Dealing with fear of failure

I deliberately set the cycling season goals high and now I’m afraid I have bitten more  that I can chew. Last year I remember being a little bit intimated by my goals, but this year I’m seriously starting to doubt soundness of my judgement. It is easy to get discouraged by comparing yourself to others and your audacious goals can become your enemy. I don’t think there are any magic tricks so I just try to do my own thing. In the end you eat an elephant spoonful at a time.

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Comparing your miles on strava groups and kilometrikisa can make your meagre miles seem just too little. Judging by some people’s mileage they seem to have unlimited time and energy on their hands. The only way I can handle the pressure is trying to keep in my mind that in the end it is a question of choice. Sometimes hobbies can take a too big role of a people’s lives as they try fulfill a void or solve other frustrations in their lives. I try to keep things balanced and keep cycling to a twice a week activity.

Following some adverse weather and some tired training sessions my motivation has been in shambles. The single biggest mistake was to have a look at the elevation chart for Vättern Rundan. I was under the impression the 295km route would be relevantly flat, but there actually is over 1,5km of elevation gain. I’m more of the clydesdale sprinter sort than a grimpeur so hills do play a role for me. It is good to be mentally prepared as long as the information does not paralyze you. Now I know so I will know to save some of my reserves for eventual rain.

The good thing is that the season is still just starting. Even though  I didn’t have a wonderful winter season to prepare there is still full month’s worth of training to do. I will probably not be able to quite reach the minimum recommended 1000km (= 100 mil), but I should be able to get reasonably close. I’m planning on riding a 200km semi-solo ride two weeks before the event. In the end it should be the speed and not the distance that kills you.

So my battle plan for now is to just do one thing at a time. Right now I’m just concerned about preparing for Vättern and will not worry about other stuff yet. Currently the goal is to  show up and do my best. Writing a blog and sharing my concerns should help calm my nerves. In the end there are more important things to worry about (plumbing, family, work) and rest of the life to live.


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