SEEK OUT ADVICE
There's always something to be learned from other cyclists.
Ride with those faster and stronger than yourself. Join a club or local riding group and set goals for the season—be it to complete a century or to finish that first race.
Find a mentor or hire a coach. Most everyone pushes a little harder when they have someone to be accountable to, but a coach can also point out things you may not notice in your training that can help boost you to the next level.
Being able to balance your life between family, work and riding is important.
I've learned from my own experiences that when these things become unbalanced, life can become stressful and unpleasant. Keep everything in perspective and make sure you listen to your heart.
Most of my clientele lead a very busy home and work life. THT, and coaches in general, help take out the training guesswork and make the most of our clients' valuable time.
Whether you're mapping out your own training or working with a coach, make sure it's both fun and effective, and based on the principle of "less is more."
This is what it's all about. You have to enjoy what you're doing.
Sit back and understand how lucky you are to be in that moment. If that's not happening, slow it down, reassess what you are doing and figure out what does make you happy and fulfilled.
If it's not cycling at that moment, try something else, such as hiking, yoga or paddle boarding.
Maybe cycling is your love and you just need to try something else within the sport. If you're a road cyclist, try mountain biking, cyclocross or fixed gear riding. If none of those do it for you, ride your cruiser bike around for a while or consider commuting to work.
Whatever it is, make sure you're truly enjoying it.
Don't let training become your identity. It's good to be competitive and committed, but don't dwell on your workout, whether it's good or bad. Keep moving forward and let your riding and training enhance your life, rather than define it.
Tyler Hamilton is an eight-time Tour de France competitor and was once one of the world's top-ranked cyclists. In 2012, Tyler released his memoir, The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs, a New York Times bestseller and recipient of the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. Tyler raced professionally from 1995 to 2008 and now runs his own training business, Tyler Hamilton Training LLC, for cyclists of all levels.