I'm about 2/3 of the way through this book. So far, I haven't found a lot of 'you should do this in your training' moments as the author is shown the various sides of he argument of the mental vs physical training needed to be great. How critical is one to the other and how do you train them both for the best outcome?
As I read more today on the plane back from NYC I was somewhat pleased to read a lot fo evidence of what I could so far consider. very adequate training strategies over the years both from my coaches and back to the people I train. And both approaches have influenced the other. Some basic tenets that I think the book is confirming:
You have to sue your training to provide the physical requirements needed to meet your goals: seems obvious but you could read parts of the book and assume a strong will is all it takes and we know that isn't enough.
Your training should be training your mind in such a way that your building the will that is required to meet your goals. In other words, you can train hard but if you show up to an event and fall apart mentally, its all for naught. your training needs to replicate the physical and mental requirements of the event. thats a lot harder than it seems and I think this is where a lot of people fall apart. Taking the mental aspect to that level can be very difficult. I like to think that riding 30-35 time trails per year gets my mind in line with the demands needed at the key events. And it certainly gets me physically there.
Its very easy to turn of the mental and not get the physical results. I see this in my weekly Cleves time trials. Years ago, it meant everything to me. Now, its just training. My training says I should be just as fast, or close, to my PR's. I truly just don't care any more. That being said, I've ridden PR's on other courses. because I care and have the physical ability still.
Its good to combine mental training with the physical in my opinion. At this point in the book its debatable but performing mental gymnastics while riding (inside!) is good training for both the brain and body. I read a lot inside, even while cranking out time trial level efforts, rather than just lessen to music. I also do work games (unscramble letters, form as many words as possible from groups of letters, etc). I never did this knowing it may help. It simply helped pass the time. But, I think it has allowed me to develop focus away from the pain of the training. We wont have music when racing but it is possible to use your mind to focus on cadence, breathing, power, etc...and not pain.
More to follow....great book!