Motivation vs. Discipline

Motivation is defined as “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something” and discipline’s definition is “train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way”

Recently, I watched this video about Discipline Over Motivation by Tyler Pearce, AKA The Vegan Cyclist. Ever since I have been thinking a lot about the differences. You see, motivation is a feeling; a desire. It feels good and intense. We can envision the changes that we’ll be making when we feel motivated. This is how every diet starts. It’s how every training program begins. It’s how we feel when the weather starts to warm in the spring and we sign up for an event taking place in a few months. But motivation is also fleeting. Diets fail, training plans are abandoned, events are cancelled or we show up unprepared. So what’s the score? How do we achieve the results that we want?

Discipline is the answer. Discipline starts with forming helpful habits. In Team DIRT and our pro team, Indoor Specialist, we have a deep field of very disciplined folks. So I reached out the Indoor Specialist Pros to hear what they had to say! (lightly edited for spelling and punctuation)

First we hear from IRL pro for SP2 Life Cycling Team and Indoor Specialist Zwift Team.  “Hey guys, Timmy Bauer from Indoor specialist. Today’s topic is a great one discipline. It’s key to reaching your potential as a rider. With being a dad it’s so easy to get caught up in excuses I see it so often in Zwifting and even IRL cycling. It’s easy to buy into excuses, and come up with reasons why we shouldn’t do this workout or ride. Next thing you know you start skipping workouts and it starts a downward spiral. You’re not happy because you’re not performing, but you’re also not putting the work in to perform to the level you want to be at. It’s all about finding the balance between family and fitness. For me I ride often 4am to 7am pst because of the simplicity. The family isn’t awake I can focus on what I need to do with minimal distractions. Disabling is everything at that time of the morning and finding ways to motivate yourself to be disciplined is key. Set goals find events then post those goals or event in a visible area so you see them every day. This will help so much when you wake up at 4:30 am and you want to roll over and go back to sleep. You have to fuel the fire inside to get there. Believe in yourself! Hope this tip helps you reach something you have been reaching for!”

We love the plaid, Timmy but her style game has you beat!

We also heard from Indoor Specialist Pro and number crunching CPA Matt Gardiner. This guys does it all; taxes, hauls ass on a bike and has dope Instagram game with the Grind Fondo and Indoor Specialist pages. Check them out if you haven’t already!

Matt says “I’m a firm believer in discipline > motivation.  One of my keystone habits which I’ve maintained longer than any other productive habit is food logging.  I use MyFitnessPal and currently have a 1,640-day streak. While exercise is something I also don’t neglect, knowing your daily nutritional demands just makes exercise that much easier. Want to eat a dozen original glazed Krispy Kreme donuts? Better burn 2,280 kcal on the bike!” Well said Matt. MyFitnessPal is a great tool!


Matt G. riding and indoor trainer inside a velodrome. Why? Who cares, it looks fun

We also heard from the new guy, Tyler West. Tyler has a big ass motor and once qualified for the Boston Marathon with 2 hour 55 minute marathon time. In case you were wondering, I did the math for you. That’s 6 min 41 sec miles; faster than my lifetime 5K pace. Impressive bro! Here’s what he had to say about discipline: “I am most disciplined about tracking my caloric intake using MyFitnessPal and my training schedule. Using MyFitnessPal allows me to be more flexible with my calories and maintaining my riding weight while enjoying ice cream, pizza, adult drinks, etc. For my training schedule I always try to be planning a week ahead with life and work. For example, if I have to travel for work in the upcoming week, i’ll build in more training the week before.

Tyler enjoying the post race glow!

Thanks for sharing Tyler! We look forward to watching your firepower on Zwift live streams!

This is all good stuff. For me, the best habit that I have is setting a bedtime alarm. When it goes off, it’s time to set up coffee, lay out kit, brush my teeth and get in bed. It takes me about 20 minutes. It’s a good reminded to quit dicking around on DISCORD (total time suck) and get some sleep. DIRT has been really helpful in staying engaged. We are social animals and what we have created with our team, race radio and many ways to engage each other socially has lead many of us to fitness we never thought possible We have started calling this the DIRT effect.

Thanks again to our pros for dropping knowledge!

RIDE ON! See you in Watopia. PEACE. -Ken “The Badger” Nowell


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