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So when Strava gave me my end of year numbers it was sad to see how bad my year was in compared to years past. My wife and I are motivated to start being more active this year with strava being one way to track active days.

I have managed 4 rides in the first 3 days, and even if I don't get a trackable strava activity ride/walk I want to do some stretching or something.

What keeps you motivated for that sort of thing?

We have a 2 year old and a 4 year old, and the 2 year old has been a horrible sleeper, so I just always felt too tired to get up on the weekends and do an early ride. Now that she is starting to sleep better I think we will both have more energy for daily activity.
 

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I've been in a massive funk the past couple years, but I have a bunch of stuff planned for this year despite the pandemic that I am hoping will keep me stoked enough to keep active. I have a couple races planned, some bikepacking trips and a few other things that I can (hopefully) still do despite the touch and go nature of things right now. Races could be cancelled, but I have plenty of other things to keep me busy if they do.

I used to be the guy who rode through awful winters just to stay in shape, but the past few years I just couldn't bring myself to plug away boring gravel miles just for the sake of not being chubby. Luckily my wife and I packed all of our stuff at the beginning of 2020 and moved to Arizona. Being able to ride every single day has been a massive game changer for me. I am nowhere near where I was when I was in race shape back in 2017 and before, but I am getting there. Hoping to stay super focused for 2021.
 

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Are you in a part of Arizona where you can ride in the Summer too? Triple digit summers can be just as hard to ride in and just as dangerous as cold winter days.

I think the key for us this year is being each others advocate. My wife and I instituted a new weekend routine that we started this past weekend and it seemed to work really good:
  • On Saturday when the kids get up, I get up with them and take care of breakfast, getting dressed for the day etc. My wife has a few hours of "me time" to do whatever she wants, sleep in, read, go out and get a coffee with no kids in tow, etc.
  • On Sunday when the kids get up she does the same.
This past Sunday was one of the first times I got to go ride my bike without brining one or both of the kids with me. I always felt guilty at the idea of asking her to just have the kids for 2 hours so I could ride after I get home from work when she had the kids all day already, and similarly I felt bad asking on the weekends.

It worked out great and I hope to ride every single Sunday that I am home. Before this arrangement she was of the opinion I could go ride Sunday morning as long as I left before the kids woke up.... which would mean a 5am start.... no thanks.
 

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I run every day, usually the first thing. Seriously, a minimum of a mile a day for 5 years, never missed a day. For the last 3 years I've run a minimum of 2 miles each day -- no weather is too bad (-20F, 50 mph winds, wildfire smoke so thick you can't see the length of a city block). After 10 days, the habit will be set and you won't want to break the streak. I plodded to 1035 miles in 2020 -- kept me sane and healthy. And I hate running, I'm still an awkward runner, but I always feel better afterwards. And it takes no more than 30 minutes from stepping out of the door to stepping out of the shower. Even with small kids, you can find 30 minutes in your day. I also mtb'd over 2500 miles, so the run doesn't demotivate me for other activities -- it absolutely helps.
 

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What keeps you motivated for that sort of thing?
I just like being active so if the weather is good I'll get out and do a bike ride, hike, skateboard, etc... In the summer when it's nice every day I have to force myself to take rest days or I'll end up with an over use injury. I live in Coastal BC so winter just means some rain and cool temps and summer is pretty much perfect. I've never had to battle for motivation to be active.
 

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Two young kids at home here too (2, 5). Getting out can be hard, especially when the kids are awake, and how your partner/spouse is doing (mine was struggling REALLY hard with depression in the early days of COVID, which meant no riding for me for a few months).

This year was actually bigger than my previous year in terms of cycling distance though, despite all of that. But I've been feeling the effects of full time WFH ( COVID) lately, and am trying to combat it. Previously I still had the same office job, but walked a few miles a day to and from the bus at a pretty brisk pace. It wasn't much, but 20-30 min a day of walking vs 45ft of walking down the hall into my home office has been a change, and one I'm trying to adjust to.

Here's what I've been doing:
  • I've been trying to get out after the kids are down for the evening, even if its just for a quick walk around the neighborhood.
  • I moved my weights into the office. Usually I can find a way to get a few sets in during the day/the odd boring meeting/etc.
  • When the wife and I sit down to watch a show or something at night, I generally do a lot of stretching, and static core workouts (reverse planks mostly). Its super easy to throw that in while lounging about.
  • I'd felt like I was missing some intensity workouts. So I have started doing more interval-ish workouts a few nights a week as well, also in my office/gym. Its not too hard to find 20 min to go smash out some reps (motivation is a different thing though :/).
  • And... I bet most people will find this amusing... but... I do squats while I brush my teeth. Its a time I'm not doing much of anything else... and in the time it takes to brush your teeth, you can get a good 100 squats in (plus it might help you brush longer :p). I've been doing this for a few years now though.
    • My wife makes fun of me for this all the time. But, extra leg strength it noticeable when you head out and actually get to ride.
 

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Are you in a part of Arizona where you can ride in the Summer too? Triple digit summers can be just as hard to ride in and just as dangerous as cold winter days.
Im in Phoenix, so we get a couple months of triple digits. I am happy to ride before the sun comes up, or in the evening after it goes down. The triple digits aren't the worst part here, it's the sun that gets you. There's no escaping it.
 

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Are you in a part of Arizona where you can ride in the Summer too? Triple digit summers can be just as hard to ride in and just as dangerous as cold winter days.



I lived in Tucson for quite awhile and even on the hottest days mornings always seemed nice to me. Conversely I have a hard time getting motivated to ride in any weather south of 50 degrees. I guess it just depends how you're wired.


I'm hoping to stay motivated and have another good year on the bike but not every day, some days I really appreciate doing absolutely nothing.
 

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In terms of my year-end wrap up from Strava, I was pretty pleased with my results as it was the first year in a long time I had set a mileage goal for myself, and not only did I hit it I exceeded it! I wanted 100 dirt miles per month, and I ended up with 1,450 so that makes me happy. What doesn't make me happy is the fact that despite all of that additional effort, I am 20lbs heavier than I was at the beginning of 2020, it's true you can't outride your fork. I was also displeased at the # of days active, which was only 105 - especially when I start thinking about all the time I spent in the evenings watching TV instead of at least going for a walk. So this year, I want more active days for sure. I'm good with my mileage of 100 per month on the bike, but I have to mix in some other stuff, especially in the summer (in Phoenix also) when getting out to ride is less fun due to the triple digits. I'll probably try SUP or something of that nature.

WFH has been a blessing this year (no hour-long commute each way, and I generally hate the office and most people for that matter), but also a curse in that it can make oneself stale and unmotivated.

I'm lucky in that my kids are 17 & 19, so the days of having to bargain for "me time" are long gone, but I do remember them and they were not fun and I didn't always handle that negotiation well.
 

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I have a gym membership. I work out at the gym every night after work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday nights I bike. Friday I take a day off of activity. Saturday and Sunday I'll bike, hike, snowshoe, or fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I tried the running thing a few years ago when I had a job that was closer to the beach. I would literally run a few blocks to the ocean and run on the sand for a bit before heading back, but I battled Shin Splints. I am not a fan of running, but I was starting to enjoy it, but the shin splints would not go away no matter what I did so I ended up stopping the running.

I like the idea of maybe just a walk after the kids are down. I tried going for a ride after the kids were down but only did it once and was not a fan of being on the trails in the dark by myself..... the hard part is by the time the kids are down I was always exhausted.... but maybe now that my daughter is not waking up every single night I will be less tired.

I envy you guys who work from home. I work at Hospital and my job, while in IT, requires me here most of the time. My commute is not as bad as the before times with lighter traffic, but I still do it. I convinced my boss to let me work remote 1 day a week, and that is AWESOME. I generally work 6-3 on my WFH day so at 3pm my son and I are packing up and heading out on the bikes, which is a great time, but not much of a workout for me at all. But I won't trade that bonding time for anything.

Thanks for all the replies.
 

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When my kids were little the wife and I would trade off taking care of them a few days a wee so we each could have "me" time to do something we wanted with friends our by ourselves.
 

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When my kids were little the wife and I would trade off taking care of them a few days a wee so we each could have "me" time to do something we wanted with friends our by ourselves.
In the Before Times I would always encourage my wife to do "girls night" n such, but she was reluctant to do it much, that in turn made it harder for me to do stuff because I did not want to make it unfair for her..... but this last idea for Me Time was hers, which is a blessing. Maybe we can expand it a bit more if it works out.
 

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Getting started is always the hardest part. Wet, squishy trails keep me indoors pretty often lately even when I have the motivation so I've been gathering bits to put a trainer specific bike together from a carbon frame with some damage on the downtube...should be fine. If it's sitting in the living room that starting hurdle is lower. I think setting ourselves up for success is the surest path to it. I hope it goes well for you. Stay safe out there!
 

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Trail building! I was active over 300 days last year and many of them I did 2 logable activities, hike/build and then a ride, sometimes 3. I call those dig / ride / dig days!

I have always been hyper and rarely ever need motivation because if I sit in the house for more than an hour, I’ll start to freak out and find something to do. I’m sure I have ADHD, but in my mind the good kind that gives me endless energy until I collapse into a exhausted mess.

Trail Building is pure fun to me and it is a helluva work out. I am probably overweight per the scale / %bf but I tell people, I’m fat but in shape lol!
 

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... so at 3pm my son and I are packing up and heading out on the bikes, which is a great time, but not much of a workout for me at all. But I won't trade that bonding time for anything.
One word -- tandem. Make it two words -- mountain tandem. Maybe your kid is too young now, but he soon won't be. I had a mountain tandem when the kids were small and we had incredible adventures. My daughter and I raced the 70 mile Laramie Enduro 4 times when she was young, between the ages of 12 and 15. When she was 16 she rode it solo. Piloting a tandem is an insane workout -- you can go as hard as you want and you can't drop them. The family did a supported weeklong tour (~300 miles) most summers when the kids were in the house, starting when the youngest was 5 -- he rode half of it on the tandem, sagged with Mom the other half. That tandem set us all up for a lifetime of close family ties and a love of cycling.
 
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One word -- tandem. Make it two words -- mountain tandem. Maybe your kid is too young now, but he soon won't be. I had a mountain tandem when the kids were small and we had incredible adventures. My daughter and I raced the 70 mile Laramie Enduro 4 times when she was young, between the ages of 12 and 15. When she was 16 she rode it solo. Piloting a tandem is an insane workout -- you can go as hard as you want and you can't drop them. The family did a supported weeklong tour (~300 miles) most summers when the kids were in the house, starting when the youngest was 5 -- he rode half of it on the tandem, sagged with Mom the other half. That tandem set us all up for a lifetime of close family ties and a love of cycling.
That is very cool! I probably saw you at one or more Laramie Enduros over the years.
 

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Are you in a part of Arizona where you can ride in the Summer too? Triple digit summers can be just as hard to ride in and just as dangerous as cold winter days.

I think the key for us this year is being each others advocate. My wife and I instituted a new weekend routine that we started this past weekend and it seemed to work really good:
  • On Saturday when the kids get up, I get up with them and take care of breakfast, getting dressed for the day etc. My wife has a few hours of "me time" to do whatever she wants, sleep in, read, go out and get a coffee with no kids in tow, etc.
  • On Sunday when the kids get up she does the same.
This past Sunday was one of the first times I got to go ride my bike without brining one or both of the kids with me. I always felt guilty at the idea of asking her to just have the kids for 2 hours so I could ride after I get home from work when she had the kids all day already, and similarly I felt bad asking on the weekends.

It worked out great and I hope to ride every single Sunday that I am home. Before this arrangement she was of the opinion I could go ride Sunday morning as long as I left before the kids woke up.... which would mean a 5am start.... no thanks.
We did a similar Me Time when our kids were small. Most of the time we shared kid responsibilities equally, but Monday was my wife's night to ride, hike or go out with her friends for girl's night while the kids were my responsibility from the time I walked in from work until they were down for the night. Tuesday was my group ride night and she took care of feeding, bathing, and putting them down. We both looked forward to our night every week. Outside of that night, I usually rode before work and before the kids were up or after the kids were down for the night.

These days I work from home and will either ride super early before working or work super early and ride during the middle of the day and then finish working after my ride. However, this past year I had times where I just had no motivation and went a week or two without doing anything physical.
 

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I just enjoy the ride and being away from everything so I usually ride 5-6 days a week for 2-3 hours a day or more if time permits. I also have my morning and night routine where I work out in the evenings after work and begin the day with yoga.
 

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I have been through the phases where between young kids, covering for your spouse to let her recharge, and the unpredictable weather, finding opportunities to get any kind of physical activity is a pipe dream. However, over the period of years I had learnt to temper expectations on what constituted as a satisfactory workout/ride. I had converted an old hardtail to a single speed with the most insane gearing and if I could get 15 minutes on the bike around the neighborhood, it would be more than what my legs could handle. I also traded in my self propelled lawn mower to a reel mower and would have my kids in a bjorn and mow the lawn. Parking the car in the farthest spot from the grocery store, pulling weeds from the lawn (Mr. Miyagi style), skipping elevator for stairs etc. are the simplest yet effective ways to get some physical activity in. It's not glamorous but the incremental effect is definitely noteworthy considering the circumstances.

These Covid times are certainly challenging and you have cut yourself some slack for not being able to exercise or keep up with Strava. For families with kids under 3-4 years, you have to improvise since you can't wait till you get your 'me' time to do stuff. In my case, my time free time always coincided with thunderstorms so the question of outdoor activity was out. Unless you have help in the house, you will certainly fight a losing battle against weight, lethargy and fatigue. Nevertheless, you will look back in a few years to this period and thank yourself for spending time with the kids and staying alive...

I live in San Diego and ride almost every day and my son accompanies me some days on the mountains and canyons giving me a run for my money. However, looking back, there was a time when I thought that I would never get out of the trifecta of food, alcohol, lethargy and the only way I got motivation to get out of the inertia was to pick goals that were reasonable and small.
 
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