After all, when we see the numbers—such as our heart rates—improving, our cadence getting faster and the fat percentages going down, we feel as though we have some control over what we are doing. Numbers let us see our progress in black and white. They let us know that what we are doing is working or not working.
There are many computer training programs that help you do that. They will graph your average heart rates for you and tell you if the ride you did this time was the fastest that you have ever rode. These computer programs do more then just keep track of the past, they help us by making us want to do better in the future. If you haven't joined the high-tech revolution, now may be the time.
Upgrade Your Bike
While we all know that money is tight for a lot of people and the last thing most of us want to do is spend more money on something, it is true that buying a new bike or even spending some money on some after-market upgrades can be a great motivator.
Psychologically, when you invest money in something you are more likely to find yourself putting time and energy into it as well. Part of it may be just be so you can justify the money spent to your significant other, but a better bike or saddle or pair of shoes might also make riding a better experience, which may be all you need to motivate you to spend more time and more energy on your bike.
Change Your Routine
Change can be very, very good, especially when it comes to training. Your body quickly adapts if you continue the same rides, even if they are challenging. You need to constantly change your route, your riding and even your riding companions.
If you usually ride long, slow rides, add some sprints. If shorter, harder rides are your thing, add some extra-long rides. You don't have to give up what you love, but if you want to improve you need to mix things up.
Sometimes that even means riding with a new set of people. Now, I am not suggesting you dump your best riding pals, but adding some new blood to your routine can really help you step it up a notch. New riders will have new places to ride, may know about different group rides and may push you to ride a little harder.