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Tricks to keep going when it's tough?

What does everyone do when you feel like you have hit the wall or don't have the skill to make it though a tough bit of riding? I often sing the same chorus to myself over and over again or tell myself that I will just make it to (next arbitrary marker) and then decide if I should quit or not.

Anyone else have any tips or funny things that they do?

paul trusty
3 Replies

Oh this is a good one Paul!  I often hit mental walls on my longer rides, so I feel I am well versed in this struggle.  I am very food and beer motivated, so I usually think about what I am going to make for dinner or if there are any good breweries nearby.  Thinking about good food or a cold brew, can usually get me through any tough bit of riding!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.

Due to a chronic disability,  I have crap days that just plain make me miserable. I know that if I get outside I'll feel better,  but then if I am cycling,  music is my motivation. I have a workout list that has songs like "Whatever It Takes" & "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons as well as Aerosmith & Van Halen. I can get lost in a song which can be just enough to overcome the pain for another song,  & then another & .... next thing I know I'm in the zone or the joint doesn't hurt as bad & I've pumped out 10+ miles when I didn't think I could do 5 when I started. 


Good question! I have a few that work for me (usually while I'm climbing):

  1. I try to jedi-mindtrick myself into experiencing the pain/suffering as evidence that I'm getting stronger... so to trying to experience a negative as a positive.
  2. And since the jedi-mindtrick only works sometimes, I also use an mantras/affirmations. Something like: "Strong but not too strong." or "Powerful, Strong, Fast."
  3. And the newest strategy that I borrowed from a friend is to focus mentally on different muscles-- think about my calves or glutes. I almost imagine that I'm transfering effort to those specific muscles and giving the others rest that they need.