its all good mental training

Ok so this is not directly cycling related but bear with me…

It all started with a book – “How bad do you want it” by Matt Fitzgerald. Without over selling this book it changed my view on exercise, diet and performance and I now recommend it as standard fare for everyone I coach. Do yourself a favour and pick this book up – you will not be disappointed. In a nutshell this book reviews different ultra athletes and their mindsets – and concludes that our muscles are NEVER the inhibiting factor, only our minds. After devouring this book I started to see what else I could find and came across a book in a similar vein – “what doesn’t kill us” by Scott Carney. Ironically I read this book while on a overnight train across China to get into North Korea to run my first half marathon (with zero training and coming off antibiotics for bronchitis a day before). Also a great read but the book centered around a crazy Dutch guy named Wim Hof and his “method”.

This book piqued my curiosity about Wim Hof and remembering that my brother had done the course years ago (i thought him nuts then!) I chatted to him – he felt it was legit. I downloaded the free app and set to trying it out.

The Wim Hof method involves three pillars – Breathing, commitment and cold. But for me they are “all good mental training.” (nod to Matt).

Breathing: involved a hyperventilating of sorts – basically hyper oxygenating your blood stream for 30/40 breathes and then a full exhale and hold for as long as you can. Repeat this three times and then on the fourth time try to see how many push ups you can do without air.

Commitment: This is about stretching (which I hate, but need to do as per bike fit…) and strength exercises such as plank.

Cold: just like it says on the tin – get out there and get exposed to the cold. Cold showers, ice baths, semi clad snow angels – whatever you can to get your temperature down.

It was at this stage a few years ago that I concluded that my brother was nuts, but here I am drinking the same Kool aid and I will forgive you if you think the same but bear with me.

Benefits of cold showers aside (here, here, here, here or here) I like the logic that Wim talks about in his promo video here. So watch this space, its a 10 week course and I plan on writing one blog a week about each week.

Disclaimer: I know there is a affiliate program for Wim Hof but Im not signed up for it -these are just my musings.

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