Bicycle Network: Women's Cycling
Having the right attitude is half the battle in getting through endurance rides
Wondering how you'll get through an event? Fitness is important, but so is attitude. Here's what three women said about mental preparation for endurance rides
Pip, currently training for the Alpine Classic:
"I'm the type of person who will get nervous about three or four days before an event. A couple of weeks beforehand I really start thinking about the preparation - what food am I going to take, when am I going to eat, what do I do about two hours in when I get tired, what am I going to do to prep myself up. My training partner and I talk about it and say OK, what are we going to do when we fatigue at different times and what will we say to each other to keep each other motivated. Those sorts of things are really important. I visualise myself doing the event, and it's really good if you can train on the course, just to see what it's like. Prepping that way really helps because then you know what you're going to tackle and you know where there's a rough road surface or a bit of a hill or a flat spot."
"Riding in Tassie certainly changed my attitude to hills because suddenly I knew I could get up them instead of giving up early. And I think that's because there's all these people around you and you don't want to look like a woos. Mind you, I was very often the first person to get off because I really had to. I certainly got further up the hills than I used to. And now I'm back on trails I do the same thing, and I'm much better at getting up hills. It's partly fitness, but it's also attitude, knowing that you can."
Kate: triathlete and road racer
"No matter how much you plan to ride to your heart rate and do all the proper things, when you're in a race, you can't help but push a little bit harder. So to get to the end, I always just think 'Well, I've hurt more than this in training,' because when you train at the velodrome you just push yourself to the absolute limit. So I always go back to those situations and think 'I've hurt more than this and I've lived,' so it is that mental thing. I also don't want to be the last person to finish! Funny things like that push you along, and knowing how good you'll feel at the end. Even little things, for example if I have to go out for a training ride when I don't feel like it, I think about coffee afterwards - I think about the reward."