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Pause, Reset, Go!

Tips to Reset physically and gain strength Mentally



We have those moments where you are either doing the same week in and week out, or you find yourself in a dreaded plateau or on a path where you cannot find full recovery. that feeling of Forever fatigue you can not get rid of. No need to fret. This can happen and is very common. These moments can last a week, a month, or even longer. You might find yourself just questioning how to manage or get out of it. I have gone through a few days, weeks, and even months of that so-called 'funk.' It's tough. You feel that workouts are not as effective and hitting power numbers isn't as easy physically and especially mentally. You feel like it could last and your deep fears of losing your fitness can arise. These are very normal feelings. It's OK to feel those as those thoughts mean you really care about your success not only on the bike but in life. When you plateau or are in this 'funk' it's hard not to think that it's the end and it's all down now. In fact, there are some factors that can cause these funks.


1- Same old Same.

doing the same type of training within a zone enables your body to adapt and only get used to that zone you have been training in. This can cause that training plateau where you are maintaining fitness, but not seeing any progression.


2- Too much.

Sometimes you think to go harder and do more. In fact, that can hinder you depending on your ability to recover. Everyone needs to have recovery at one point or the workouts and efforts will catch up with you. Think of it as sleep. if you keep taking an hour of sleep away each day, you will find yourself getting more tired and unable to concentrate, leading to overall exhaustion that can be debilitating mentally and physically. That can happen with training. You might think doing more will get you out of it as you feel you haven't done enough and need to do more to see results, but if you do not have that recovery to efforts balance, you will find yourself overreaching. overreaching is temporary, but prolonged pushing to exhaustion will lead to chronic overtraining that can make you feel forever tired and unable to get stronger. It will also greatly hinder your mental ability to feel confident and clear for not just working out but in everyday activities. A tall sign of overtraining exhaustion is having those said everyday activities becoming difficult to complete and concentration diminishes. It is important to work with a coach to know and help find the proper training recovery balance and adapt along the way.


3- Stress. Yes Life happens, moving, family, events, work, and more have an impact on your stress and if it is in a moment where you are enduring a big change, you might not seem to be as stressed, but it can add up and if your regular schedule changes making you have to readjust to find time for yourself and ride can cause additional stress. Stress is always interesting because it's not visual, it's not like when you break a bone, you can see the break and the nasty bruise. Well, stress has an impact on your mental health and is sometimes even more stressful than a broken bone, but you cannot see it. It's good to be in tune with your personal thoughts and emotions every day. You don't necessarily have to force yourself into journaling every day, but you can begin to simply become more away of how you are thinking and processing through good and stressful situations. Just know what you are doing in your head in those moments. This will bring a better sense of self-awareness to where you can then begin to understand that this certain event is more stressful and requires you to need more time for yourself to work on reducing stress.


4- Nutrition

Sometimes you might be aiming to lose a few pounds and reduce intake, but when training and especially trying to achieve gaining strength and fitness, your body requires energy. So cutting out that During ride snack will not help you, but only hurt you. Excessively cutting calories as well will lead to fast weight loss but slow your metabolism leading to faster exhaustion and inability to push harder and achieve those hard workout efforts. If you are simply not getting enough nutrients, your body goes into fight or flight mode of starvation, drops weight, slows metabolism, and starts to eat away at muscle if you are not getting enough calories in.


New research has shown that the old cut calories don't work for long-term weight loss that achieves a life of longevity and healthy well-being. It actually hurts you mentally as well as food cravings can come and the relationship with food is stressed. This is something you want to have a good relationship with to be successful in getting stronger on the bike. Benton, D., & Young, H. A. (2017) stated

"In the short term a reduction in energy intake is counteracted by mechanisms that reduce metabolic rate and increase calorie intake, ensuring the regaining of lost weight."


5- Supplementation

When we are deficient in nutrients it makes sense to hit the natural store and grab supplements to aid you to achieve nutrient balance. It seems like a healthy alternative to grasp yours\health. I encourage you to do your research and know that the supplementation industry is also heavily influenced by marketing. Some form of dietary supplement is taken by over 70% of Americans every day and the supplement industry is currently big business with a gross of over $28 billion (Ronis, M., Pedersen, K. B., & Watt, J. (2018). It can have false information that can make you feel that having a nice stack of vitamins in many forms is healthy. Johanna Dwyer, RD, a senior research scientist with the National Institutes From WebMD stated

"Most people don't realize there's no real advantage to taking more than the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals, and they don't recognize there may be disadvantages,"


Even prolonged use can lead to the opposite effect that you are trying to achieve. If you are taking a lot of supplements I encourage you to try a food-first approach. It ok to take a small multivitamin, but try to stay away from stacking too many. and this can include pre-workout powders. Overuse can lead to more problems. The best medicine for us is in our food. It's good to focus on a well-rounded diet that achieves all the macro and micronutrients you need to be healthy and feed your training. This will not only help you during training but in recovery.



If You have been using a lot of supplements for a Long time, You might want to look into reducing them over time and trying a full month off of them to see how it affects you. It is good to use supplements if you are really deficient in a certain nutrient, but sometimes you only need it for the time it takes your body to get back to normal levels. You don't want to keep using them if your body has enough. Your body needs that extra help but then needs to learn how to manage and get back to normal levels than relying on supplements primarily.

 

With those few signs addressed to why you have this 'funk,' let's get into how we can create an ultimate plan to reset you physically and build you back mentally. Of course, this might not work for everyone, but if you use this as a skeleton structure, you can build your own escape plan you can use when you are in this moment.


I recently found myself in this funk and it was lasting a long time. I was on training and vacation in Austria so it was important to feel good for the challenging rides. Though I found myself struggling, so I decided to take a step and address all the things I have been doing consistently for a long long time. I addressed the areas my recovery was not catching up. This plan is a plan I created that has thought and expertise experience. Let me tell you. the feeling on the other side was incredible. Invincible and the feeling of strength again are worth it. So I encourage you to give this a try if you are in a funk. It took me trying many methods to get out of moments, and for this time, it was effective. It wasn't just a physical reset, but mentally, I was able to rebuild and become stronger and hungry to get back and be strong.


Nothing Beats the feeling of inner and physical strength


 


The Ultimate Lead up to an Epic ride


Caffeine overpour

Caffeine is a great way to wake up and coffee is also a great way to relieve yourself If you

know what I mean? Over time, consistent use of it can create a tolerance to the full effects of

caffeine and the benefits of coffee. I would always have my few cups of coffee every day. I found that it was starting to affect me. Sometimes you might find that prolonged use of caffeine can cause that afternoon slump/ crash. This is all dependent on how you metabolize caffeine. it can differ individually, but if you know that caffeine affects you to some extent, it's good to consider taking a break. Take a break from caffeine... no need to put guards up and get scared from having to stop a routine you love the most. you don't have to fully stop to go Decaf light. Decaf is a great alternative. it still has caffeine but minimal amounts. You can still enjoy the taste, smell, and morning relief. It's also good to take a step back if you like it super dar and make it light. Doing this will make the effects of going back much more effective for you and allows for a full break so your body can reset.

I would encourage you to also be aware of any other caffeine energy sources you are using daily. This can be pre-workout powder, black tea, kombucha, or chocolate. it can add up and if it's near bedtime, that can also affect your sleep.

3 weeks. Take a full month of no caffeine or minimal. switch to decaf light and herbal tea. this will bring your body to reset so you can plan your two days of rest and lead to this ride back to become incredible and bring you that full reset from the 'funk.'


 

The Two Day reset

Yes, it can be tough to have back-to-back days of recovery. Away from the bike. I know I have a difficult time taking more than one day off.

*note* I do encourage you to really focus on at least one day off each week to allow your body to recover. sometimes you might need more, so focus on being aware of what you need. Again, having a coach to help you guise is incredibly important.




day 1- Walk a long walk 10-12km... not hike but just movement

Stretch at night


day2- Stretch, and core in the morning... walk 60min and recover.. roll out and relax.. find

that passion


 

Eat well and be well

Take those two days and really focus on eating towards good balance and not being afraid to eat a little more to satisfy your hunger. This will give you better direction and more energy for getting back to a full reset and really feeling better. And you will have more energy to fuel the big ride and feel good again.



Back on The Happy route


Route

OK! so now it's the day! you had a couple of nice days off and you have been easing off the caffeine. You have been fueling well and giving your body the time to reset. Now it's the time to ride and create a ride that will be a success and bring out the inner strength within you to set off in the right direction. Especially after having the downward fall of burnout or being too tired, workouts can get hard, and your confidence can diminish with the built-up of fatigue mentally and physically.

long flat start

Now the ride you create is going to be built for YOUR success. You want to make sure that you have the time to warm up that will allow you to get opened up and feel good. This also allows you to feel the bike and enjoy the beginning of your ride back. Pick your route that has at least a 10km flat start. this can be a 30-40min warm-up that is flat and fast-moving to also boost your confidence in your speed and get ready to send you off the epic big climb effort.


Long climb at the end of a challenge

As I alluded to, there will be a long 45-60+min climb that you will shoot off into after the speeding section where you warmed up. This can be a long climb that can range from a 5-10+% incline. it can be challenging and it can be steady. it can be a new climb you have not yet done, or it can be a climb you love. This will be the climb that you will regain your confidence and feel good doing so. This is targeted to bring out your inner energy and strength and make you feel that strength within again without that feeling of fatigue and dread.



Ride alone...

Create a meet-up or be with yourself outside on a fun route- yes riding with others is fun, but during a reset period, we must focus on really bringing back that inner confidence and feeling of power and strength you gain on those good days. this whole reset model is setting you up for a good day where you can feel that power in your legs and gain more tools mentally and physically through that great feeling. Having others is a great way to push you, but sometimes it can stress you or make you worry about your speed. this is the ride to ride and do alone


Create a private meet-up for yourself- only you can see you

If you choose to do this on Zwift, you can create a private meet-up. Now you do have to invite someone, but you can always invite a friend that follows you on the companion app and let them know that it's so you can do your amazing reset ride. Pick the route you like and make sure to select MEETUP-ONLY VIEW when creating the meet-up.


Turn off and cover up the time and power-

You can keep on speed, cadence, distance

You can do this onscreen for Zwift. You can also use sticky notes to cover up certain sections. Or if you are outside, you can put your head unit in your back pocket or you can customize it to read certain measures like speed, gradient percentage, speed, cadence, and distance. Now, of course, you can still record power and heart rate and time so you can look back. Visually it helps to take those measures away and focus on your current effort and rebuilding for success. You want to really focus on how you are perceiving the effort and how you are mentally enduring the effort to help build and continue to build those mental strength tools.


The coffee drip

Now, this day is the perfect day to reintroduce caffeine so it can aid your effort and clarity to make you feel incredible.





Half and half DONE GO ALL IN

Now, DO NOT do all caffeine and overdo it, especially if you are a slow caffeine metabolizer. you can tell you metabolize caffeine slowly if it affects you easily and you know you cannot have any caffeine 6-8 hours before bed as it affects your sleep. We want to do a half-and-half situation to reintroduce caffeine. Don't worry, it will affect you if you have taken a full month or so off of all caffeine. Again, we just don't want to overdo the jitters for this epic ride. We want to, take it to lead for a good ride full of energy, strength, and clarity. I recommend if you do 2 full scoops of coffee grounds do one with caffeine, and the other with decaf.


Dark

Now you can go for darker coffee now and you will feel the full effects. it will help you with your morning business, and it will be nice and bold to get you started. * is good to have this 60-30min before you head out on your ride.


Good breakfast

Now nutrition is key to setting you up well and making you feel good so you can get this ride off to a good start. Focus on a whole breakfast with good carbs, healthy fats, and some protein 3 hours before the ride.

examples:

Oats with fresh fruit, yogurt, and nuts

eggs with hashed potatoes and toast with avocado

Make sure to also be hydrated well with good electrolytes and water balance.

Note: Make sure to also pack good nutrition and hydration during your ride to maintain optimal energy and hydration status.



During the reset ride- THE Mental side
caffeine becomes help

Now caffeine will have set in and it has good benefits being that you have reset from it. It will come in full swing giving you a boost of consistent longer energy. It will give you a better sense of clarity and drive to push that extra limit. It also can reduce your perceived effort of exertion. This means that you can feel like you can go a bit harder and push a bit harder. It can build your current pain tolerance and with that, it can make you feel strong and confident bringing your sense of self back and hungry for more after.


Ease of pain

You might find that your perception of a tough effort inst as bad as it would be in your fatigued moment. This is a great opportunity to dive into that feeling and change your mind to enjoy that extra strength and ability to push a bit harder. Drive to continue and trick your mind into liking it. Practicing this will add more mental toughness tools to your brain to endure harder efforts. you will become better at managing tough moments but also build your ability to push a bit harder.


Clarity of mind

You might find your mind is clear now and you feel good. This is exactly what you want. this will allow for your confidence to surface and you to feel good. Take this moment and notice your thought and what is going through your mind. really soak up that feeling and try to describe how it feels. like a floating ball of light, rumbling clear blue waters going down a mountain? This will help you be able to know and remember that feeling in moments of toughness.


Feeling of power

In describing those feelings, this epic ride should also bring out an extra power within you that you might have been missing. This is from that needed recovery and the setup for a successful ride. I want you to take this moment and really feel that power in your legs and drive through the pedals. feel each muscle working and be in a heightened sense of self-awareness. This will continue to bring that inner confidence back up and that strength that you have been waiting to retrieve.

Thoughts- BE Aware!

Now it's not just power within the legs and the feeling that's good to be aware of, it's going to be a tough effort, so there are going to be moments where fatigue sets in. It's inevitable. Bound to happen. But this is a great opportunity to work on positive reinforcement and use your inner energy to work through the effort. ask yourself...

How can I get through this tough moment?

What are my thoughts at this moment and what does that mean?

Know that this moment shall pass and efforts like this are temporary. Keep focuses on how your mind is getting through and how you are able to push a bit harder. This extra awareness is going to build and allow you to retrieve them for the future. It will also build your confidence and reducing confidence can hinder your full potential.

 

And there you Go! a perfect setup for a reset ride for success. Now of course it makes take some trial and error, but it's good to use this to find your kind of reset. If you find yourself in a 'FUNK' know that you can get out and find your inner strength again. It's giving your body the needed rest so you can launch into a successful day with more to follow.




Please reach out to me if you have any questions. You can also schedule consultations or join up on a training program to reset and get set and GO!





 

Sources:

Benton, D., & Young, H. A. (2017). Reducing Calorie Intake May Not Help You Lose Body

Weight. Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological

Science, 12(5), 703–714. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617690878

Ronis, M., Pedersen, K. B., & Watt, J. (2018). Adverse Effects of Nutraceuticals and Dietary

Supplements. Annual review of pharmacology and toxicology, 58, 583–601.






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