Riding Tips : More Than Zero

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Our first guest post from another Bike Shop Girl, Sarah Matchett.  Sarah is a USA Cycling coach based out of my shop, Cool Breeze Cyclery in North Carolina.  Sarah recently competed in the UCI World Duathlon Championships, placing 10th overall in women (non-elite.)

Sarah Matchett
I’m often asked how I keep doing what I do.  5 a.m. mornings, endless miles on the trainer, in the pool.  Worn out running shoes… worn out dog.  Folks think I have some secret knowledge, or extra gear that keeps me uninjured, motivated, strong and healthy.  The truth is, there is no secret gear.  No magic pill, no religious practice, no expensive bike part that will bring you the results you want.  There is simply, moving your body, more than zero, every day.

It helps, if love your sport.  I love to swim, bike, and run with my friends. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, and it’s still super fun today.   But there are still those days, when I’m feeling particularly unmotivated to move and I have to decide, is this injury or laziness?  A sign of overtraining, or a workout I need to push through?    I can’t answer this question until I start to move.  So I start; knowing full well, that I don’t have to complete the workout exactly as written.   I don’t have to run 6 miles if walking 3 feels like enough, or chase my friends on the bike if a yoga class sounds like a better idea. I do, however, have to do more than nothing.  So, I’ll strap the running shoes on, and start moving.  If I still feel rough after 10 – 15 mins, I’ll turn around and head back home, knowing that 20 minutes is “more than zero” and my body is trying to tell me something. Nine times out of ten, however, I start to perk up once I start moving and I’m able to complete the workout as planned.

That’s it.  That’s how I keep doing what I do.  Every day, just enough.  Not more than I plan, not harder than I need.   Steady, consistent, training knowing that I’ll be doing more than zero tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

6 Comments

  • Cathi says:

    Nice commentary. Good motivation. :)

  • Christi says:

    Nice post, Sarah. 5 AM mornings are better with friends w/o a doubt!

  • Ruth says:

    Very nice-motivating, yet poetic and calming all in one!

  • Michael says:

    Great post. I have been asked this by clients many times and Sarah Matchett summed it up nicely. Keep going!

  • Stu Downs says:

    Yep, well put. In my brief experience with triathlon since May it is the daily training (pure pleasure if things are going well – Simply a grind if injuries are being experienced) that makes the difference between triathlon and other sports I have participated in. Six days a week there are often at least two displines to make time for and focus on. And yes, sometimes the body and mind both agree that on this day the schedule simply does not suit. An approach of ‘little is better than nothing’ is both balanced and sensible, and i’ll keep this in mind the next time my alarm clock goes off and it is raining outside. Thanks. :)

  • Rose says:

    I have to tell you that this post has totally stuck with me. There are times when my bike is just sitting there, staring at me and I just don’t want to ride. Then I say to myself “do more than nothing” and like you said, once I start riding I perk right up and finish the ride I planned. I’m thinking of putting the phrase on my top tube so I can look at it on those days when my legs just don’t want to work.

Leave a Reply