Mental toughness, give your advice and thoughts!

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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eyedrop
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:33 am
Location: Prescott, AZ

by eyedrop

Mental toughness is something we all know is a BIG aspect of endurance sports - in general. Its something that gets talked about regularly, but some people in the sport dont take it as seriously as others. Someone could have the magic training plan or formula, drugs, and maybe even have more fitness than you. But if your able to bury yourself deeper AND smarter than him, you most certainly could be victorious, or at the very least have the pride of puking 6 inches from the finish line from overexertion.... Ive had it happen, and it turned into my PB 10k running race. Perfect even splits, perfect pacing...

My number 1 tip is to just do it. Obviously its gonna suck really bad, and you paid to sign up for it... Just go out there, get the job done right and not half assed. Dont let your mind overthink it... During the race, acknowledge the pain as a sign of proper work, but just keep an eye on your power meter/HRM and do the math... Its just about focusing under pressure. I know an old Marine drill sergeant that is a total beast. He's old and not particularly fast. But man that guy just buries himself so hard to hang with the A group with the young kids. Its awesome...


Alumen
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:47 pm

by Alumen

It all starts and ends with motivation and goals imhe(experience)...
CAAD 10 2015

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boysa
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Location: Too far from my bike.

by boysa

eyedrop wrote:I know an old Marine drill sergeant that is a total beast.


Marine Corps Drill Instructor.

The army has drill sergeants. :beerchug:
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

jorryt
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:37 am

by jorryt

I just say to my self *f##k* this shit it will only hurt for now. And I go off trying to embrace the pain.

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WinterRider
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by WinterRider

I sure like the flavor of this thread. I see so much half *ssed 'workout' antics at the gym and going down the road. Butttt.. least their not ON their a-sses.

Pain. When to process that body feedback.. (?)... IE: pay attention to said body alarms/issues. For a grey/white haired character like myself it means.. knees. Around 80+ miles last 3 evenings and the right one is barely signaling: Pay attention to me. Thing MAINLY is.. want to out here next time too..... always job one. Gutting is out is cool.. builds on what one has. Blowing off bonafide signals ain't.

eyedrop
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:33 am
Location: Prescott, AZ

by eyedrop

Have any of you had that feeling where your well past the pain barrier and your just so motivated and hoping for a PB or win. But your body simply stops working like it should, muscles just stop contracting. You mentally toughed it out, but your body just can't do it. Then you get the NOOOOOOOOO!!!! in your head when you realized you just didn't have enough or pace correctly.

Rubik
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:59 pm

by Rubik

In the last two national road race championships I've done I've gotten to the point where it's not even pain, it's pure and utter exhaustion. And it's not even something I was cognizant of until I stood up to go and absolutely nothing came out and I got dropped.

I definitely think there are times when you can check out at a pivotal moment, but there are also times your body just flat out betrays you. The more I'm "in the race", the less pain even comes into play and results are simply a matter of being able to go that one last time.

And I have found through the years that those events are also the races where I'm generally the most fit.

In other words, my mental toughness is almost directly related to my physical capabilities, and the higher those are, the less mental toughness even comes into play. It also doesn't matter how much I'm suffering or have suffered if I get into the last km of a race because then I simply don't feel anything. Then it's all simply reaction without thinking time. Doesn't matter if it's a PRT or the local Wednesday night race. I don't think that's mental toughness so much at that point, either, just a conditioned response to the end of a race.

The notion of "pain" definitely changes throughout the years as you get more miles in. I rarely feel pain in a race the way I would in going for a Strava KOM or something, because in a race I'm rarely going flat out for a specified duration. It's more like flat out until I get to a wheel and then hold on, and in that case again it's not "pain" that you're fighting against so much as a full-body shutdown. Those are "no thinking" situations.
Cat 1

GambadiLegno
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:26 am
Location: Spain

by GambadiLegno

Alumen wrote:It all starts and ends with motivation and goals imhe(experience)...

Same for me, if you're really motivated and have challenging but possible goals, you can suffer and suffer on the bike. I remember reading Hamilton's book that he said his best skill was that he was able to suffer more than any other. Obviously you need to be physically strong, but you don't need to be the stronger guy to win if your mental skills are so high.

In my case, I've had many good results in regional championships and won a stage tour despite being the stronger, but very conscious about how much I need to suffer and how close I was to win. In the stage tour case, after getting the leader's jersey I suffered as much as I've never imagined. Phsycology and mental toughness is not only 50%, it could be more, and we don't usually pay any attention to it.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

For what I have started doing 24hr and 12hr TT mental fitness is important. I do it by cycling every day (nearly) regardless of the weather. I head out if its windy into the wind for a few hours and then return. If it it is very wet I smile and ride. I will ride when it is cold and icy till I get cold and push on. i simply push my self so if the event is tough then my training has been tougher. I still lack the fittness and the ability to ride a TT bike to really competative though but i improve every year. next top 20 in the mersey roads 24hr.

Today I felt like I had dead legs (the effect of lots of wine last night) but I did lots of short hill work feel better for it now. motivation comes from within. I dont give my self goals as such so I am not sure what motivates me. I just like pushing myself.

waltthizzney
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:35 pm

by waltthizzney

Winning only feels so good because losing feels so much worse....

also relax, makes a huge difference, its not a matter of pain, its a matter of how far you can push your body.

jorryt
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:37 am

by jorryt

waltthizzney wrote:Winning only feels so good because losing feels so much worse....

also relax, makes a huge difference, its not a matter of pain, its a matter of how far you can push your body.


That first one is so true! I've had a really bad season (again) but I had one great race. I had a smile on my face for three days and it still gives me motivation today.

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