Yes, it is only January, but doubtless your mind has been wandering around to the idea of the race season if not actually engaged in the rigors of structured training yet. This is a great time to adopt some of the traditions of the baseball World via some Spring Training.
I have identified five keys to building confidence in your cycling that will create an upward spiral of positive thinking and belief in your riding abilities. Each key alone can enhance your confidence, but if you use all of them together, you’ll find your cycling confidence growing stronger and more quickly.
Part of any good training program is a period of rest, recovery, and regeneration from a hard season of riding. Of course, some of us can take it a bit too far over the holidays, with a bit of gluttony and bad weather conspiring to reduce activity and fitness. What’s the physiological process of detraining, and how has it worked out for Miguel Indurain?
With cold and flu season upon us, it’s important to keep our immune systems functioning as well as possible. Athletes need a strong immune system; this is key to a consistent season. A few weeks off the bike here and there adds up and can have a lasting impact on your training cycles.
First, let me wish everyone out there who reads our articles a Happy Holidays from AthletiCamps! 2012 has been a great year and we are looking forward to an even better 2013. It’s been a while since I wrote a Pro Shop article. I have recently had the pleasure of working with both Alison Tetrick (Exergy TWENTY16) and Robin Farina (NOW/Novartis.)
T.S. Eliot hit the nail on the head when he said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” And so it goes with training goals, the planted seeds of accomplishment. Turning dreams into solid athletic achievements takes a well thought out program with training goals to guide you through your course.
The fun of being a sport scientist is to dig deep into the science and minutiae of scientific training. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that of course, just like it’s also fun to think through every bike component or upgrade purchase. However, you can also overthink yourself, and sometimes it’s best to just go with the basics and trust your judgement.
Confidence is the single most important mental factor in cycling. I define it as how strongly you believe in your ability to achieve your cycling goals. Confidence is so important because you may have the fitness to ride well, but if you don’t believe in that fitness, then you won’t ride up to your capabilities.
Throughout my racing career I was always looking to add a visual, tangible element to my mental training program. I would listen to The Ultimate Cyclist hypnosis CD and repeat affirmations but I never figured out a method for reinforcing those positive audio suggestions with visual and tactile stimulation.