Mallorca is an amazing cycling destination otherwise known as the cycling Mecca of Europe. We are currently in the peak cycling season with the island expecting more than 140,000 cyclists between February and May this year. This is mainly due to the preparations needed for one of the most popular sporting events on the island, the Mallorca 312, which takes place on April 30th. This event has already sold out with a staggering 8000 participants.
I’m a big believer in setting goals as they help trigger new behaviors, and keep you focused. They also help you sustain that momentum in life that can lead to greater success and performance. So I decided to sign-up for the Mallorca 312 myself. Just to be clear I will be riding the shortest distance of the race @ 167km. Originally I thought 167km wasn’t too far but I can assure you from the training I have done so far it is an extremely long way, especially when you throw in the 2,500m of elevation.
In preparation for this ride I decided to stop drinking alcohol. Dry January easily rolled into dry February and so on. As the training became more intense I knew that I needed to give my body the best opportunity to thrive, rest and recover. It’s definitely the most challenging endurance sporting event I have ever entered plus it’s the polar opposite of my serene world of yoga.
My meditation practice transfers from the mat to the bike. Focusing on my breath keeps me in the moment but allows me to really see what’s in front of me, hear what’s around me and feel everything in my body. When my body gets tired, the mental struggle becomes real, as those voices start whispering me to stop pedaling or question why I’m actually doing this? There is something deep down that I draw upon from my yoga practice, that everything is temporary, and in this case even pain, and that it too shall pass, so I seem to always manage to keep going.
Balancing my cycling workouts with a regular yoga practice allows my body to recover so my next workout is even more effective. After spending many hours on my bike in the same position, my neck, shoulders, back, and hips always need some love and attention. Twists are a great way to release and create space in the spine. And backbends are perfect to counteract the rounding of the shoulders.
Forward folds help find length and flexibility. Whilst hip openers bring much needed relief, whether you’re a yogi or a cyclist I believe that it’s important to work on strengthening your core. Our abdominal muscles work with the lower back, so improving core strength will help alleviate back pain. Core exercises also strengthen the muscles along the spine improving overall posture and providing the spine with more flexibility.
But somehow the two workouts complement each other. The endorphin rush of cycling is a thrilling complement to a zen day of meditation and calm. Conscious breathing is the foundation to the practice of yoga, which is also vital to my cycling performance. A good breathing technique helps me get over those hills as well as my everyday life.
I have a short sequence on my YouTube channel especially designed for cyclists, alternatively if you are needing a yoga teacher for your cycling camp or private session then please reach out to me through my website or my social media handles;