Northampton Road Cycling Club have 6 members taking on the challenge of cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End over 9 days in August 2012 - here are 5 top tips I put together for them to prepare themselves mentally.
1. Before you start each day together or individually visualise the days cycling ahead - what will you
- Hear (both inside your head as well as externally i.e. what will you be saying to yourself)
- Feel (again both internally and externally)
and imagine how you will feel when you have accomplished that days cycling.
2. Acknowledge that there will be easy times and tough times. Remember to enjoy the easy parts and knowing that there will be tough times means you can prepare mentally for them and they won't come as a big shock to the system!
3. Be careful of using the word don't. i.e. 'don't stop' - our brain deletes the negative 'don't' and just understands the 'stopping' this is what it tells the body to do and you end up stopping! Give yourself a positive mantra to repeat instead.
4. As cyclists you physically work as a team - make sure you also mentally work as a team. Take it in turns to be navigator, cheerleader, the one who points out the amazing places you're cycling past!
5. Give yourself a pat on the back both mentally and physically at the end of each day - have a reward.
Most of all enjoy it!
If you want to find out more about their challenge then check out their website Northampton Road Cycling Club