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By Columnist Genevieve Whitson – Professional Cyclist:

Mindfulness and Mediation and Cycling Go Hand-in-Hand
Photo Credit: Tejvan Pettinger 2012: Cycling: Mindfulness and Mediation Lead to Active Cycling –

Riding and racing a bike is not just a physical thing. I have always been a big believer of the notion, ‘a happy athlete is a performing athlete’. So, there is no doubt that even when you have the best physical form, you can still fall short on the bike if you’re head isn’t screwed on properly.

Views of Mediation and Mindfulness

The notion of ‘meditation’ and ‘mindfulness’ to a lot of people, isn’t appealing. It tends to drum up ideas of yoga retreats and hours spent in a meditative state, but this isn’t the case! Monks encourage people to find 20-minutes of peaceful time a day. This approach according to monks lets the head quieten down and calms the mind.

You can meditate in the morning when you wake up or simply set aside some time before you go to bed. Regular meditation allows you to get into a ‘zen’ state before you hit the pillow. In fact, studies have proven that this is healthy for the body. Meditation and mindfulness also improve sleep and gives people the chance to be more focused in the present moment. They transform your way of thinking to an ideal state so that you can perform to your best ability.

Hence, mindfulness and meditation coaching are all about getting into the present moment and appreciating it for what is it. This year, for the first time, I’ve worked with a mindfulness and meditation coach to try and be completely ‘PRESENT IN THE MOMENT’.  I have found that this concept has assisted hugely, and I am now able to draw in all the power I need to win races.

Meditation and Mindfulness Training

So, if you are new to the concept of meditation and mindfulness, then just try a few simple exercises to help train the brain, such as:

  • Try washing the dishes and stay totally present in the moment. Look at the bubbles on the water moving over the plates. Notice how you scrub the pots. Whenever your mind wanders, just bring it back.
  • Take 10-20 minutes a day to just be still and relax. If you find your mind wandering, just focus on your breath. After a couple of weeks, you’ll notice a calmness coming in a lot more.
  • When you’re on the bike or at the gym, try not to daydream. Instead, enjoy the moment – appreciate, acknowledge and experience it.

About Our Cycling News and Review Columnist

Jarlath-Cross-20131-960x576_GenevieveGenevieve Whitson is a NZ born, British/Scottish cyclist, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Gen has a raced at the highest level for Road, Cyclocross and Mountain biking, have competed in four World Championships, multiple World Cups as well as riding professionally on the road. Gen has raced all around the globe on the road bike and is currently riding for a Belgium team, Isorex competing in all the major spring classics.

Highlights of her career include gaining a top 30 finish at the World Cyclocross Championships, a stage win in a major USA road tour, and winning the 2015 Scottish National Hill Climb Champs. Gen also loves to ride a rickshaw in Edinburgh for strength training on the side and is heavily involved in supporting/mentoring up and coming female/male athletes to ride to their potential. Her mantra on the bike is: Eat the pain…

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.


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