New Year's resolutions cyclists should never make

It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about setting goals for the next 12 months, but here are some that we think you should avoid

Clock11:38, Wednesday 27th December 2023

New Year's resolutions are infamous around the world for their impermanence. We would hazard a guess that if you have ever made one, the likelihood is that by February it will be all but a distant memory.

With this in mind, and with the new year just around the corner, we take a look at some of the resolutions that we cyclists should steer clear of.

We certainly aren't saying not to set any resolutions at all, but these ones simply aren’t worth trying to uphold.

'I'll take up running'

This is the New Year's resolution for a lot of riders. It makes sense, given that riding through January and February is hard on the motivation. Even just the thought of sitting on the bike in close to zero degrees in the wet and the wind for multiple hours at a time can be a real struggle. This is where the idea of running comes in. It leaves your bike nice and clean inside the house, and a good run can be well under an hour in length. All of this together can have a lot of us grabbing our trainers and heading out the door.

The issue is that running is a serious undertaking that demands steady progress and comes with a high risk of injury, especially if you are new to it. For cyclists with high cardiovascular endurance, the issue is that your muscles, heart, and lungs can cope with a lot more load than your tendons, ligaments, and bones. If you approach running without the research and patience it deserves, it could cause you a lot of time off the bike for the months to come.

'I'll lose all this Christmas weight'

We would never say that this is a bad goal to have. Losing some weight has been linked to numerous health benefits that are great for your overall health as well as for your sporting performance. The main thing to bear in mind with this type of goal is making it sustainable and achievable.

It is all too easy to get to the end of the festive period after indulging in plenty of food and drink for the last month and panic that you have gained some weight. As much as you might want to try and ditch the extra weight fast, this will never end well, and building a plan to gradually lose weight is far better for you and will provide longer-term sustainable results.

'I'll set some huge goals'

The new year is a great time to take stock of what you achieved in the previous 12 months and set some new goals for the new year. This could be to ride a dream event, tackle an iconic climb, ride 100 miles, or simply ride more than you did last year.

The main thing you want to have in mind when setting yourself new year goals is to make them realistic. The tough part of goal setting is to find a target that motivates and inspires you without becoming so overwhelming that it seems too distant to reach. As much as it is good to push yourself, having a goal that you can achieve and be proud of is the most important element.

'I won't spend money on cycling gear'

January is a tough month. Christmas is behind us but all the bills are left to pay. It can be a hard month to justify forking out for anything but the essentials. This can lead us to make the resolution to spend less on cycling in an attempt to free up some cash.

Although this might seem like a wise idea at the time it can actually be a false economy in more ways than one.

Firstly, unless you are going to stop riding altogether, your bike and kit is still going to need some care and attention to keep it in fine working order. If you skip on this, it will only come back to bite you further down the line when it is likely to cost even more than if you had kept on top of it.

Secondly, cycling can save costs elsewhere, such as commuting or transport costs, as well as benefiting our health and mood. Cutting your spending on cycling could have costs elsewhere on your wellbeing.

'I must make a resolution'

It is easy to get caught up in thinking that you need to set yourself a resolution for the new year and have some amazing goals and targets. Unless they are for things you genuinely want to do setting these goals can be an easy way to feel like a failure.

Not sticking to a goal can leave you feeling demotivated and demoralised so only setting worthwhile ones will not only increase your chance of success but also maintain your love of riding.

If you are going to set yourself any cycling New Year's resolutions make sure to let us know what they are in the comments below and if you need to train for any of these goals then make sure to head over to our training section.

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