Monday, October 15, 2007

Secrets Of The Peloton from Procycling

Win Races In Your Mind (Marc De Maar - Rabobank)

The mind is a powerful tool in cycling - some people do not realize how powerful. When I train, especially when it's a boring or very hard workout, I try to visualize a race scenario in great detail. I see and hear a helicopter buzzing above my head, the cameramen, the crowd, the riders around me... My dad's a psychologist, and he suggested that I try this a couple of years ago. I never imagined it could work, but now I know it does. All you need is a good imagination, although your ability to visualize also improves with practice. In the past, I've used similar techniques before races. As an amateur, there were times when I knew I could win a race, and I'd write a script for how I was going to do it just before I went to bed the night before. I'd describe the climbs, where I was going to attack, who was going to attack, who was going to come with me, and so on. Of course, most of the time, it would turn out differently, but sometimes I could almost impose my script on the race. Whatever you do, you have to stay focused; if there are two guys in a breakaway and you know that you won't see them for a long time, instead of switching off, start visualizing the last few kilometers of the race. Always think ahead, while at the same time staying alert and ready to react if something unexpected happens.

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