MIND OVER MOUN­TAIN

Bikes Etc - - TECHNIQUE -

Climb­ing is al­most as much of a men­tal chal­lenge as it is a phys­i­cal one. If you work your­self into a state be­fore you’ve even started and then head into a climb with a sense of fear and loathing, well, then you’re al­ready half beat. You have to learn to like climb­ing, or at the very least not hate it. Strange as it sounds, there are many rid­ers out there who ac­tu­ally love rid­ing up a hill just as much as they do fly­ing down the other side. And t he only way you’re go­ing to get to that point is by rid­ing in the hills – a lot! Rep­e­ti­tion is key. Get­ting to know them and ac­cept­ing the fact that they’re go­ing to hurt and then man­ag­ing that is how you, lit­er­ally, get over them. So don’t fear them, learn to switch off from the pain, hold back on your ef­forts and fo­cus ev­ery­thing on keep­ing a steady and man­age­able pace, breath­ing rate, and rhythm. En­ter a world of your own and play there at your own level. The more ex­pe­ri­enced you get, and the fit­ter you get, the eas­ier this be­comes. There is also plea­sure to be found in the suf­fer­ing when you’ve got it un­der con­trol. An­other tip is to use road­side land­marks to aim for in or­der to break your climb into smaller, more di­gestible chunks as you grind your way up. Al­though if you use those road­side kilo­me­tre mark­ers in the Alps, don’t read what’s on them – re­al­is­ing what you’re fac­ing and just how far you’ve still got to go can de­stroy your morale on a tough day!

Ig­nore what’s on the kilo­me­tre mark­ers – it can sap your morale

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