What To Think About When Cycle Racing

What To Think About When Racing by Richard Pettinger

Any sporting achievement requires good preparation and the right kind of training but winning margins are often very small. The difference between winning and losing can often be the matter of a few seconds. To make sure we optimise our performance we need to make sure we have the right attitude to racing on the day.

1. Prepare in advance of the race.

Make sure all your equipment is ready and prepared the previous day. There is nothing more stressful than adjusting your brakes 30 seconds before you are due to start a national championship. If you know your bike is working well it is one thing less to worry about. It allows you to just concentrate on your race.

2. Be focused on your own race.

Don’t spend time thinking of your opponents and thinking how fast they are. Just concentrate on getting yourself ready. To be concentrating on other competitors will mean you lose focus and you may feel inferior and unable to beat them. These kind of thoughts do not help at all.

3. Don’t allow negative Thoughts.

Negative thoughts undermine your capabilities and capacities. If you worry about how badly you do, you are more likely to perform disappointingly.. If such thoughts come, don’t pay any attention to them; just let them go. Either think of nothing or try to think of something positive. A clear mind is a real boon to getting the most out of your racing capabilities.

4. Visualise your best performance.

Before the race you can visualise in your mind performing how you would like to. If you bring into your mind the idea of going very fast it will help you to be focused.

5. Don’t lose concentration midway through the race.

Sometimes when racing halfway round you may find yourself thinking about something completely unrelated. It is often at such times that your effort levels will have fallen. To race at your highest level you need to actively work to maintain a highest effort level.

6. Be wary of your mind, which wants to hold you back.

The top riders all share a common ability to ride through the pain threshold. There are times when we need to hold back but at the same time we should avoid finding numerous false excuses to slow down.

7. Visualise your competitors racing from behind.

When you feel your competitors are behind you it will give you extra motivation to go faster.

“If somebody is chasing you, your speed will be faster than if somebody in front of you is pulling you toward him with a rope. If you feel that a magnet is pulling you to the finish line, you will run fast; but you will run faster if you feel that somebody is chasing you and you are running for your life.” (1)

8. Don’t be overly disappointed or overly excited on your result.

We can’t help be happy when we do well, but if we perform worse than expected we should not feel miserable. Often to make progress we cannot improve in a straight line. It is necessary to have peaks and dips. If we become miserable because we didn’t fulfil our expectations then can lose motivation to train.

(1) Excerpt from Carl Lewis: The Champion Inner Runner, Part 1 by Sri Chinmoy.

Copyright Richard Pettinger is a member of Sri Chinmoy CT. He competes in UK time trials from hill climbs to 100 mile TT. He finished 4th in the national 100 mile TT championship. http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/cycling. Article Source

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