How to Make & Keep Cycling New Year’s Resolutions

December 11, 2019 6 min read

Cycling New Year's resolutions and goal setting may sound overrated. Defining what you want to achieve is extremely powerful to support your training. Setting fitness resolutions, and importantly sticking to them, will help you stay motivated and grow as an athlete.

4 wattbike air trainers lined up with athletes cycling and a coach by their side

Table of Contents:

Why Should You Set Cycling Goals?

Cycling and fitness goals will help you work harder, be more focused, and overcome setbacks. Creating cycling new year’s resolutions can keep you on track to complete your fitness goals on yourindoor smart bike. If you’re still not convinced that you need to set fitness resolutions for the New Year, we explain the importance of goal setting:

  • Goals make you accountable - Goals help you move from thought to action. Rather than talking about signing up for thatsportive, it’s better to make the sportive concrete, which means you’ll have to put together atraining plan to ensure you get there.
  • Goals help you become a better cyclist - Cycling new year’s resolutions are designed to take you out of your comfort zone, and push the boundaries of what you thought you could achieve. You can set goals toimprove your climbing orimprove your pedalling technique.
  • Goals give you clarity - Creating and manifesting small goals can help you achieve a much larger life vision. For example, a cycling new year’s resolution of yours may be completing a local sportive. This could then contribute to your vision of one day completing an Olympic distance triathlon or trainingfor the Tour de France stages, such as a multi-stage ride in the Alps.
  • Goals provide focus- With family, work and technology vying for our attention, it’s sometimes challenging to know where to focus your time and resources. Setting goals and cycling resolutions will help you to focus your attention on your priorities.
  • Goals help you maintain motivation - Cycling new year’s resolutions encourage you to keep going. They enable you to see the bigger picture and give you motivation to take the steps to get there in your cycling goals.

7 Cycling Resolutions to Improve Your Fitness

You can implement fitness resolutions whether you’re looking to build on the base you successfully kept up last year, or you’re starting fresh. Here are some of the New Year’s fitness resolutions you should be making to improve your cycling performance with the help of yourindoor bike trainer.

1. Take on a Training Plan

It’s always good to have a plan. What are you training for? What do you want to improve? Maybe it’s how fast you can climb up hills, orimproving your FTP. When you look back on last season do you feel you could have benefitted from more structure? Or do you just find it hard to stay motivated?

Try one of the Wattbike training plans available on theWattbike Hub! Wattbike training plans will catapult you towards your new year’s cycling goals, whether it’s developing your base ortraining for a sportive. They’re also developed with some of the industry's best coaches.

2. Try A Wattbike Class

Been eyeing up the Wattbike zone in the gym? Swap out your spin bike class for aAtom smart bike workout and get ready to get serious about your fitness. In a Wattbike class you’ll learn all about yourpedalling effectiveness and how to get the most out of your power metrics.

3. Focus on Your Nutrition

road cyclist raising one arm in celebration followed by more cyclists

Whether you need to make a serious lifestyle change, or just want to swap out the chocolate for some healthy snacking, put nutrition at the top of your cycling new year’s resolution list. Prioritisewhat you need to eat after cycling to aid recovery, and how to fuel your body ahead of your ride.

4. Sign Up for an Event

Sometimes to achieve your new year’s fitness resolutions you need to train with a tangible goal in mind. Signing up for races orcycling sportives could push you to train on those days where you’d rather be sitting in front of the TV. They can even help you expand your social circle within the cycling world. Plus, you’ll feel accomplished as soon as you’ve completed it! At Wattbike, we havesportive training plans to help you structure your training and tick a sportive off your bucket list.

5. Find Balance in Fitness

If you burnt out last year or started to recognisesigns of overtraining, it could benefit you to take a step back and reevaluate your attitude to training. Yes, cycling forms a big part of our lives, but the rest is equally important for both our physical and mental health. Try changing your attitude if you feel like your new year’s fitness resolutions are taking over your life, you’ll feel much better for it!

6. Include Strength & Conditioning Sessions

Another cycling new year’s resolution to incorporate into your fitness goals iscycling strength training and conditioning workouts. Try to make time before your ride to complete a short mobility session to improve your joint flexibility. According to a study published in theJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it appears that dynamic stretching, or stretching while moving through a movement, is better than static stretching as part of a warmup. There are alsostretches to do after cycling, which can help to limit injuries and aid recovery.

7. Take on the Virtual World

If you’re used to riding with a group of friends and enjoy stopping off at nice cafe spots,winter training can sometimes feel a little lonely. Make the most ofWattbike compatible indoor cycling apps to connect your cycling new year’s resolutions to real data:

an indoor cyclist looking to the side while taking a water break on a Wattbike smart bike

  • Zwift - Reach goals in a virtual world with an online community.
  • TrainerRoad - The personalised, AI-powered app is designed for you and your targets.
  • Training Peaks - Get paired with accredited coaches to walk you through your fitness plan every step of the way.
  • Strava - Track, analyse and share every aspect of your cycling performance.
  • FulGaz - Recreate realistic rides and achieve goals on real-world terrain with cutting edge coaching.
  • Rouvy - Find realistic riding experience via augmented reality cycling workouts.

With the virtual training platforms advancing the world of indoor cycling you can still ride with your buddies to help you power through big indoor sessions.

Using the SMART Method to Make Realistic Resolutions

Planning your fitness new year’s resolutions correctly, and realistically, can help you achieve your goals. You need to ensure the plans you make are viable, and work within your lifestyle.

One popular method of goal-setting is ensuring every goal you set is SMART.

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Agreed
  • R = Realistic
  • T = Time appropriate

Ultimately, you need to ensure your goals are specific, and that they can be measured perhaps withperformance tests to track your progress. Make certain you have agreed upon the terms with anyone your training may influence or involve, to ensure everyone is aligned.

You need to set your goals in a realistic manner, to make them achievable within your ability and resources available. Finally, you need to consider the time frame available. When you are able to train, and in what length of time do you want to have reached your cycling new year’s resolutions. You’ll be able to use it as an anchor to track back and assess the time you’ll have to prepare.

Example of Using the SMART New Year’s Resolution Method

The example below sets out how to create SMART goals:

Anthony, a keen cyclist who currently rides 25 miles, 2-3 times per week, has set the following goal: “I want to ride 100 miles.”

Let’s check how Anthony’s goal measures up against the SMART scale:

S - Is it specific?

No, it doesn’t mention when, where or how he is planning to ride 100 miles.

M - Is it measurable?

Yes, it states 100 miles which is measurable and proof of whether he achieved the goal or not.

A - Is it agreed?

Anthony has agreed to this goal, but has he gained buy-in from other people related to his goal? This might include his coach, family, spouse or social group. Telling people about your goals will help you stick to them.

R - Is it realistic?

Given that Anthony is already a regular cyclist, this goal seems achievable with hard work. Whether a goal is realistic for you will depend on your starting point and how fit you are.

T - Is it time appropriate?

Anthony has not created a timely goal as he hasn’t stated when he’s likely to ride his 100 miles. Setting a specific timeframe to achieve your goal is key. Use it as an anchor to track back and assess the time you’ll have to prepare.

We’ve found that Anthony’s original goal falls short on a few areas, so let’s recreate it using the SMART method: “I want to ride 100 miles in under 6 hours at the Great Notts Bike Ride on 26th June this coming year.”

Stick to Your Training with Wattbike

At Wattbike, we’re committed to providing unparalleled cycling data to keep you on top of your cycling goals. Find Wattbike workouts to try in the gym or improve your cadence to support your cycling New Year’s resolutions.

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