Your ‘A’ event is getting closer – now is the time to panic or not!

It’s always the same with my ‘A’ event – every year – nothing changes and it’s the same for everyone but we, each of us, deal with this issue in quite different ways.

‘A’ Event panic!

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the onset of panic about my training with just a few weeks to my ‘A’ event! Have I trained enough? Should I cram more into the little time I have left? What can I do to overcome those ‘rest days’ in my training calendar, surely I should be training?

So, why do I feel like this?

Basically, it’s natural to question our progress throughout each training block. If we’re not examining our progress, we’re not engaged with our goals. Therefore, examining progress is part of the training process and something we often do naturally. As we get closer to our ‘A’ event, the examination of progress can become super-critical. We unpick and trawl through our training data seeking out any indication that can support our growing delusion that we will not have done enough and will almost certainly fail.

What’s happening?

Let’s wind the clock back.

Some months ago we chose our ‘A’ event and became full of confidence that we could achieve our goal. We convinced ourselves that all we had to do is follow a specified training plan and all will be well on the big day.

There are very few of us that manage to complete every training session successfully. Sessions are missed through illness, weather conditions, broken bike and for many more reasons. Even the pros suffer from being human and fail occasionally. At the beginning of our training plan we deal with these things easily – after all, there’s masses of time to the ‘A’ event – right? We can take a philosophical approach to missing training sessions.

At some point in our training plan, confidence begins to ebb. The voice of negativity whispers in our ear. At first, it’s not very loud. It’ll be something like, “I hit all my targets in that session but I didn’t hit them very well.” But, the voice does get louder, it grows stronger and more frequent spreading doubt about our ability, our training and even our commitment comes under fire.

What can you do?

The good news is that that inner negative voice can be silenced. As we approach our ‘A’ event we need to be on top of that inner voice and ensure it doesn’t get heard.

The trick is knowing the signs, which will be subtle at first, but will grow if you allow them to. Nip those negative thoughts in the bud!

Confidence in your ability, your training plan and your progress will see you on the start line of your ‘A’ event with a positive mental approach and a plan of your ride.

When I have had these thoughts in the past, I focus on the event itself. I identify what I need to do on that ride to achieve success.

Use Google Maps or similar to check the route and it’s elevation. Identify where you’ll need to make your big efforts and where you can recover. You could even create a Zwift Workout based on the ride or parts of the ride to give you confidence in your success. Also, try ‘Best Bike Split‘ to analyse the route and your projected effort.

By looking forward and positively planning your success, you will invigorate your approach to training and silence that negative inner voice!

Aspire, Prepare, Achieve!

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A cyclist for 25+ years specialising in endurance events Jez has completed two London-Edinburgh-London 1400 kms Audax, time-trials at 10, 25, 50, 100 miles and 24-hours. Successfully completed Tour du Mont Blanc in 2017 as part of a 'Duo' team in 16 hr 39 mins (330 kms, 8,700+ m) plus various continental cyclosportives in France and Belgium.
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Posted in Preparation, Training.