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Old 01-17-06, 08:57 AM
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Great points about wearing the right clothing. That can definitely kill a ride in a hurry. We've all done it though, so don't feel too bad.

You are definitely right about another's a whole lot better not to get too mental on a ride, especially a long one. You have to learn to zone that kind of stuff out. If you are like me and sometimes can't, think positive and reinforcing stuff, not negative 'this is killing me' kind of stuff. That won't get you anywhere but disappointed.

Remember that old trick that the pros use...tell yourself, I am going to make it to the next ______________. Even if its the next stop sign, once you get there give yourself a pat on the back, even shout a woo-hoo if you want to, then pick out another target. Keep doing this to get you through the low spots. I broke up the last 20 miles of a hilly metric that turned windy and cold last spring by pretending that each mile was a football game, and that my goal was to take my team to the Super Bowl. I broke each mile down into four quarters, picked the opponent for each game, and then played the victory out in my head as I completed each mile. By the time that I got to the last mile, I probably looked demented because I was grinning and chuckling about the crazy stuff that I was coming up with in the games. I had the Pope skydiving into the stadium to Britney Spears in the Super Bowl halftime extravaganza.

Another thing that I'll do on loops is to play little mental games with the people and stuff that I pass. I'll try and see how many different ways I can wave to a jogger that I keep passing, or see how many languages that I can say hello in. I've tried predicting what the next kind and color of car will be. I'll try out different barks to see if I can get one of the block dogs barking at me from behind their fences. I've asked kids to be ready to squirt me with the hose the next time that I come around. It sounds goofy I know, but it takes your mind off of the miles you are packing in.

If goofy isn't your thing, you can also break up the parts of a loop ride by varying the way that you are going to complete each loop. Do one at a cadence of 50, then add 5rpm on the next one. Keep doing that until you are gassing yourself with pedal speed. Finish that loop and start dialing it back down 5 rpm at a time. Do a minute out of the saddle for every five that you ride seated. Alternate loops between the large and small chain ring. You can chew up a lot of miles in this way too.

There are all kinds of things that you can do. Just use your imagination...but in a good way.
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