Becoming more mindful can provide huge benefits as a cyclist. Not only by improving your performance, but you can get to know yourself and limitations better. Being mindful can provide you will even more joy of life and cycling.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is described as the practice of paying attention in the present moment and doing with intention and non judgement. So when putting mindfulness into the cycling context it could be focusing on how you are feeling, without judging yourself. For example, you could be feeling tired and not as fast as usual and feel down about it, with mindfulness it’s just observing how you are feeling.
How mindfulness can help you in cycling
When you can observe your emotions and how your body feels, instead of feeling helpless and frustrated, you can take the appropriate action. You can start to realise that you cannot feel great on every ride and that your body goes through different states in response to your training and also to other stresses in life.
How to practice being a mindful cyclist
Cycling in itself can be a form of mindfulness, but we can extend on this through recording and being reflective on how you felt on each ride. Whilst out riding think about how your body feels, are your muscles tired, are you breathing heavily are you pushing harder than normal. There is also an opportunity to reflect on your external environment, what is the temperature like, what smells can you experience, is there a wind, what’s the road surface and elevation like. These external factors also have an impact on your internal environment thus will make you feel more connected.
It’s great to record your rides in a journal, not only how far you have been, but also what and how you felt. You can do it on paper, but also programs such as training peaks are useful and can also be shared with a coach.
Share in the comments, what have you learned about yourself through reflecting on your cycling?
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