The expulsion of 8 badminton players from the Olympics this week caused a bit of controversy in the sports world so I thought I’d look at it from a cycling perspective. My opinion and apparently the opinion of my sport is that strategy goes deeper than just an individual game or race. It’s like chess. It’s all about sacrificing at a lower level in order to achieve a greater victory.
Who opened the door on your cycling career? Surely someone was there to jump start your ride. So many times I’ve been asked about this, I thought you might like to hear about my coach and mentor in hopes that you might pay homage to the person or persons who inspired you to ride or maybe it was you who lit the fire; either way that’s the way this perpetual trophy rolls.
Exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) is a common clinical syndrome which is caused by temporary airway narrowing following exercise. EIB occurs in 12-15% of the otherwise asymptomatic general population, 30-40% of those with allergies and 90% of asthmatics.
A difficulty with dealing with the mental aspects of cycling is that they’re not tangible or easily measured. If you want to learn what are your physical strengths and weaknesses on the bike, you can have your wattage or VO2 Max tested, and that gives you objective data about your physical condition. There is unfortunately, no way to measure your mental “muscles” directly. Think of Prime Cycling profiling as physical testing for the mind. It makes mental issues related to cycling more concrete.
The beauty of bike racing is that no single race is the same in terms of how it plays out. One thing is for certain; you can never predict what is going to happen. The reason is quite simple. You cannot control what other teams and individuals have planned as their strategy and although we want to think we can control their tactics, it’s just not possible.
In my last article, I looked at the issue of sports confidence by comparing and contrasting two recent days I had on the bike, one full of fire and confidence and the other the opposite feelings of self-doubt and thoughts of quitting. But enough about rank amateurs like me, what about the top professionals?
Beet juice and nitrates have been gaining more and more attention for their ability to improve athletic performance and reduce blood pressure. It’s been well documented for some time now that a diet rich in vegetables can improve cardiovascular health, due to high nitrate content. While all vegetables contain some nitrates, they are more abundant in beets, leafy greens, spinach, celery, endives, fennel, arugula (rocket or rucola), leeks and parsley.
When cycling, we are all seeking the Holy Grail of peak fitness and form, that “no chains” day where riding seems effortless. But besides optimal physical preparation, the other important and often overlooked ingredient is effective sport psychology, and the role that confidence plays in peak performance.
It started last year, or the year before. You’ve spent months preparing mentally, endless hours physically, all building towards THIS EVENT, this focus. Or maybe it’s just a Saturday and you went racing. Either way the let down and psychological weight of a sub-par performance can be a slippery slope, so what can you do to move forward?