Achieving our performance goals as cyclists is as much about building our mental strength and resilience as it is working on our physical fitness and power.
But what is mental toughness and how do we develop it?
Mental toughness is our ability to resist, manage and overcome doubts, worries, concerns and circumstances that prevent us from succeeding, or excelling at a task or towards an objective or a performance outcome that we set out to achieve.
We’ve all been there, half way up a big climb and suddenly feeling like we can’t make it to the summit, or in the midst of a brutal training session, legs and lungs burning, and a little voice in our head is screaming at us to strop.
This is where mental toughness comes into play. If we haven’t developed our mental strength then, when the going gets tough, we listen to the little voice and we quit. But, with a strong mind, we are able to push through and emerge on the other side of the suffering stronger, both physically and mentally.
So, how do we improve our mental toughness?
The number one way to work on our mental game is to proactively expose ourselves to discomfort and suffering. Every time that we push past our preconceived limits our belief in our ability grows, which, added up over time makes a big difference.
It’s in these moments when we are suffering, be it during a training session or at a big event, that we have the ability to push through, and every time we do we become a little bit stronger in body and mind.
Think of every time you’ve suffered and come through it as making a deposit at the bank, over time your account builds and builds. What’s more, when we next find ourselves in situations where we think it would be easier to quit awe can think back to other examples that were much tougher, and yet we kept going.
At Conquistador we believe in developing mental strength as much as we do physical strength and power, which is why all of our bespoke training programmes work on mindset and provide you with the tools you need to master your mind as well as the mountains.