• Amelie Mongol Derby Racer

Kicking off my journey leading to the Mongol Derby 2020


I’ve chosen Labour Day, May 1st, to start my training towards the Mongol Derby - but what does it really mean? There are still 15 months until the race, so what is it that I’m doing differently? For me, it represents a few things:


  • Building a racer mindset

  • Refocusing my energy

  • Planning


Let’s start by building a racer mindset. In this category I’m mainly considering the mental aspect of a race. Whether it be prior to or during the race, an athlete needs a strong mindset to be able to face adversity and challenge themselves. So how do I shape my mind to be closer to that of an athlete’s, rather than the usual hobbyist doing exercise for fun? This forms part of what I’m trying to uncover now. Not only do I need to do research, I also need to prep myself; 15 months doesn’t feel too long to do this.


Refocusing my energy is therefore twofold – one part is channelling energy into activities which bring me closer to becoming a real rider, while the second part is giving up some activities and distractions which aren’t complementary or beneficial to my 2020 goals. So, in concrete terms, it means I have started endurance training (not riding) and I’ve stopped pole dancing. Although I absolutely love the sport and will miss it dearly, it’s an injury prone one – at least for me - and I can’t risk being unable to ride because of it. Despite the race still being 15 months away, I’m taking as many precautions as I can to build the strength and stamina I need.


So, the final stage: planning. This is more of an administrative task - how, when, where, and with who should I train? Who knows better? Who can support me? How many vacation days do I have left so I can go to endurance riding stables? Although it’s not the most fun part of the training, it’s an essential one. It also gives me comfort and reassurance by planning things out, feeling organized, and supported by my loved ones.


Despite the race still being a blur, which is far, far away, I’m committed to go about it with a strategic plan.


After all,

failing to plan is planning to fail,

isn’t it?

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