Training & Nutrition - Am I mental?
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06-06-01, 06:37 PM
I was curious to find out what each of you thought about climbing.
What percentage of climbing do you think is mental? There are some days where I attack every climb and look forward to each one. Other days even the smallest hill seem like Mt. Everest. This is especially true is I had a stressful day at work or I'm tired. It seems that my state of mind on that day is more of a determining factor on how well I climb than how physically fit I am.
I remember that when I first started riding I was intimidated by hills. Basically I was defeated by the hill before I even started climbing. I still see this in friends who are just starting or do not ride very often. As soon as they see a climb they just give up.
I wanted to hear your approach to a very long climb. Are you intimidated by a long climb or do you look forward to it?
06-06-01, 08:36 PM
Even though I'm not much of a climber, I like hills. So maybe that's why climbing isn't a mental issue to me. Wind is another matter. I have yet to find a way to mentally look forward to, and anticipate with relish, the challenge of a kick-*ss headwind.
06-07-01, 05:51 AM
Climbing is largely a matter of power to weight ratio.
For us skinny lightweights, its easy and fun; for a well muscled, heavy-boned bruiser, its not so easy.
06-07-01, 10:47 AM
Michael has the right formula there!
Us beefy types have it rough up the mountain! I give my thanks every time I shift into that 22x34 that carries my large-self up the hill! I wish my knees performed so well!
06-07-01, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by Joe Pozer
What percentage of climbing do you think is mental?
All other factors being equal, climbing ability is, of course, determined by physical factors.
But mental state is not always a constant factor. I have found my mind straying from the discomfort of a particularly hot climb to a wandering daydream, only to find myself at the top before I knew it. Then, seeing myself reaching the top, suddenly I feel an strong desire to ease up. But why should I ease up just because the hill has ended? Shouldn't I be better able to keep pushing now that I am no longer climbing? That makes me wonder if "disconnecting" might sometimes be better than "trying harder."
On the extreme end, "mind over matter" and the ability of the mind to ignore pain or discomfort can lead us to abuse our bodies for the sake of performance. This is why I try to keep a balance, ignoring temporary discomfort while at the same time learning to listen to my body.
06-07-01, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by Ranger
Michael has the right formula there!
Us beefy types have it rough up the mountain!
Ha... I've heard this way too many times from someone who then goes and drops everybody on the climbs.
But you are right, the lighter you are the less weight you are carrying up the hill. Probably why most of the skinny guys dominate the mountains stages and the big muscular riders are mainly sprinters.
06-08-01, 10:01 AM
1) Yes, you are mental. But then you wouldn't qualify for this forum if you weren't.
2) The mental side is a big factor in anything we do. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we don't have any hills here in New Orleans. Racers drive 110 miles to get to a hilliy ride everyone uses to prepare for race preparation. We do have wind regularly. I am trying to develop a positive attitude about stiff headwinds, trying to convince myself that riding into them makes me stronger. When I can make that mental leap, I find myself smiling into the wind. It would be great if I could suspend reality more often. :)
06-08-01, 03:11 PM
Everytime I go out on my bike I see to it that I will be climbing some hills, I don't care if I'm riding on a headwind or I am on a tailwind, as long as I will climb a hill and that if I can feel that my thights are bursting the more happier I am
06-09-01, 03:08 AM
Joe you're right it is a mental thing,if upon approaching a steep climb ,it is there you can "make" the descision in your mind to attack it and try to conquer or see how far you can go ,always try and conquer,as much as it hurts, also it is much easier on yourself to try and kill the hill by yourself and practice it untill you can , than be with a bunch of riders who can kick your sorry a$$ and you find yourself walking up that satanic incline...not good for the personel self esteem.....cheers -Buddy.
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