with Jennie Stenerhag Silverback Racing XC MTB Pro Athlete
How does she do it after she has been doing high-level training for many years. Here are some ways that Jennie shares with us to help you reignite the fire for the sports…
- As you advance, you will improve more slowly…
When you start cycling you will improve quickly, and it is very rewarding, and motivation will be even higher than you thought. But there will be a time when you reach a plateau when the improvement slows down or even stop, this is simply because it is not possible to keep improving at the same speed. It is important to be aware of this and keep working hard past the plateau, you will keep improving again but at a slower speed. The better you get the slower the improvement.
- Change things up.
Remember to train a lot of different abilities. It is important to do the hard intervals as well as the really slow long rides. A lot of cyclists ride at the same pace every time they are on the bike. If you change things up it will improve your fitness quicker. Also, add some gym and yoga to train strength and flexibility!
- Develop process goals.
It is great to have goals to work towards, it does not need to result, it can be to manage a certain technical obstacle or a climb at a certain time, or do a personal best on your special route. This will keep you motivated and lets you see your improvements even when there are no races. This has been more important now than ever!
- Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Do not be afraid to try something new, it will only be good for your training and cycling. It will challenge different muscles and different skills; you might discover something you really like and will carry on with or you might just try something once. I started with yoga during the lockdown and I have always thought yoga was not for me but got hooked and am still doing it once or twice per week.
- Train your strengths and your weaknesses.
It is easier to train your strengths since it normally is more fun since you are good at it, but it is also important to spend time on your weaknesses, this is normally where you can improve the most. You still need to train your strengths not to lose those skills and keep being good at it.
- Do it for the right reasons.
Ask yourself why you are riding/training? What is the right reason is very personal but if you know why you are doing it and you are enjoying it! The most important is that you do it for you and not for someone else! Personally I ride/train/race because I absolutely love the feeling of being fit, being out in nature, and pushing myself to the limit. I love that feeling of being completely exhausted after a race or a hard interval session.
- Surround yourself with good people.
The people around you are more important than you think! Make sure to have people around you who give you energy and not take energy! I have many examples when I have been at races with the wrong people and not performed even if I was in great form and also many times when I have had the right people around me and performed at my best without being in great form, just because I was happy and in balance and got energy and support from the people around me.
- Maintain a desire to learn.
Make sure that you always strive to learn more, be satisfied with where you are but not too comfortable so that you stop improving!