Mental Preparation

Day 3 in Mallorca and after a rainy day camping out indoors it was time to get back out on the bike. No easy task after my panics descending on day 1. 

The profile was gradual until we got to Col de sa Batalla, a lovely and steady 4.8mile climb to a lovely ice lolly pitstop at the top. The side order of hail wasn’t much appreciated and made for a FREEZING descent back home. 

While it might have been freezing, it was a lot less terrifying. A step in the right direction that came from a lot of mental preparation the day before.

I was recently asked what I say to myself to get through a tough challenge (especially in training) and it varies depending on the circumstance. I’ve not quite got it nailed down yet, and often struggle to do this when something isn’t going quite right (see panics on day 1).

In general, I try to rationalise, put it all into context and then decide what do I need to do to achieve whatever it is (be it a training session, a specific skill or even work). 

With the panics from day 1: 

  • Rationale: Yes, it was scary, but I got back safely and not terribly slowly! 
  • Context: The thing I was most afraid of (crashing my bike) didn’t happen, therefore I can’t have done it too “wrong”. What I lacked was a feeling of control.
  • Action: Think about all the technical elements I know to use when descending and actually put them into practice.

Putting my action into place today and I managed to descend safely, more confidently (though not 100%) and feel better about getting back out onto the bike again tomorrow! Only 21,965 feet more climbing to go!!! And hopefully, more ice cream too… 

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