Meditation and other exercises for athletes

Curious about what you’ll think about self-transformation content out there. Not just related to mindfulness and meditation, but general stuff too.

From meditation apps to (other) podcasts – what do you all like to use? How do you think they could be better?

I know someone posted asking for recommendations the other day, but I’m curious how you’ll create your own routines and/or supplement existing programs.


Headspace is the app I always hear about. Tim Ferriss’ podcast has a few episodes about meditation and mindfulness.

Arnold Schwarzenegger says that he tried meditating for a while, less than a year if I remember correctly, and that the benefits have stayed with him.

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I started using Headspace. Got the one-year plan due to a pretty good discount the other day.

So far, so good…

I’m also a big fan of Headspace. Since you asked about routines…I currently have a daily practice of 10 mins/morning, 5 mins/mid-day, and sometimes 5 mins/before bed. I also like to meditate before group rides in the car while I wait for everyone to show up.

My initial goal was to establish a daily practice (discipline over motivation, as they say). Now that I have that down, I will start extending my sessions. I’ve seen changes in my personal/work life, relationships, diet, ease of sleep and discipline to train…it’s yet to be seen whether all that will translate to improved performance on the bike during rides, but I don’t race so YMMV.

Good luck on your journey!


Headspace user as well and on a 114 day meditation streak, probably started a week or two before that. Can’t recommend it enough! Started meditation and mindfulness for racing and training, and realized so many more benefits for my life and relationships. Additionally, @SonyaLooney recommends and uses the Ten Percent Happier app, as does some of my wife’s friends who are very happy with it. Sonya also has podcasts that discussed meditation among other similar related topics, I recommended looking into that as well.


Hi! Thanks for the shout-out MI-XC!

My podcast has a lot of personal development guests that you all might enjoy!

For meditation specific episodes:

The Science of Meditation with Cognitive Neuroscientist Dr. David Vago:

and here is one with a great meditation instructor named Jeff Warren who is the co-author of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics book:

(both of these guys have meditation courses in Ten Percent Happier App).

Hope these help! I think just finding an app that works for you or maybe even using a combo of apps is good. I like Ten Percent (and there’s no affiliation, I just like them) because they offer a wide variety of instructors, courses, and they even have George Mumford who works with an NBA team.


It’s funny that appless meditation has been utilized for thousands of years with profound effect, yet for some reason the “modern” man requires – nay, seeks! – apps and gadgets to do what is (or should be) a natural function. Whatever gets you on the bandwagon, I guess.

I’ve done my share of reading (and n=1 research/experimentation) on the matter and the bottom line is that meditation, esp. focused attention meditation, creates a very low-stressed mind (and where the mind goes, the body follows). Studies have found that meditators with many decades of practice (up to 40 years) have the same brain function outside of mediation that beginners display whilst in meditative practice. In other words, they are living meditation 24/7.

It’s also been said that it takes the brain about 20 minutes to register and ‘cement’ new input, so practice focused meditation (e.g. your breath) each and every for a minimum of 20 minutes…for a minimum of 20 years(!) and you’ll be the most chill masters racer on the start line.

As for the OPs question of “self-transformation content”…I would say that almost all of it is constructed to prey upon the notion that as a person, you are somehow lacking in a very substantial way in one or more facets of your life. It’s not so much self-transformation for the consumer as it is bank account transformation for the producer. AKA, most of it is worthless.

Apart from getting too deep into that, transformation of any kind requires energy and some processes require an immense amount of energy (e.g. self-transformation). Just take a look at what is required to transform into a better bike rider – thousands of hours just on training, let alone hundreds of more hours spent on research, forums, maintenance, travel, extra sleep, meal prep, etc., and the thousands of dollars spent on equipment, travel, food, supplements, testing, training junk, etc. Carried over many years…that’s a LOT of energy. Most people dealing with the average modern life cannot provide sufficient energy required to transform.

Now, if you’re considering ‘self-transforming’ into a “better” person (whatever that means), it’s a rather daunting mental exercise to consider expending the same degree of resources over such long period of time in order to reach a desired (advertised?) state of betterment. Anyone prepared to take on a 30-year mediation practice to achieve a constant state of serenity?


There may be a few authentic gems here and there, but almost all self-transformation can be had for free if we simply adhere to a few simple guidelines which have been around, again, for thousands of years. Or, simply take at what you did to become a better bike rider, and apply the same principles. Ergo, no Tony Robbins required. :grin:


I’ve also been using Headspace and can recommend it. I try to do 20 minutes daily, although some days I miss. I have noticed the benefits.

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“Serenity now, insanity later” - Lloyd Braun

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I also use Headspace. I do 5 minutes a day although I often use the sounds packages to go back to sleep. I did do the cycling one the other day at the end of my long ride. It was no @chad training session :slight_smile:

Zero disrespect intended here, you just happened to provide a perfect example…

As has been observed by those in the meditation profession, meditation seems to be divided into two distinct categories, i) a Western practice which is short and intense (every day for a few months), and ii) an Eastern practice which is long but inconsistent (a few times a week for decades). The difference being that the Eastern practice is an intrinsic lifestyle whereas the Western practice is viewed as an external accomplishment…like a 114 day streak. Not so sure Buddha made notches in his Bodhi tree to keep a running tally.

It’s a tough nut to crack, cuz that’s how we’ve been programmed (the one with the most wins), but meditation becomes far more when you allow it to be part of what you are instead of something to be measured and gameified; quantified by experience instead of apps and electronic devices. It’s akin to how you felt when you first learned how to ride a bike and were tearing around your neighbourhood vs locked onto your torture device in your ‘pain cave’, a slave to numbers and blue blocks.

Meditation is completely free…and probably the easiest hardest endeavour you will ever do.
But there is no “winning” (sorry, Charlie), so quit trying so damn hard! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:



“You must unlearn what you have learned.” - Yoda and Captain :doughnut:

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Hmmm… knowing you are a former Headspace user and have been on a long journey of mindfulness and meditation, not to mention uncovered a life altering condition in yourself (Doughnut is Done), you are quick to point fault. However, you aren’t giving credit to the process, which Headspace has been part of your own process. I Do follow Western practice because I am westernized, and that’s not a bad thing. Not to mention, Eastern practice, the intrinsic lifestyle and Buddha’s notches on tree’s are irrelevant, as I’m sure he had a horrible FTP and I would smoke him in a race :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.

On the other hand Buddha doesn’t live my life, have my stresses and trying to be the best cyclist possible. Meditation started as a a tool/technique for me to become a better racer, and as you know going through the process yourself, has evolved in to so much more. So having a 114 day streak is an accomplishment and one should be proud, as I had never meditated before and was quite the skeptic. This meaningless streak shows to myself dedication and growth in mindfulness and the journey into inner peace. Furthermore, and most importantly, it silences the inner voice through hard training and races. So though it’s not your taste to take the Western practice anymore, meditation “gameified” is no different than your training gameified by TrainerRoad, Zwift and the like. You don’t need apps and forums to become of better cyclist, just go out and ride your bike and find enlightenment.

Since you’ve been forced down a different path in training you’re getting a little preachy now Doughnut. Careful giving advice from atop your meditation mountain of supremacy. You were down here with us fools not too long ago… Zero disrespect intended.


And today…on a TT bike no less!

Obviously well imbued with the Beginner’s Mind! :wink:

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Our exchange tells us we both need to extend our streaks! :expressionless::v::smile:


Hi Sonya
I also liked one of your Crush it Mondays, when you talked about labelling thoughts. I find that a really useful “on the go” strategy.
It gets a different result than expected.

I’ve used this to great effect during meditation; although, strictly speaking, meditation is about observance and non-attachment to thoughts, so labelling is more of a mental exercise.

Differing from Sonya’s suggested specific labels, I used two broad descriptors: reality and fantasy.
Any thought which arose from an occurrence happening now – sound of a car, itchy nose, sore ankle, etc. – was labelled ‘reality’. Any thought outside of that metric – that driver was a real a-hole, I eat way too many nuts, I hope it’s sunny this weekend, etc. – was labelled ‘fantasy’ (basically any thought about the past and/or possible future).

The ego does not like to be observed, but once we become aware of the tactics utilized to maintain it’s homeostasis, we find they are indeed fragile games. Shockingly (and depressingly), I found myself having an overwhelming abundance of fantastical thoughts*; I wasn’t living in reality. Once this fact became a realization, almost all of those errant thoughts during meditation ceased and meditating (and living) in “the now” became far less of an obstacle.

*(studies have shown that the majority of our daily thoughts are i) not formed consciously, ii) repetitive, and iii) negative. No wonder meditation is so hard!)

New member here, came across this topic as I was browsing through the forums.

I have an app called Calm, it seems pretty decent if you pay for the full version of $59.99 per annum.

Youtube actually has a lot of good meditation content, and you can subscribe to a couple of good channels which are totally free.

I find my meditation / mindfulness is more at night time, immediately before I sleep - I prefer a solid, interesting podcast over meditation though.

Thanks for the response Captain :grinning:
Even the present is fiction since it’s only ever our interpretation…:wink:
I get where your coming from though and I think it’s a useful approach in some contexts.
I’m finding labelling kind of fun at the moment.

Do you really want to go down that rabbit hole?! :scream::laughing:

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