With cyclocross in full effect by now, it is a good time to talk about openers. Of all the disciplines of cycling, ‘cross might be the most suited to these types of workouts. But what are openers and how can you do them best to prepare yourself to race at peak condition?
It is that time of the year, when the temperature and humidity start creeping higher. Warm weather makes it a little easier to motivate and get outside to ride, but also can present some challenges for training and racing. Being aware of a key few issues will help make your hot weather riding more productive and enjoyable.
What is a growth mindset, and why does it matter?Every race is a learning experience, but too few athletes approach them as such. Races (and even competitive group rides) provide immediate feedback that exposes both strengths and weaknesses. However, too few athletes will approach an event and really consider and understand the details that affected the outcomes. Approaching these learning experiences with an openness is called “Growth Mindset” because it fosters growth. However, a “fixed mindset” leads to stagnation.
Athletes with a fixed mindset believe that their current decision making is the right approach and fail to critique their actions. These athletes rarely dig into the details of why attacks stuck, why breaks formed, and have excuses without personal responsibility for why they weren’t there. These athletes typically complain about the actions of others and how those others prevented their success. These athletes typically worry more about not having success, get upset by mistakes and mechanical issues, and give up sooner on tough tasks. Athletes with a fixed mindset often leave a race and tell themselves that training more will fix the problem, and never look beyond that single dimension of competition. Athletes with a fixed mindset often think they have a thorough understanding of the causes and effects of situations, and rarely ask questions of others in order to develop a more thorough understand and different perspectives.
Characteristics of a Fixed Mindset:
Athletes with a growth mindset believe that ability can change as a result of effort, perseverance, and practice. You might hear them say, “that race was hard, but there are a number of things I can do differently…” Athletes with a growth mindset see mistakes as ways to learn, embrace challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks. Most importantly, athletes with growth mindset accept responsibility for their results, and work to identify multiple areas for improvement. These athletes understand the multidimensional aspect of endurance sport, and the interplay between these dimensions. Besides training and nutrition, these athletes are constantly endeavoring to improve techniques and gain a deeper understanding of tactics.
Athletes with a growth mindset: