One of the main components of getting fit is consistency. Creating positive cycles of training will help you get the consistency you need to get fit for your ultra cycling or running event and stop you getting de-railed.

What is a positive training cycle?

A positive training cycle is one that creates a positive effect on both your mind and your body; it helps you feel good and make fitness gains.

If something makes us feel good we are likely to repeat it so that we can feel good again; positive cycles promote repetitiveness due to the rewards we get when we do them.

For rewards to be most effective they need to be both immediate and long term. Immediate because we are by nature impatient and need an immediate buzz/lift in order to do something. Long-term so that we can see and profit from their sustainability.

Here's an example:

Every morning I take my dog out for a run or a walk.

Immediate gain - I love spending time with my dog and seeing him enjoy his run/walk. It also means that I have done a job for the day (taken my dog out) so I've managed to get fit and do a chore and I can feel smug about this.

Long term gain - I gain good base fitness by doing this short easy session which adds nicely to my training volume at an easy relaxed pace. It maintains a base level of fitness when I can't do any other training.

How to Create Positive Training Cycles

Creating positive training cycles requires a bit of front end time and effort, but once you have done this they cycles become effortless most of the time.

1) Write down your weekly routine, broken down into days and times as it is now.

2) Identify when is/are the easiest time(s) for you to train without distraction. This might be the same time every day or it might vary from day to day, but there should be a routine that you can follow and add this to your schedule.

Here is my personal example:

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3) Identify the immediate and long term gains for training at those dates and times in the way you have decided.

4) Implement the routine to see if it works. If it does not work, sit down and identify what is actually happening and plan your routine around that.

5) Once you have a routine that works keep doing it and eventually it will become second nature. Remember to take an easy week every third or fourth week where you train a bit less (you can still train at the same times if you wish just cut down the volume and intensity to about half).

Positive Cycles to Avoid Negative Cycles

Another happy side effect to positive cycles is that they can help you avoid negative ones. In fact it can sometimes help to identify any negative cycles you might have and then develop a positive cycle to replace it. 

A good example of a negative cycle might be:

I often get tied up at work and miss my training slot; I then feel upset and disappointed so I go home and to make myself feel better I eat a bar of chocolate, this makes me feel even more upset with myself and I have now also sabotaged my healthy eating regime.

You could choose to replace this with a positive cycle:

I ride/run to and from work every day - if I go straight home it only takes twenty minutes but I can choose to go for longer if I have time. Because I don't have my car I have to ride/rum home so I always get in at least a twenty minute session in the morning and another in the evening five days per week. I feel good about myself for training twice a day and this motivates me to keep the healthy streak going by having a healthy evening meal when I get in.

Sometimes it can help to chat through your routine with another knowledgeable person who might help identify problems and solutions. Why not book a free 20 minute consultation with no commitment to see how we can help you?


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Clare Pearson
Post by Clare Pearson
June 12, 2024
A professional endurance coach since 2018, Clare Pearson has worked with endurance cyclists and runners to help them achieve their goals. Clare specialises in endurance events, she loves to work with people to help them succeed at their own goals; whether that's a personal best, a completion, a podium or better emotional health. Clare will work with you to design a plan that fits in with your day to day life and helps you get the most out of each session.