Your legs are burning. Your lungs are burning. Thoughts of flaming out, backing off, or giving up are dancing in your tortured mind. What will you do next? The mentally fit cyclist is highly skilled in responding to suffering, and thus has a distinct advantage over many competitors.
When we cyclists use the word “suffering,” we’re usually referring to two all-too-frequent – and often interrelated – experiences that we have on the bike: pain and fatigue. In a word, we hurt. Not from injury, but from the sheer demands of riding. Clearly, at times pain and fatigue are sending us a warning that should be heeded. But for many cyclists, learning to respond differently to suffering is the biggest obstacle to increased performance. It can be the juiciest opportunity to grow as an athlete, and perhaps, as a person.
The above paragraphs come from an article by Marvin Zauderer that appeared on Pez Cycling News. In it he goes on to explain five core skills used to manage suffering. A good article, part of a series.
Here’s the full article.