Mental strength

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by allanhu88


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by Rick

I had a particularly hard strength training session on the turbo today (Z4/5) and I cracked half way through,

Gee....I hate to be the one to break this to you, but numerous psychological studies have shown that once you "crack" during a hard strength training session, you can never really recover fully. Your psyche has been permanently damaged. Oh, can TRY to can still "push" yourself for a few moments at times...but it will just never work. Many professional and amateur athletes have vainly persisted in their futile attempts to regain some sort of minimal "fitness" after such an incident, but they always remain just a pathetic shadow of their former selves. "Cracking" such as you have done was the origin of the phrase "You just can't come back after that!"

Don't despair. Your athletic career is definitely over, but there is still a whole world of alcoholic beverages to explore and comfy chairs to sample and enjoy.
For God's sake, just don't subject yourself, and especially your family and friends, to the sorry spectacle if an "attempted comeback." This is for your own self respect. Just let it go. It was a period of your life that is now over and you can savor any good memories you may have. Know when to move on.

by Weenie

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by devinci

tylerjandreau wrote:
prendrefeu wrote:Whoever says "HTFU" has never done a really serious endurance ride. It's more than just "HTFU" - the mental battle is far greater than the physical can ever get to.

The OP was talking about 1 or 2 hour trainer sessions, not riding from here to Tibet. On the trainer, HTFU will suffice.


if your legs are fine but you mentally crack, it is a serious case of hardening the f up

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by Rick

Here is one thing that sometimes helps me:
As I begin to "crack", I just ask myself "If Satan himself were trying to run up behind me and jab me in the ass with his red-hot pitchfork, could I go on just a little longer or harder ? "

Usually, the answer is "Yea"

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by chase196126

I take a strategy similar to what prendrefeu posted. I do my best to trick my mind into thinking I am going to give my body a break, and then just keep going.

3 minute intervals are probably my least favorite workout. Ill get to the middle of the workout and I start to feel like quitting. During each of the last few intervals I think to myself that I can stop right after I am finished with this interval. During the rest period after the interval I let myself relax and act like its all over, but when the rest ends I start my legs up before letting myself think about the next interval. Its almost an obsessive compulsive way to tackle training...

I think I learned this strategy from being afraid of heights when I was younger. I hated jumping off high diving boards and had to trick myself into doing it. Its always easier when your mind realizes you are already off the board before you can be afraid of the jump.

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by overgeared

many, many strategies to prolong the agony during hard turbo or interval sessions.

to start with i prefer audio AND visual motivation. agressive, motivational music, and a cycling DVD playing in the background. if the music isnt doing it for you just maybe the pictures are or vice versa.

then you´ve got to ask yourself "is it my brain that´s letting me down (a shameful reason to stop that i will regret) or am i really being constrained by my physiological limits? (a fair and justifiable reason)". this is where the wolf test comes in. ask yourself "if right now i was being chased by a pack of hungry wolves who would certainly tear me limb from limb i would surely not give in but ride until my body failed me, now am i going that hard?!"

regardless of all that the key to successfully completing the hardest training sessions is to only do them when you´re well rested, fed, and really feel like it, otherwise the process of cracking can be a real downward spiral.

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by djm

Give Jure Robic a few thoughts.. ;-)

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by voodoojar

I've been watching X-files reruns lately and thinking about what I would do to Scully.

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by Tinea Pedis

I use this.

And when I say use, I don't think it. Or even murmur it. I YELL it! Normally needed, like chase, mid interval (3 min ones are a pr!ck) and I honestly find it helps me.

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by mises

Mental strength is trainable. If you want more mental toughness start small and slowly build up the amount of time you spend flogging yourself.

As far as mental strategies you really need to focus on the pain and welcome it like sex, the more the better. It's very difficult to achieve something you don't want. An adversarial position with yourself can be effective short term but berating yourself is ultimately only going to diminish your confidence and/or motivation to continue. The more you can make it a celebration of being alive and seeing what your body can do the easier it will be to see torturing yourself as something desirable.

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by denzity

When you get tired imagine if a dog were to run up trying to bite your ass. Then stand up and push it harder. Also helps to repeat something in your head over and over on each pedal stroke (like "dog dog dog dog dog").

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by sawyer

tylerjandreau wrote:
prendrefeu wrote:Whoever says "HTFU" has never done a really serious endurance ride. It's more than just "HTFU" - the mental battle is far greater than the physical can ever get to.

At the limit, the physical battle can get extreme. Years ago on my first big endurance ride in the Dolomites when I knew a lot less about nutrition - ride was like 220km, 5000m+ climbing in 35C+, I literally fell off the bike from massive cramp. My legs, arms, neck, hands, and even my eyelids were spasming and locking up with massive uncontrollable cramp. Mental strength got me to the point of complete physical failure. I did manage to regroup and finish the ride though. :wink:
Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

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by MichielCX

I sing songs, or parts of songs in my head... Maybe that's weird. It can be anything really, some stupid thing I heard before I started riding, it'll be in my head and keeps me going for some reason.
Or I just HTFU.

by Weenie

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by smartasscoach

HTFU. You either want it or you don't.

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