Mental Load

10Jul10

Twice in one day. Crazy

A good mate of mine Ad Dogg’s (Adam Trewin) has recently discovered the passion for cyclocross and has started a blog telling his story. He posted an interesting article the other day about “The importance of mental recovery” and the need for mental recovery from “demanding cognitive and emotional” loads.

I have been dealing with, experimenting and learning about this over the past four months and I have seen the benefit in my life and my riding.

As an athlete you become very good at taking care of your body. Recovery in training although sometimes not done as well as possible is a big part of any training program. However, I feel that there is little respect out there for mental recovery. If your mind is rested than you can think clearer and therefore make better decisions when under high physical and mental loads whilst training and racing. Meaning you have a better chance at winning the race or getting more out of yourself on a training ride.

It’s funny how many cyclists talk about feeling mentally recovered after a beautiful ride. I completely agree with the quiet that comes over you on a peaceful ride in the country. This is strange because cycling, even cruising along, requires a large amount of attention from you. Yet many cyclists will gain mental “energy” from a ride and I have a number of friends who actually need it.

Personally I have adapted my training with respect to the knowledge that cycling requires a large amount of my attention and so try to ride at times and in areas of less stress. i.e not the city in peak hour. I also use the trainer a lot more in order to rest my brain as much as possible so I can use it for racing.

Proof is in the pudding and I am racing better than I ever have.

Adam’s blog that provided the inspiration for this blog: http://muderation.blogspot.com/2010/07/back-in-business.html

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