Meditation app recommendations for cyclists and endurance athletes?

I’ve explored a few apps so far (Calm, Headspace, Insight Timer and Simple Habit), but wanted to ping the collective group if there were others I should try before paying for or subscribing to one?

I’m looking for something that has guided meditations for endurance athletes. Generic meditations on focus, concentration, etc. are fine, but I’d really like one that has a decent amount of meditations tailored to athletes.

Of the ones I’ve tried so far, Headspace is my favorite. It’s well-designed and has a few tracks that match what I’m looking for in its “movement and sport” category. And while people find Andy’s voice polarizing, I’m one that actually likes it!

Insight Timer on the other hand hand, seems to have the most content. But the production quality of them can be hit or miss.

Are there any other apps I should check out?

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I’ve tried Calm and Headspace, I’ve only been using headspace for a few weeks now but I think I prefer it.

Side note, the creator of headspace did a podcast with the CEO of Whoop. Whoop is a fitness tracker (for lack of a better word, and trying to keep this post relatively short) that was actually mentioned on the last TR podcast and it seems like they are trying it out. The CEO has a weekly podcast.

Long story short, I highly recommend the interview with the Headspace creator. He has a very interesting life and outlook on fitness and recovery.

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What is your reason for wanting guided “meditations” and how would an endurance athlete GM differ from a general pop GM?

I did about a month of guided meditations last year and found them helpful to quiet my ADD brain. Can’t remember why I stopped, probably time constraints, but now that I’m refocusing on my cycling goals this year (better nutrition and sleep, more structured training, etc.) I thought I’d give daily meditations another go.

I guess they don’t have to be guided meditations. I’d also take recommendations on books, talks, videos on the mental side of achieving one’s full potential. I already read:

I’m a routine kind of guy and I’d like something I can do daily, to improve focus and reinforce positive self-talk during hard workouts and races, similar to the “Mantras” thread, but deeper.

Great to see this topic … i was so ridiculously sceptical about meditation but gave it a go in January.

My favourite by far is Sam Harris’ Waking UP app …

I have made the biggest gains in ability i’ve made for about 5 years of endurance training thanks to starting to meditate…and the ability to try and separate the mind from the body in times of suffering.

I feel so silly for neglecting my mind for so long prior to starting to meditate. Utter GAME CHANGER.

Nearly every workout ATM for me the biggest gains feel mental and it is incredibly exciting to see the growth …

fascinating stuff and i can’t articulate how doubtful i was prior to trying it all …


Not an app but rather brain wave entrainment, works for me especially the Sleep ones. Not $ cheap like an app though. Project Meditation

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Oh, Westerners…:man_facepalming::laughing:

There is a severe distinction between true meditation and app-based guided “meditation”.

If you are wanting to practice true meditation then you require only your breath and time.

If you are seeking more of a mental motivation type experience, then the app stuff will fill that niche.

A couple of years ago I did a lot of reading about brain function etc. and naturally caught a whiff of mediation and its studied effects. I started using Insight just for the timing bells, but found it to be too social media-ish (e.g. rewards, friends, etc.) so I dropped it.

I was doing 3x10min mediation intervals/day but had read it takes the brain ~20min to really adapt to new stimulus so I thought I would start doing 3x20min intervals. Then, because I’m me, I decided to do a 10x experiment. For 30 days I meditated for 300min/day – 3x90min intervals (I know, that’s only 270min but close enough!). No fluffy guided stuff or anything, just sitting and focusing on the breath. Weird sh!t happened. Think Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas but w/o all the drugs.

Week 1 was rough! Your mind does not want to meditate! Week 2 things started to click. Weeks 3-4 were, and I use the term embarrassingly, enlightening. A very marked increase in calmness and focus.

I no longer mediate that much, mostly because I’m spending too much time on the trainer trying to kill myself. The habits and “skills” are still ingrained and I can utilize them somewhat in daily life but I have a hard time pulling them into intense workouts; although focus on the breath and counting are effective.

Good luck which ever direction you choose. :+1:


I use Insight Timer and the new app by Sam Harris called “Waking up”. I highly recommend ging through the introductory full cycle of 45 days on his app. ONly 10 mins/day to start.


Thanks for the recommendation! Fascinating story and confirmation that Andy is just an all-around good guy™️. For those too lazy to search for it, here’s a link to the interview:

listen to lectures and read books by Ram Dass. if you give a man a meditation (apps) you will calm him for a day, if you teach a man to meditate (learn how to meditate) you will calm him for a lifetime haha. glad you’re on the mindfulness path. i too struggle with ADHD and learning to sit and “Be Here Now” has changed my life as an adult and athlete.

RAM RAM, Hare Krishna.

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I’m a Clinical and Sports Hypnotherapist. You may get more benefits by exploring hypnosis and self-hypnosis rather than meditation, as this will also give you tools you can use during your rides for things like pain relief etc (I’ve just seen my biggest FTP jump since I’ve started taking myself into a trance on the bike during a workout and imagining a net catching the pain signals travelling up from my legs…drops by discomfort by about 30% instantly). Also if you have events/races doing visual imagery or rehearsal under hypnosis has huge benefits on performance.

Happy to give you some tips if you’re interested.

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‘Guided meditation’ always seemed a bit of a misnomer to me. It essentially hypnosis under a different name.

Just made a post related to this. Curious what you ended up settling on.

I ended up going with Headspace and Waking Up (by Sam Harris).

I’ve been using both regularly and while there’s some overlap, I feel that Waking Up’s meditations better help met get into a mindful state and I enjoy its “Lessons” section; essentially a bunch of short talks. Headspace has a wider breadth of meditations and a whole section dedicated to sleep.

Each one has a trial period so you can try both and see which one you like best!

Deal alert: Headspace is currently on sale for $58 USD/year until Aug 12, 2019:


I’m also a big fan of Headspace. I don’t think I would have started a daily meditation practice without the guided meditation and the easy goal of 10 mins/day.


A lot of what the current research is pointing to is that meditation is the “gateway” to a flow state for an athlete. My experience coaching athletes in it for the past 4 years is that meditation is a big part of it, but there’s a lot more that can and should be done to get the most out of training your brain for improved endurance performance.

The way I look at endurance training now is that the primary consideration is how best to train the brain in getting better at this skill (endurance racing) and how to integrate into training with the body. You still want to be aware of and take into consideration aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, etc, but the primary thing you are training is the brain. If you do it right, everything else comes along with it.

Hope this helps,


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Well, there are many, but I’ll suggest you Calm and Headspace because I have used it before…

Having taught yoga and meditation for the last 12 plus years, I still go back to Headspace when I find I need to get refocused on my personal practice. After a few days with Andy I can then return to my meditation without an outside support app. I recommend to others use Headspace’s free 10 days maybe even more that once. It sets a good foundation, then possibly you work without it and see if you can stay present. If all else fails look for a good local teacher like you would a coach and invest the time and money required.