Your Positive Self-Talk

I’m interested to hear what you tell yourself when it’s time for a little positive self-talk. I generally rotate among the following:

This is my idea of a good time.
I can do this all day.
This is what I do for fun.

When it’s time to really dig deep, I basically loop my personal Mt. Sufferlandria.

What do you tell yourself?


Cool idea for a thread. Here is some of my go too self talk:
You got this!
Hang on you’re almost there.
You’re past the halfway point
Just finish this interval
Focus on that wheel
Talk yourself into staying. ( I started using this because I’d regularly find myself taking myself into quitting or dialing it down prematurely with negative self talk).


I’m totally stealing “Talk yourself into staying.”


You’re welcome to it. Seriously, I use it to great effect after seeing how easy it is to talk myself into quitting. Sorta like a reverse downward spiral. Upward corkscrew!


Basically I just lie to myself the whole time.
Mainly I tell myself that this is the last interval that I need to do - I don’t need to do the following ones. Finish this one and then you can quit.


yep, I do that too.


Love “talk yourself into staying!”


This is what perseverance feels like.
You are becoming a stronger rider.
This is going to help me crush ____(my Mt. Sufferlandria)
Future me is LOVING this!


After the warm up’s done, there’s only really about 15 mins of Suffering to do for the entire workout.

Only 30 mins to go.

You’re better than this.

Think of the gains.

Know how fit you are.

SUFFERSUFFEROMG, you’re gonna do it!!! (Ok, I lifted that last one from Joyride, but it works for me!)


Look how far you have come.

Oh, there is only another minute. You can do this.

You did 8 hammers! Why not one more?

They are just as tired as you are. Crush them.


I never try to “lie” my way through by saying this is the last one. My negative self will forever after destroy my positive self talk with, “remember you lied the last time.” More than once I have said to myself “I have to learn to trust myself.”

While I have used positive self talk along the lines of “You can do it.”, “You are doing it.”, “You will do it.”, I find it easier to use either instructional self talk or focus.

By focus I mean either, focused one-pointed concentration on part of the cycling process - the pedaling, the breathing, etc., or counting.

I took up counting to get up long mountain climbs.
I count sets of hundreds: 1, 2…100, 1, 2…200, etc. If I forget where I am in a hundred, I go back to the beginning of the set. If I forget which set of hundreds I am on, I go back to the very beginning of the count.

The idea is to keep the brain busy so it does not complain about what I am doing.


I use a lot of the ideas and phrases already mentioned here.

You can do this!
Only 5 more minutes!
You did this for 19 minutes, there’s only 2 more!

I will never lie to myself, however I will sometimes tell myself things to get myself to focus only on the current interval and not how many I have left. “Just get through this one. You can do xx minutes. Just finish this one interval. One interval at a time.” And then wordlessly telling myself we’ll see how to rest go, but only focus on finishing this one interval. And then once I’ve finished more than half of them, I can then use that as motivation, as well. “You’ve finished over half of them. You can do this.”

And then there’s another technique that lots of pros use which is to repeat a mantra or a phrase. Like Jens Voigt’s “Shut up legs!” and then continue to repeat it.

I will often count down my interval time in my own head. If I don’t, time seems to drag on endlessly. So, counting the seconds in my head will help me focus on recognizing how much time is actually passing. And then every 30-60 seconds I can look up and compare my internal counting with real time. I almost always count slower than the actual timer, so it’s usually beneficial to me to look up and see I have less time less than I expect. And even when I’m not, I’m usually close enough.


Holy $#!^. I just cycled through “This is what perseverance looks like” and “You can do anything” as I tried to hit a personal goal up a local hill. I’d set the goal for the end of the season, and I just blew through it by 25 seconds and made the all-time top-ten.

This stuff really works!


Wow! Epic suffering. Congratulations!

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As for the “lies”, these aren’t lies. When I say to myself I only have to go to the end of this interval and then I can stop, I mean it. But then at the end of that one, I’ll tell myself that I’ll do one more and can quit on the next one. And so on. It’s not lies. I’m genuinely giving myself the option to bail, repeatedly, After I’m half done the workout I can start using other self talk like the one where you’re over half way there etc.

The only lies I actually tell myself are that there are only 15 intervals in Revolver and that they’re all 1 minute long.


Good one for when battling cramps.

Spin fast. Spin easy.


I usually start off with the instructional, focusing e.g. on a smooth pedal stroke. This is when an interval may be tough, but still quite manageable. If I manage to keep my pedal stroke smooth for some time, I combine motivational and instructional by telling myself «good job on the pedalling, now keep those shoulders low and relaxed» or focus on breath, and so on.

When I am starting to struggle, I use the techniques mentioned above; focusing on one interval at the time, comparing what is left to familiar climbs or parts of them (find this one very useful), telling myself I have done worse struggles before, etc. Often also combined with the occasional «good job», «you’ve got this», …


You can eat this for breakfast!

Hang in there, you’ve got this!

If you can do FF or that super hard ride last year, you can do this!

A new favorite after experiencing ISLAGIATT: This is your mountain! You own this mountain!

Some coaching reminders: breath, systems check, relax, using breathing to relax the legs to feel the legs recovering on those sub-threshold efforts


Tried your counting-trick for the last 4-min effort on Blender today @emacdoug, and it was perfect. Thanks for that extra tool for the shed!


I can do anything for x minutes

Knights don’t quit

Just keep pedaling

Generally on any given event, the only question is how long it will take me because quitting is not an option.