Your body is a machine. You put fuel in it, and it does work. Some of that work is basic maintenance: breathing, heart beating, digestion, etc. Some of that work comprises the exertion we put ourselves through: swim, bike, run, all the rest. There is, though, a finite amount of work that a body can do at any given time.
Yesterday was my first experience of a bike race! It’s something I’ve been wanting to have a go at for about a year. British Cycling are actively encouraging more women to race and so are increasing the number of opportunities for women to try racing. I entered a category 4 race , which is open to all women of all ages and abilities.
Guest blog by Sarah Hobbs, who raced her first cycle circuit race this weekend.
We have been working on controlling the controllables and not getting stressed about the things you can’t control. What if it pours with rain on race day? There is NOTHING you can do to prevent that, but you can control your reaction to the conditions – think about your clothing choices, test out all the potential kit you might use so you are comfortable with whatever you need on the big day.
What if you get a puncture? Bloody annoying. Easy to allow something like that to derail your race, but there is no point getting stressed about the possibility. Much better to think about how you would react in a race situation and, if needs be, practice.
You are probably not locked in a titanic psychological struggle to be the best in the world, but you may nonetheless feel irrational guilt over the next few days that you are not training hard enough / you are eating too much / you are not as fast as Steve Ovett. Try to fight this urge and allow yourself to relax.
Close your eyes and try to select a happy place and time. The detail is crucial though – it has to be more than, “Oh yeah, I really liked it at my birthday party last week.” Conjur up the sights, sounds and smells in your mind. The more detail, the more effective this will be at transporting you from your current situation into that happy place.
At the Double Brutal, I was aerobically fit enough to complete the race, but my body let me down. I was not biomechanically fit enough to reach the finish line. As I plan the next great adventure, I know that I have to address this issue, and that’s how I ended up talking to Alice Frewin of Sano Physiotherapy in Morley, with a notebook in my hand, reading out a laundry list of physical problems.