Distraction Techniques

percentages and fractions, also what works for me. It’s even better on shorter intervals i find, cause I need to get it right quickly before i miss another “big step”, like a 5%er, or something like that :rofl:

Rick and Morty has keept me through quite a fair number of tough workouts.
It’s mindless enough that I don’t need to pay attention, but stupid enough that it distracts me from the work.
Not really suitable for anything harder than SS I found, however.

So, that works for me, too, for much harder workouts.
I try to place myself in a mental posture where I realise this moment, here, now, is the one that makes me faster.
Also, thinking “if you’re hurting now, the guys behind you are hurting, too.” works wonders, especially in over/unders, where you really feel like giving up and letting the power slip.
Going to the over? “make them hurt more, make sure they can’t hold your wheel”
Back under? “now is the time to nail them, don’t let them recover, push it through”

Edit: keeping posts together


Exactly this. I (try :grimacing:) to welcome the hurt and suffering, it sounds slightly weird but sometimes I talk to it and encourage it to join me for the next xx mins.

It’s my friend because it’s making me stronger.


i think i have specific playlists for that, that get me out of the funk

  1. Counting with my breaths (esp. for VO2 reps). Usually 15 counts with full breaths = 40 seconds.

  2. Thinking about positive things e.g. new projects at work I’m excited about.

  3. Looking at the graph differently: In sets or reps, the half-way point is when “it’s goind downhill and it’s gonna get easy”. The rep/set before the last IS THE LAST ONE. The last rep/set is just wrapping up.

  4. Music does help, especially with something that keeps a rhythm for at least 1 hour e.g. electronic music mixes on SoundCloud.

  5. Watching TV/docs doesn’t help me because I noticed it distracts me and I feel more tired. I can do it only if I’m doing a Z2 session for 1 hour.

1 Like

Agree with the hour long music sets helping. I find that hour long live sets on YouTube definitely helps distract the mind for hard indoor intervals.

  • Bar position intervals - 1 min in the drops; 1 min in the hoods; 30s on the tops, etc.

  • Counting breaths/breath cycles - I have a certain breath-cycline routine that I know takes ~10s and I will count my breaths that way. This is especially useful when combining RPE intervals (see below)

  • Breaking Time into chunks - Break up an interval into even or random blocks of time (i.e. 10 min interval into 5min x 2 vs. 2min, 3 min, 3 min, 2 min)

  • Pedaling proprioception intervals - Spend some time on feeling various aspects of your pedal stroke and muscles

  • RPE intervals - tuning out the display and just trying to feel the sensations of the interval. I find this especially useful at the beginning and the end of an interval and telling myself “it’s not that bad/ you’re not anywhere close to dying”

  • Music intervals - Counting the measures of a song’s verse/chorus/etc.

  • 1st person racing videos and pretending I’m a parking lot crit hero

  • Counting the clock up or down in different ways: 1 2 3 - 4 -5 6 7 - 8 9 10 or 50 49 48 47 - 46 - 45 44 etc.

  • Count to yourself for 20/30/60s without looking at the clock and see how close you are to the actual clock at the end

  • Hold as close to a power number as possible ( no erg mode)

  • Stay above or at a certain cadence or power for a certain time period

  • Standing for 4 pedalstrokes

  • While outside, using an object in the distance (or a hill climb, etc.) as a destination during the interval to break up the time.

  • While outside, use a repeating course/lap for intervals and judge how far away I am to the end of the course instead of staring at the clock. This also helps avoid stops signs etc

  • Fixating on a point in the room and using it to reduce upper body movement/ stabilize my hips while pedaling. My computer has a light on the monitor I use and I can tell if my form is deteriorating by how much I’m swaying wrt the light


I don’t have anything to add to the great suggestions above, however, I was thinking yesterday… getting to three minutes left in an interval is my favourite. It feels like a short enough time that most things are bearable, but long enough that I still feel like I need to ‘do work’…


I picture someone on my wheel (there is one person specifically that I consider my “archrival”), and I’m trying to drop him.

We’re both on our limit, and I know maybe 30 more seconds and he’ll crack. I make it 30 seconds and he’s still there. 30 more seconds. He’s still there. I can’t look like I’m suffering or he’ll attack, I have to look like I could do this all day. 30 more seconds. He’s there. 30 more seconds. AHH he cracked, I dropped him. Interval over. Rinse & repeat. :smiley:


Amazing! So many good tips - defienetly will use some of these methods whilst doing my 2 hour sweet spot session tomorrow :heart_eyes: