Upon reading anything about sports psychology, you will find reference to mental toughness and/or resilience. It’s pretty much accepted that it is one of the most vital components of athletic success. It allows one to follow the gruelling schedule of training, to maintain the relentless discipline of lifestyle required. But most importantly it is essential if one is to overcome the pitfalls that will most certainly happen to any athlete at some point.

Today was the first round of the National XC series, as our race started the rain came down, conditions deteriorated under tyre and bodies began to suffer as the wicking effect of water in cold air took its hold. We were blathered in mud and water. Though I’d always prefer a dry dusty race, I generally do better in the most revolting conditions on offer. Not today, I couldn’t cope, as fatigue kicked in at the end of lap 2 I could feel the cold rising from my fingers, into my arms and eventually into my body. I just could not ride hard enough to keep any kind of heat combustion sufficient to maintain a suitable body temperature. The only thing combusting were my tears! Today I just wasn’t tough enough.

Dirty Kit after Natioanl XC at Sherwood
National XC at Sherwood. Hosing down my kit.

Hey ho, on the plus, I’ve just come off my first training camp experience, racking up more hours than I’ve ever managed in a week, and many of these well into the red zone. Undoubtedly I am overreached. Despite this, I still felt like I could have raced today, not at the pointy end of course but enough to gather some points and gain some experience. I’m feeling tougher than I’ve ever felt, but today I wasn’t prepared enough for the elements, silly mistake.

Spot the last week, my biggest ever.

Spot the last week, my biggest ever.

Next stop, work, tomorrow at 08:00 😦

One Reply to “Toughness”

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