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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Are There Any Books I Can Read That Can Help Me Stay Mentally Focused?

    I'm fighting my body and my mind during a race. I've spent A LOT of time training my body, but I am mentally weak. I just can't keep focus and can't self motivate. When my body is near death during a race, my mind should be encouraging it. Instead it's looking for a place to pull over and die. I need help there.

  2. #2
    conjoinicorned
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    i would recommend something like yoga, or martial arts, meditation, etc. training rather than reading a book, if you want to increase mental strength.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  3. #3
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    i fee like i have the same problem when running in contention for a really good finish, then i make a mental error and usually fumble a section and lose a place or two......i feel your pain......you feel strong bit need an extra mental edge to push yourself to the limit

  4. #4
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    Check these links

    I was going to post the individual links from some articles I read on Pez Cycling. But I'm short on time, so go to THIS BLOG LINK and you'll see the hypertext links to the articles.

    You'll have to read through some of my blathering first. Sorry, but once you get to the Pez site there's some pretty good info in the articles as well as some other sources for info.

    Good luck.
    Former XXC Mag publisher (re)turned amateur bike blogger at The Soiled Chamois.

  5. #5
    FasCat Coaching
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    Sports Psychology for cyclists
    This is a great book.

    But also check out http://www.sportpsychonline.com/ if you want some one on one advice. Kristen is great to work with
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  6. #6
    goes well with tea
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    I like to read non-fiction adventure novels (Into Thin Air, etc.), and I find that they tend to throw an interested light on mountain bike racing. Suddenly it feels a little less hardcore (compared to the crazy stories of survival) and that always makes me want to go out and hit the trails even harder.

  7. #7
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    I was gonna recommend a book to you but then I realized that you probably wouldn't even finish it!

    Sorry, I couldn't resist!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprocketjockey9
    Sports Psychology for cyclists
    This is a great book.
    You beat me too it Hilimire!

  9. #9
    FasCat Coaching
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThrashNY
    You beat me too it Hilimire!
    dude do you ever work or just patrol the mtbr/wnymba/cny-dirt boards
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  10. #10
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    ^ Funny man. Probable right.


  11. #11
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferday
    martial arts
    ...
    Brian Enos: Practical Shooting, Beyond Fundamentals (takes some stuff from martial arts, golf, whatever, concerning "focus")

    Robert M. Pirsig: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (fiction, pretty strange)

  12. #12
    LW Coaching
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    Finding Flow by Csikszentmihayli is my favorite one for bringing focus.

    Some simple exercises can help train the ability too:
    Sample Exercises

    Focus on One Task Count your pulse for 60 seconds without thinking about anything else. If other thoughts wander into your mind, start over. The goal is to have 60 continuous seconds with your complete attention focused on one task. This exercise builds the skills of attention focusing, distraction filtering, thought control and self-talk control. For an advanced exercise, maintain your concentration uninterrupted for five minutes.

    Maintain a Clear Mind Start the timer on your watch, close your eyes and clear your mind of any thoughts. Maintain a clear mind with no thoughts for as long as you can. Note the length of time you were able to maintain this concentration. Aim to lengthen this time with practice.

    Control Distracting Thoughts Fill your mind with many thoughts about training, racing, work, family, finances etc until your head is buzzing. Then choose a single thought to keep in your mind and quiet all of the other thoughts. Continue to think only about this single thought for one minute.

    Observe One Function Clear your mind of all thoughts. Use all of your senses to observe your breath. Listen, feel and hear the air moving in and out of your lungs. Recognize and quiet any distractions.

  13. #13
    bikerbert
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    "Working Out, Working Within: The Tao of Inner Fitness"

    By far on of the best visualization/mental prep books out there.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
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    Sorry to bring up an old thread but Guppie, did you get any further with this.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferday
    i would recommend something like yoga, or martial arts, meditation, etc. training rather than reading a book, if you want to increase mental strength.
    Martial arts can have an incredible impact depending which you choose to study. I study Aikido (amazing art) where you use focus and technique instead of strength to flip throw and put your 'partner' into submission. It taught me how to focus when my body tells me it can't do more and has improved speed, technique and endurance through the mindset it's taught me. Check it out if there's a dojo near you - you won't regret studying this if you have a good sensei.

    As far as a book: I'm reading this one and learned a lot, don't know how current the info in it is...

    Enjoy!
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  16. #16
    bikerbert
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    Working out working within, the Tao of inner fitness is an outstanding book for this.

  17. #17
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    Rent The Karate Kid.

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