There’s a fantastic quote :
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.” - Henry Ford
Your mind can be your biggest ally or your biggest enemy. Your mind will get you up at 5am on a winters morning to go train…or it will get you back in bed for another 45 minutes of shut eye. Your mind will allow you to carry on climbing up that hill when your legs are SCREAMING…or it will make you stop and push.
I have a saying at MTB Fitness that my followers use. '40% done’. It comes from the Navy Seals. They have a belief (more a fact), that when your mind is at the point where you think you are FINISHED - you cannot possibly continue - you are done...when you hit that point, your body is actually only 40% done. You have so much more physically that you can tap into.
But how do you use this?
It’s not about ignoring warning signs from your body. Sometimes you need to stop and you need to rest. But most of the time, when it’s getting uncomfortable, your body can go on. You are just telling yourself you need a rest. When you start breathing heavily on a climb, your lungs start burning and your heart is pounding, you might think you need a rest. In reality, you can keep going. Will it hurt? Yes. Will you want a rest? Absolutely! But don’t kid yourself that it’s your body giving in…it’s your mind. Your body can keep going even when it’s screaming at you to stop (again, learn to learn what your body is saying. Sometimes you need to listen to it, especially if you have heart conditions etc. and learn where your own limits lie).
When people first come across this rule, they are understandably sceptical. It’s hard to think that you have a ton more inside you. The best way to realise this is to practice on your next ride. Think right now of a place on a local climb that you always get off and start pushing. Next time you get to that point…don’t stop. Tell yourself "I’m only 40% done!" and ride just a little bit further. Pick a tree 20m up the trail and ride to that. Just keep going. The biggest limiter you currently have is your mental strength…more than your physical fitness. It’s so important you remember this.
So, how should you use this information? Constantly remind yourself on your rides and climbs ’40% done’. Repeat it to yourself when you are on a horrible climb over and over ’40%, 40%, 40%!’. You will be surprised how much further up the climb you get…
Author : Matt Mooney - MTB Fitness
Matt Mooney is a Personal Trainer and owner of MTB Fitness, a company that helps mountain bikers all over the world get fitter, faster and stronger on the bike.
Website : www.mtb.fitness
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