How endurance sports build mental strength; and the success and failure being two sides of the same coin.
The Bogus Basin Mountain Bike Festival was last weekend and thousands of cyclists shared their passion for cycling on the trails and terrain above our city. During the festival I was part of a panel discussion on mental strength and endurance sports, two topics that truly go hand-in-hand. The panelists brought a broad range of experience to the discussion, and I was humbled to share my insights along with them. In particular, I was asked to share any practices I use to develop confidence and mental strength in sport, business, and life in general. Here is what I shared:
Embrace daily physical challenges:
The fact that everyone up here loves exercise and a good physical challenge is proof to me that as people we are meant to embrace a good struggle.
My insight is that I try to embrace a little bit of a physical challenge every single day. The key is that you don’t have to do something huge, it can be as simple as just showing up, ready to work, for 20 or 30 minutes per day.
You may not be the most gifted or talented athlete, or have the nicest bike or the highest VO2 max, but you can be the relentless person who doesn’t give up, who shows up ready to work, every single day.
Take inspiration from history:
People are amazing and have overcome incredible things.
There are volumes of inspiration on our bookshelves,
all we have to do is open the cover, sit down, and get lost in the pages.
When you read history you experience what people have overcome and what we are capable of enduring. Additionally, you get valuable real-life examples of what to do, and often more importantly what not to do.
A valuable lesson I see again and again in history is that critics and "experts" don't know shit. You have to first and foremost believe in yourself. It's only after you've done the work and overcome mountains of resistance that the rest of the world sees the light.
Use journaling as your practice field:
If training is exercise for your body, journaling is exercise for your mind.
Journaling creates a little space between you and the issue, making it easier to step back, reflect, and emotionally separate yourself from the issue and challenge at hand.
Brayden Bringhurst did not expect to ride up to the Whole Enchilada and scale it on the first try. Why should we expect to respond perfectly the first first time life throws us a real challenge? We won’t. We need some time, space, and opportunity to practice.
Journaling is your opportunity to take some practice runs, think it through, and try different approaches.
And now here is your weekly Tri Town Times newsletter:
Weekend race report:
The '23 Tour de France is off to a tough start in the Basque country of Spain. Twin brothers Adam and Simon Yates of the UK took 1-2 in the opening stage of the Tour de France (first time in history twin brothers finish 1-2 in a Tour stage). Tadej Pogacar is in 2nd place overall after Stage 2 with '22 champion Jonas Vingegaard not far behind.
Events I'm looking forward to:
- I look forward to seeing many of you at the Boise Twilight Criterium this Saturday and the Bogus Basin Hill Climb the morning after.
- The Hill Climb race organizers could use a few extra volunteers. Please complete a volunteer form if you can help support the longest running hill climb race in the country.
Training thoughts and updates:
Plyometrics, even the most basic and simple movements, continue to be an extremely effective way to improve run efficiency. The key with plyometrics is to start much easier than you'd expect would be necessary- I recommend starting with just jumping rope, and as you integrate plyometrics into your routine, count the number of jumps/reps per workout and build no more than 10% per week. Find my notes/resources on plyometrics here.
- Tri Town will be closed July 4th for the holiday, and back to normal hours on Wednesday.
- Please help us review our hours of operations by completing this extremely short survey.
Quote that struck a chord:
“Success consists of going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill.
Success and failure are two sides of the same coin. There is no success without some chance of failure, and there is no satisfaction in success without the risk of failure.
The whole point of embracing physical challenges is that there is a chance of failure.
This is the essence of what makes it worthwhile.
When an athlete struggles with thoughts of failure, they are often focusing on the wrong things. They are focusing on variables outside of themselves, outside of their control.
We must learn to focus on what we can prepare for and control, and mostly ignore the things we cannot.
I can control my training.
I can control my nutrition.
I can control how I setup my bike.
These are all things to focus on and dial in.
I cannot control the weather.
I cannot control what other people say or think of me.
I cannot control what place I finish in.
These are all things I let go of and ignore. And most importantly, I don’t let them control my state of mind.
Train smart and have a great week!
Tri Town Bicycles
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