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  1. #1
    Renewed cyclist in VT jabbahop's Avatar
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    any recommendations for books on toughening up mentally?

    I need some ideas on how to push through the pain. Anyone have some good reads on that side of the sport?

    thansk

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Isn't the notion of "reading" to "toughen up" a bit oxymoronic?

    Set a stretch goal and go out and beat it. That's how you toughen up.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  3. #3
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    Depends.

    I've had to read some stuff that was absolute torture.

    Dickens for example.

    I would start with him.

    Maybe pick up a book on philosophy of natural science if that's what you're into. Maybe something about logical empiricism as well.
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
    -Albert Camus

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  4. #4
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Just come back here often, there are many of us Deputized Constables...

    HTFUPoliceBanner.jpg
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  5. #5
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
    Depends.

    I've had to read some stuff that was absolute torture.

    Dickens for example.

    I would start with him.

    Maybe pick up a book on philosophy of natural science if that's what you're into. Maybe something about logical empiricism as well.
    Or go to the 41 and read a few pages of their threads...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  6. #6
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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    no book can make you mentally tough. Only experience IMO.

    However I found 'dog in a hat' and 'the rider' to be motivating...

  7. #7
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammy56 View Post
    no book can make you mentally tough. Only experience IMO.

    However I found 'dog in a hat' and 'the rider' to be motivating...
    Good point jack@ss. I think the only way that you can become more mentally tough is to have experienced defeat that has come at the hands of your own shortcomings (i.e. training, diet, motivation) - it is from this failure that you either grow stronger or continue looking for places to point fingers...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  8. #8
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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    rkwaki has a really good point...

    and if he had more hair nobody would see it.

  9. #9
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammy56 View Post
    rkwaki has a really good point...

    and if he had more hair nobody would see it.
    If I had any hair I would be lucky

    Some of the greatest lessons I have learned in this sport have come from losing, rarely from winning.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  10. #10
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    My coach prescribed me 10x1min maximum efforts with 2min recovery for tonight. HTFU and doing this interval workout could probably fill in for whatever book you are wanting.
    Category 2 | | Velogames BikeForums Leagues: 1st - 2012 Veulta, 1st - 2011 Vuelta, 2nd - 2013 Vuelta, 3rd - 2012 Giro, 4th - 2012 TdF

  11. #11
    Senior Member supafast213's Avatar
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    Maybe this can help you....

    It's a little off topic.
    Ride with a pure heart, the rest will work itself out

  12. #12
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    OP --> Pushing through the pain?

    That's the easy part.
    Suffering is innate.

    If you are lacking motivation, I agree with reading "The Rider"

  13. #13
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    If you are lacking motivation, I agree with reading "The Rider"
    I'm reading it now, and I'm enjoying it. I haven't gotten to where it's motivating. In due time, I guess.

    For me, the thing that motivated me most this year was losing at Somerville. It was after that loss that I decided what the focus of the rest of my season would be, and how I would get there.

  14. #14
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    For me, the most successful thing I ever did was to put a piece of tape over my computer. Once I could no longer look down and see how many watts I was putting out or what my HR was or how fast I was going or even how long I had been riding allowed me to just ride as needed without thinking about how hard it was.

    Now I find the blue painters tape I use to cover the computer screen comforting. People always ask why I don't just put the computer in my pocket, but I like seeing that piece of blue tape.

    And I find winning to be more motivating than losing. Improvement seems to inspire further improvement.

  15. #15
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    I'm reading it now, and I'm enjoying it. I haven't gotten to where it's motivating. In due time, I guess.
    I love the book. I've bought it many times. I lend it out and never see it again.

    Like you I don't find it particularly motivating. I enjoy it because it is the closest thing I have read or seen that captures what it is like to be in a road race. And it also is about the days when 10-speed meant 2 on the front and 5 on the back and not cassettes with 10 cogs. It was a very different world back then.

    I lend out the book to new racers hoping that they get a shortcut to understanding the sport. Having said that I have to admit that my experiment has been a total failure. They read the book and still race like idiots. Sigh.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  16. #16
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
    For me, the most successful thing I ever did was to put a piece of tape over my computer. Once I could no longer look down and see how many watts I was putting out or what my HR was or how fast I was going or even how long I had been riding allowed me to just ride as needed without thinking about how hard it was.

    Now I find the blue painters tape I use to cover the computer screen comforting. People always ask why I don't just put the computer in my pocket, but I like seeing that piece of blue tape.

    And I find winning to be more motivating than losing. Improvement seems to inspire further improvement.
    I never used to use a computer while racing, I didn't care how fast, far, etc as I knew we all had the same things to contend with, either I was in the mix or I wasn't.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  17. #17
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk View Post

    I lend out the book to new racers hoping that they get a shortcut to understanding the sport. Having said that I have to admit that my experiment has been a total failure. They read the book and still race like idiots. Sigh.
    Loan it out to only those with 200 races under their belt (anything less than that and it'll just be "interesting").
    Then have them read it once a year, until it finally makes sense.

    I read it once a year to this day.

  18. #18
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkwaki View Post
    I never used to use a computer while racing, I didn't care how fast, far, etc as I knew we all had the same things to contend with, either I was in the mix or I wasn't.
    I like my handlebar "clean" as well.
    Numbers are fun, but going without gadgets is pure bliss

  19. #19
    Village Idiot
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    Trainer facing brick wall for endurance rides?
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
    -Albert Camus

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  20. #20
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Well, I'd disagree about "you have to have been there". To me there's a bit of the Cat5 training syndrome behind that...throwing kindergarteners in a room with books of matches and see who comes out in one piece never seemed to be an ideal methodology. But it's a common answer because the people who give it tend to be the people who made it out of class without burning up.

    Just HTFU has it's place at times, but the sport produces a fairly big scrap heap of folks who burn out and quit, or have burned out and quit and come back later in life. So having a few tools in the shed that you can use from time to time is not a bad thing.

    And there's plenty of evidence that addressing the mental side can produce better results in both training and racing.

    What I've found is that one book on the subject is not going to cut it, because each one will have things that resonate, and things that don't. I'd suggest:





    And finally, I've read this three times. It's both motivational and actually discusses a bit of sports psychology:



    The sports psychiatrist that worked with the British team likened the riders to different breeds of dogs. You don't train a Rottweiler the same way you train a Labrador...each requires a different approach. Same with people.

  21. #21
    Does Not Exist
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    With Winning in Mind by Lanny Bassham
    The New Toughness Training for Sports by James E. Loehr

    in that order. They are both good, but Bassham's book is more concise. Loehr's book covers a wider area, like how things outside your sporting life will affect your performance, and how you deal with that.

    One of the best things I got out of Bassham's book is the "mental program," that gives a guide on what your mental state should be like just before, during, and just after performance. That probably has the most relevance on the "pushing through pain" issue.

  22. #22
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Ex good points. There are two rkwaki's:
    1. Training rkwaki
    2. Racing rkwaki
    Two different animals altogether. I feel, once ready, that I will as strong as ever due to the fact that I am in a better place mentally. I have worked to get rid of the ego and selfishness that plagued me for a long time and for that I believe I am stronger...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  23. #23
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    I like my handlebar "clean" as well.
    Numbers are fun, but going without gadgets is pure bliss
    Plus when it comes to a sprint for example - I don't care how fast the computer says I am going all the matters is that I am in front of You (figuratively speaking you being whoever I am sprinting not you YMCA )
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  24. #24
    abandoning fly:yes/land:no's Avatar
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    you want to get tough, read this book:



    1000 pages of dense stream of consciousness. the irish advanced military academy has students read this book to prepare them for possible violent interrogations and the mental fatigue of captivity. before i read this book, i was a dewey-eyed dough boy that could barely motivate myself to ride more than an hour in the best of conditions. by the time i was done, i rode in the snow with no gloves, i ate cytomax powder without water, and i frequently did three hour time trial efforts on rollers twice a week (always facing the wall of my basement with no tv or music allowed, and sometimes in the dark).

  25. #25
    Super Moderator
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    To put the following in context I have set my best 60 second time in the last lap of races. I often finish a race 10 bpm higher than the "max" I was holding during the race. The last lap is usually pain free because I am too busy to think about pain.

    http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/lette...2letters#There

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