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Category: Mental Skills

All living things are driven to avoid pain. Unconscious systems compel them to select – without awareness – choices that have become familiar and proven safe. Human beings are no exception. They are motivated to avoid pain, including psychological pain, …

Even With Motivation, Unconscious Anxiety Blocks Improvement of Habits Read More »

It’s certainly not necessary to be playing high-stakes at the card table to benefit from a poker face. The ability to mask one’s reactions from the competition is useful outside of gambling – in sport. We often hear about athletes …

Poker Face at Threshold Read More »

Relationships with food are complex, particularly for athletes. Adequate and ideal nutrition for health, appearance, and performance can suffer when the focus primarily is on reaching a fixed “ideal” body weight. While a high power-to-weight ratio is essential for success …

Is Your Relationship with Food Undermining Your Athletic Goals? Read More »

As coaches and friends of endurance athlete, we need to be aware of the ways in which discussions of weight-optimization can trigger eating disorders in vulnerable individuals. Weight loss can lead to improved performance in some athletes in some disciplines, …

How to Support an Athlete Who May Be Vulnerable to an Eating Disorder Read More »

How you talk to yourself about your training and racing performance, especially with regard to exercise intensity, matters more than you might think. There’s a number for everything these days: ride time, cadence, distance, heart rate, power, you name it. …

Identifying Perceived Effort: Choosing the Right Words & Thoughts to Improve Performance Read More »

Racing, especially stage racing, favors those willing to train long and hard and to suffer intensely, so serious bike racers exercise in ways that sound crazy to non-racers. Occasionally, some racers train to such an extent that even us cyclists …

Going the Extra Mile: The Costs and Benefits of Supplemental Training Read More »

Effective recovery only happens if you relax. Without recovery, training gains are minimal, and you can even weaken despite working hard. The blissful rush felt when sitting calmly after hard training corresponds to a hormonal shift from work mode to …

How Was Your Ride? The Importance of Attitude to Recovery and Success Read More »

Mike races bikes. He has been getting faster on all sorts of terrain and has become competitive on flats and descents, but not on climbs. A photo of Mike shows beautiful mountains behind a rider cornering aggressively on a long …

What Are You Really Trying to Do? Prioritize Performance Read More »

The end of the road-racing season has arrived. Even the most serious roadies are relaxing, having the annual beer, and taking a few easy weeks before resuming training. In the coming months, they will connect with teams and coaches as …

See You Next Year? Knowing When to Stop Racing Read More »

It’s 9 p.m. on Friday. Mary got home from a long workweek several hours ago, had a quick dinner and showered. She’s ready for bed. She’s also excited about a club ride she’ll be attending for the first time early …

Discipline: Good and Bad Habits and Why We Mess Up Read More »

What does it mean to prepare as well as possible for a big race? You’ll want to develop your physical abilities such as aerobic and anaerobic endurance along with sprint speed to peak for the event. That means accumulating many …

Total Preparation: Fitness is Not Enough Read More »

In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.- Johann Wolfgang von Goeth Several years ago, the training blogosphere was atwitter with posts from …

The Big Picture: Today’s Performance Reflects Years of Diet and Training Read More »

A strong drive to win is a necessity for bike racing success. Something has to make one keep training, keep eating right and keep pedaling no matter what happens. Some riders have plenty of motivation, while drive is a limiter …

Do You NEED to Win? Read More »

Road riding and racing season is here, and with this may come some anxiety. Many riders, already nervous descending on the road bike, are really frightened by the prospect of descending in a peloton or group. Use these tips to …

Overcoming Fear of Descending on the Bike Read More »

This article has been updated from an article previously published in ROAD Magazine. Coaches often say that racing success requires genetic talent, hard work and luck. You get the talent from your parents and there’s not much you can do …

Hey Kid! Wanna Get Lucky? – Defending Against Misfortune in Bike Racing Read More »