By Martin Sigrist
Takeaway: Mind matters if you want to perform to your full potential. Dr Stuart McGill gives just some of the reasons why.
One key theme that I believe is under represented in cycling training (indeed in most sports training) is the importance of the mind to physical performance.
The bottom line is simple.
If you do not engage the full potential of your mind then you will not release the full potential of your body.
This isn’t just new age wishful thinking.
It is a simple statement of how the muscles involved in exercise actually work.
Another theme of mine is that anybody who wants to be an athlete of any type must work consciously to maintain and improve their mobility and stability. Both are often misunderstood, mobility is confused with “stretching” and stability relegated to just being able to hold a plank. They are much more than this.
If you cannot move freely and correctly and if you leak power due to poor stability, you will both waste effort and risk injury.
Both points are eloquently covered and explained by Dr. Stuart McGill here.
While hugely informative, I would add the comment that this is just one of many aspects of how the mind affects muscle and performance. It’s important to train with the intent to improve all the relevant mind related aspects of performance or possibly end up with sub-standard training that risks wasting both time and potential.
Now among the world’s fittest sexagenarians Martin Sigrist started riding on doctor’s orders in 2005 and had to push his bike up his first hill. Next year he soloed the Tour de France. He has since experienced every form of road cycling from criterium to ultra endurance. His ongoing mission is to use the latest in science and technology to fight a, so far successful, battle against Father Time.