I race DH, and recently I find my nerves get the better of me during my race runs. My last race I did, I thought my legs were going to give out 1/4 of the way down the racecourse and felt like I had no more gas in the tank.
My practice runs usually go very well…but as soon as the pressure of doing well in my race runs…it just seems my mind takes over. Do you have tips on how to handle the pressure of racing.
I could write an entire book on this subject (hmm â€¦), but here are some quick thoughts:
Race like you train. Your race run is just another run. No crazy pressure. Practice fast and have fun â€” and race the same way.
Itâ€™s just another run. Donâ€™t worry about your time or place; theyâ€™re arbitrary. Focus on what you can control: looking ahead, staying loose, leaning your bike in corners, etc. The time and placing will take care of themselves.
Keep your legs moving. Youâ€™re tensing up; thatâ€™s why your legs are blowing up. Stay loose, and try to pump everything. It keeps your legs fresh, makes you faster and is more fun.
Practice fast and fun â€” and race the same way.
PS: The book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills by multi world champion Brian Lopes and me has a chapter on this.