feel a whole lot better and can resume your target pace.

Mike

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Old 02-01-16, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by LoveCorgis
I also have a tendency towards SAD. A light box has been very helpful for me. You can get a small light box that fits on a desk. Good luck!
+1 this. Light therapy is proven to be effective and in most cases (see gerryattrick's post above) has no adverse side effects.

Seasonal affective disorder treatment: Choosing a light box - Mayo Clinic

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