On a 5k, pace tells you where you are supposed to be. And after agreeing with you for a couple of kms, your body then tells you that there’s no way you’re staying there. The 3rd km is when you realize you’re probably going to die, the 4th one you get to see how you will die, and the 5th one is when you actually die.
This morning my GF asked me who I was made at. I was completely confused. She said I kept saying “Come on motherfuc!er!” She thought I was talking to the dog but he was doing what he always does: Sitting on the chair staring at me while I sweat.
I guess “Come on motherfuc!ker” is my mantra.
On long climbs (30 min +) I just count. I don’t know what I’m counting – it’s not pedal strokes, it’s not my breathing, it’s not chinchillas or reflectors in the road.
I always preferred the 800m where you go through all of that on the first lap and then if you ever regain consciousness, hopefully you’ve already crossed the finish line.
‘It never gets easier, you just get faster.’
What is working for me this last six months or so is just remembering that whilst today and each workout is only one step, they all add up. We all overestimate what we would like to achieve in say a month and underestimate what we can achieve in 12 consistent months.
Like others I sometimes count pedal stokes when really bad or in the stage before that focus on breathing to try and ignore the legs.
“Master says Faster”
I’m an old fart so if I’m dragging a bit before the workout, I just remind myself that “growing old ain’t for sissies.”
During the workout, and especially during the harder intervals, I mumble, “chin up, shoulders down” quite frequently.
I do not want to see your paincave!
“It’s supposed to be hard!”
I thought I was being clever when I tried “The problem of the bridge was no more difficult than many other problems,” but it’s too bloody long to repeat during vo2max intervals and all I could think of was how that book ends. The workout was a spectacular failure.
I wondered if I was alone in counting my pedals strokes, I find when the blackness is descending usually towards the end of the interval it really helps.
I’ve tried to count the pedal strokes, but my cadence is pretty high (95-105) so the count becomes too fast for a good mantra. I can’t get the rhythm in sync. Maybe I need to count just one leg or something like 1, 2 (1), 1, 2 (2), 1, 2 (3), 1, 2 (4) etc. How do you make the counting work?
I get to about 85-90 then look at how long on interval I’ve got left then start again. I find it’s just helps take my mind off wanting to get off bike. If it’s over 95 then I’m same as you I can’t seem to count that fast
The one I have been using for about 15 years is:
"Get Comfortable, Being UNcomfortable".
I first saw it used by Selene Yeaker, aka “Fit Chick” and former world class MTBer and I though it would be perfect for the cement wall in my garage extension where I trained. I still use it regularly to settle into difficult workouts.
Might also be wise to remember that the Western version of “mantra” has been corrupted/bastardized from its original Asian form, and is only a mantra by name.
The Western form focuses the literal meaning of the word or phrase, while the original form focuses on the sound/vibration of the word or phrase.
The Western version is also more about helping one accomplish a short-term task or achieve a goal via short-term emotional/motivational overload (extrinsic); the original form is about attaining a long-term higher level of spirituality via long-term calm conditioning (intrinsic).
Western mantras are akin to destruction; Eastern mantras are akin to construction.
I’m guessing life requires both at different times.
I am a damn emotional mess on the trainer and in bike races so mine look like I need a therapist:
- “If I do this, I will win” and in the last 30-seconds of the interval it changes to “I will win, will win, I will win” while envisioning myself on the podium.
- “This is my ticket” referring to the ticket for the dance of people who can complete these intervals and race.
*“Need to finish” rather than wanting to quit.
I’ve also recently started thinking about how much some of these over-unders hurt and how training through them will put people in the “pain-box” than I’m ascending above through the work I’m doing in that interval. This is all based upon CX racing, btw.
At Long Course Weekend Wales last year, at the swim start, a guy was waving a Welsh flag from a pole and along the bottom, written in big letters, was a mantra I ended up repeating for the weekend: “Don’t be Shit”.
It sticks with me today. Seems to work.
Mine is all about pain acceptance. Not avoidance.
“Accept the discomfort”
This totally works. If you smile, your RPE goes immediately down, albeit temporarily.
I use this all the time.
Another one I think of is: “If you quit now, quitting will be easier next time” – kind of like shaming myself to push through.
+1 to this. Generally start doing this when I feel like I’m dragging.
Last one I use, and I find myself repeating it a lot… when the burn dissolves into numbness, and the taste of metal is in my mouth, I say to myself: “This is how you hang.”
And what I mean by it is, ‘this is how you don’t get dropped, this is how you stay in the “A” selection, this is how you hang in there.’ I started saying it after my A race last year when I got dropped on the first selective hill. I think about that hill all the time. That hill is the reason I joined TrainerRoad in the first place. And next year during the same race, I’m hell bent on hanging with the lead group on it. Hanging in on that hill would feel like winning a race.
The hill is called Trumbull, by the way. It’s a real sonofabitch.
It’s all a waste of time if I quit now - gut it out!
“All your effing weight on the outside pedal”