Improve Your cycling: Train Your Mind

Silly? Close your eyes and picture yourself riding on an open road into a head wind. First imagine yourself configuring an energy aura around you into a large flat-faced semi-truck plowing its way into the wind. The large frontal surface area is blasted by the oncoming air and has to fight its way through, taking up valuable energy.

Now picture an energy force around you moving into a shape similar to the starship's front, helping you slide through the wind. You move into an aero position while the starship pierces the air in front of you, clearing the wind to let you move through with little effort.

These are two possible ways you can visualize an energy source that surrounds you on the bike. If you're skeptical, try both and see what it feels like. I'm willing to bet you'll see a difference in how you feel. The real benefit is the ability to use visualization as a tool to take your mind off the pain and allow you to continue working at a level above what you'd normally be able to do.

More: 4 Mental Tips to Overcome Pre-Race Jitters

Strategize and Practice

Spend some time thinking about these strategies before your next workout. What power words would energize you and what imagery would they trigger? In what way can you configure the energy around you to pierce the wind and let you slip through?

Practice focusing on your breathing when the pace gets difficult and work on staying relaxed yet strong. Experiment with these three strategies as you begin to struggle with longer intervals of tempo or other types of efforts.

Like anything else, these take some practice and polishing to use effectively. The more you implement them, the quicker you'll know how to trigger them and benefit from them when you need help the most. If you want to do well in races or in life, you have to build mental toughness. You have to learn to overcome the suffering that both cycling and life will dish out.

More: Yoga for Cyclists: 3 Poses You Should Practice

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For more information on subjects related to endurance training or for any of your coaching and training needs check out Marlon and the rest of the coaches from the Peaks Coaching Group at www.peakscoachinggroup.com.

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