Starting medical school has forced Cat 3 Colorado State Road Champion Alexandra Morgan to adopt a new training strategy. Read on for tips to train when life is hectic.
I started medical school in New Hampshire two months ago. When I moved I brought my bike, helmet and all of the clothes necessary to be comfortable and safe while riding. The last few months mother nature has brought a plethora of beautiful, sunny days and my new home has supplied endless quiet, incredible roads to ride. The one thing that I’m lacking right now? Time. School has been fast and furious the last eight weeks without any sign of letting up (I actually think it is getting harder!). With less than an hour of free time most days, I really struggled to find time to get out on rides and decided that I would take a brief hiatus from racing and riding while I made my way through school. But the open roads called to me as I drove to school each day and my bike sat in our entry way as a constant reminder of the sport I love so much. So a few weeks ago, I decided to make a training plan that would allow me to ride while still making school a priority. I wanted to share a few tips and tricks for anyone else struggling to find time to ride amidst a busy stage of life.
- Trainer rides can be your best friend. Before this year the trainer was my enemy. It signaled bad weather that kept me off the beautiful Boulder roads. Now, I love my trainer. It gives me the freedom to ride early mornings or late evenings. Getting comfortable with trainer rides helps create flexibility during your day. This way you can focus on what’s important and squeeze in a ride when there’s time. You won’t be dependent on weather or sunlight which can help take some pressure away from finding time to ride. If you’re in the market for a new trainer, independent product reviewer DC Rainmaker puts out an annual list of trainer recommendations.
- No ride is too short. Even if you only have 30 minutes to get out, take advantage of that time and get in a short, hard ride. You can really maximize this time if you set out everything you need and get your bike ready the night before.
- Take advantage of slower days to get in long rides. Getting out for 2 hours to break up the monotony of 1 hour (or shorter) rides can really help to breathe some life into a training plan.
- Plan your rides. If I don’t plan out the specific time that I will get in a ride each day it likely won’t happen. I have learned that the busier my day is, the more intentional I have to be about carving out free time to exercise.
- Ride with some friends or get out for a group ride whenever you get the chance. Just riding the trainer can get very monotonous at times and I have found that my passion for the sport comes back full force when I ride with other people. There is something so wonderful about the sense of community that cycling creates!
note: if you live in the Denver area consider joining us for a group ride! Our calendar lists our group rides.