Recently Chris Carmichael’s CTS newsletter talked about self-doubt before major events in your cycling calendar and how to manage it. He addressed the physical-side. Mental or emotional management can be just as challenging.
I have had self-doubt numerous times before our week or multi-week tours. Questions of “will I be able to”, “have I trained enough” or “have I trained correctly” regularly would creep across my mind. Those notions snuck into my brain as I compared myself to fellow cyclists or reviewed my numbers – annual mileage to date, average speed on a given climb.
Since my troublesome ideas generally appeared two to three weeks before climbing on a plane to Europe when no training gains could be achieved by riding 10 hours a day for 7 days, I eventually adopted an attitude of “que sera, sera” – what will be, will be. Accepting that I’d trained as much and as well as I could every day of my “plan”, reinforcing that my primary goal was to “enjoy the trip”, and relying on my decades-long touring base were the major factors in realigning myself intellectually.
So, yes, follow your trainer’s advice. And cut yourself some slack too! Go enjoy your ride because that is the reason you signed on – right?