I’d like to train my mental toughness.
For no specific reason, I just like to push my limits and I think cycling is a good sport for this.
Also HIIT workouts that also required mental toughness are my favorites.
For now the only workout I’ve done that pushed my mental limits was X times 4min/2min all out on a climb ( depending on my legs I can do from 4 to 8 reps )
I’ve done it multiple times, in fact it’s the workout I’ve done the most.
Any recommendation on types of workouts that train mental toughness better than others ?
I’m thinking about over / unders. I never tried those and am very curious about it.
I’ve tried X times 30s/30s but I found it less brutal because 30s is very short.
Otherwise I don’t know any other types of workout that really challenge the mental aspect of performance.
Fast group rides and races. There are always parts where you don’t get to pick the effort level, you often don’t know how long an effort is going to last so you’re essentially playing chicken with those around you as to who will quit first and because of the draft, you get punished in real time if you quit.
Doing certain workouts to train mental toughness isn’t a great way to go about it. You should think about training mental toughness with workouts that suit your goals. So it depends on where you are in training, what your goals are, and your physiology.
30/30s are an introductory max aerobic power workout. They’re relatively easy.
Over-Under are great… it just depends on what you’re looking for… you can do TR version 105/95 over-unders and those can be really hard and train mental toughness. They can also leave you feeling totally trashed.
You can do 30/15s or 40/20s at your 5 minute power and start with 8 minute work bouts and those will damn sure train mental toughness, while also training your MAP and ability to put out high power aerobically.
But those two styles of workouts are very different in terms of what you’re training physiologically.
As was mentioned above, a 4-hour ride on a hot day can train your mental toughness.
A 3 hour ride starting at 65% and progressing to spending the last hour at 85% might train your mental toughness… depends on your fitness level.
Riding your threshold as long as you can sustain it and seeing how long you can go (also known as a TTE test) definitely does it.
Basically anything that challenges you to push a new stimulus will challenge your mental toughness. You just have to find workouts that are challenging enough. Not surprised that 30/30s aren’t it!
As you progress through the levels, you will encounter those workouts. Any interval longer than say 5 minutes, that you perform multiple times close to your limit, will at some point require you to not only have the muscle power but also overcome your brain telling you to quit
Serious question… can you train “mental toughness”?
I mean we can train, suffer, go to that unhappy place… but no matter how fit you are there comes a point in a race where you either dig deep into more pain or back off. That “toughness” is ingrained in our character and I think that point for everyone is a little different.
I guess as we train we learn to deal with the discomfort of training. But is that mental toughness? I don’t know…
I feel like the type of workout doesn’t really matter, but rather the duration, amount of repetitions and conditions. For example: doing these hill reps in the rain vs on a sunny day, will have a drastic different effect on your willingnes to push through and therefor also on your mental toughness.
Training your mind to ignore or manage them is mental toughness, though. Any sensations you feel are mediated by your mind. Exactly the same level of actual fatigue will feel quite different 30 seconds after the start of a VO2 interval than 30 seconds before the end of that interval, and that difference is likely almost entirely mental.