Fitting in visualisation training couldn’t be simpler. The ideal is that you spend 5-10mins each day focusing on a specific skill or race scenario.
If you can perform visualisation training soon after the actual physical training, there’s an argument that the mental picture you’ll paint will be more vivid.
For this session you’ll need: a quiet room; CD player (optional)
Visualise a bike PB
In a quiet room, focus on three to five elements of your race bike leg. Common scenarios include: exiting T1 in lowest gear and mounting after mount line; maintaining a good cadence uphill, standing and seated depending on gradient; entering and exiting key corners; approaching T2, lowering gear again to spin legs out ready for the run. For each, imagine sensations and emotions you’ll experience. Music is optional.
The performance benefits of visualisation are near-limitless but, specifically for bike training and racing, these include: increasing confidence to descend; maintaining concentration in T1, so avoiding a time penalty for mounting too early; refining pedalling technique to maximise pedal stroke all the way around; remaining calm and composed if a stream of deep-rimmed competitors storm past you; and effortlessly carving through the air in the aero position.
Numerous studies have shown mental imagery positively affects psychological states, such as decreasing anxiety, and enhancing self-confidence, self-efficacy and concentration.
Research shows that mental imagery stimulates electrical activity in that specific muscle and resembles that seen during the actual movement, so ingraining good technique into your neuromuscular system.
Evidence suggests using imagery can also accelerate rehabilitation and recovery. There’s also evidence that mental imagery acts as a mini-workout because 20% of your daily calorie burn is down to the brain.
For lots more sub-1hr sessions head to our Training section