How do your improve your ability to suffer more on the bike? Change your perspective.
Follow cycling for long enough and you’ll see the sport’s obsession with pain, and suffering. Clothing company Rapha even glorifies the suffering in its ads, videos, and on its website. From what I have seen, all of this tends to confuse a lot of cyclists.
It is not “suffering” and doing more of that is not going to make you better. You must be gritty instead.
Many riders I meet have been indoctrinated in this crazy cult of suffering. They go out and try to harness the grit that they’re told is mandatory to be a “real” cyclist, and they find out that it kind of sucks. It’s hard. It’s not rewarding. They get dropped in a tough race and think they’re not gritty enough.
I believe true Grit, the kind that will get you consistently through the tough moments and times, comes from Gratitude. Pushing through the tough moments is an OPPORTUNITY to OVERCOME.
If you ask me, true suffering is what people experience when they have a terrible disease, are living in poverty, or have a disability. When you’re on a bike and you’re in pain — that’s optional! You knew what you signed up for. You’re in charge of how hard you ride and how much it hurts. But that’s what is so special about cycling. You chose to make yourself better. This is your challenge to overcome and that pain is a privilege. It has a purpose, and you need to use this to focus it in a way that makes you better.
To be a gritty person you have to be thankful you CAN overcome, and you can become better from it. It is a privilege to challenge yourself. Be thankful you have this opportunity. This fuels your passion for what you’re able to do on a bike (even if you’re sometimes getting dropped!). Don’t ever take it for granted.
This feeling of gratitude opens you up to take on anything the sport throws at you!