How often does mental come in the way of the physical?

How often does mental anxiety (such as being intimidated by a training) undermine your physiological ability to push those legs?

For me there are only 2 types of RPE, let’s take 5x6min threshold (Red Lake +8) or over-unders (Fang Mountain +1) from sustained power build in mind:

(1) After first interval: hmm… that was easy I guess? Well… only a couple more and we are done already!

(2) After first interval: oh noes… that was just one!? Look how many peaks there are! This is gonna take a while (intimidation). Guaranteed to fail even though nutrition, sleep, hydration, freshness is objectively ok.

Sometimes I see my HR being like 4-5 higher than I’d expect in the first interval and then I am like “this is already like how the last interval typically is I CANNOT DO THIS”. Or: in the warming up interval with the highest power I am like: I can feel my legs already, that’s not good! (even though Chad says you can feel relatively miserable in the warmup and still do fine).

Who experiences this? And are there any remedies?

This is going to sound dreadful but, it’s my truth.

I approach each training session, hell, every race, like a straight up fist fight. I’m here, you’re here (the workout or the race) and I’m not going down without giving you everything I have. I have trained to get to this point and I believe in that training. I believe that I’m better than you.

As is often quoted, more often than not, you’re the only person standing in the way of your own success. Believe in yourself and your ability.

Yeah, some workouts hurt. How sweet is that feeling when you get off the trainer with that session in your pocket!


Very true. Guess boils down HTFU. Sometimes I shout to myself “COME ON… P*SSY. DO IT”. I approach it like being in the military: too hard for you? too bad… if the enemy finishes and you don’t, you die.

(sometimes literally relevant in endurance riding when you reach that spot where you are completely alone in the night in some forest, with only you, your bike, and your mind and you still have 60k to go doing 200-300km).

Edit: but actually my point is: what if those tactics DON’T work and you still let the sick workout get in the way of your mental motivation? Call it a day? Keep forcing it? Take a longer brake in between interval sets and force again?

Ahh, this is the subtle difference. I’m not beating myself up. I’m not giving myself a hard time or getting into my own head. I simply believe in myself. I empower myself.

Instead of seeing a workout and thinking ‘oh no…’, I say to myself ‘lets see what you’ve got!’ If I can’t do it, I know in my heart that I gave the best I had to give in that moment.

Take an extra 30 seconds to catch your breath, back pedal or tell yourself that you only have to do the first two intervals. Be kind to yourself, mentally. Once you control your mind, the legs will follow.

I don’t recommend anyone to start beating themselves up :+1:


Great advice.

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