“Good climbing is as much mental as it is physical,” says Tim Pelot, CSCS, performance director at Velocity Sports Performance, in Burnsville, Minnesota. “You need to prepare your mind as well as your body to enjoy the challenge and excel.” Here is how it’s done.
1. Be Positive
It’s easy to dread a climb, but negative thoughts are as self defeating as they feel. The key: don’t let pessimism determine the outcome, says Pelot. “Instead, think, ‘No problem. I’m going to eat this hill for breakfast.’” Even if it’s not true, your body will respond with a positive surge that gets you rolling in the right direction. An efficient form avoids squandering precious energy. Relax your hands and shoulders, sit in an upright position that allows deep breathing – and be aware of your feet. Pointing your toes wastes power through your calves, says Pelot. “For maximum power transfer, push through your heels or middle of your feet with your ankles locked,” he says.