Mark Beaumont believes guarding himself against mental fatigue is just as important as battling physical challenges as he prepares for an record-breaking attempt at cycling around the world in 80 days.
The Fife-born cyclist will begin his two-wheeled circumnavigation of the globe in Paris on July 2, but only after finishing a grueling trial of his “80-day pace” on a 3,500 mile training ride around the entire coastline of Britain.
Speaking exclusively to The Scotsman from Cornwall on the third day of his arduous coast cycle, Beaumont said he is preparing himself for the mental challenges of the journey as well as the physical demands.
“You can be in the best physical condition possible but without the belief that you can achieve your goal, you won’t make it,” he said.
“A challenge like this is just as much about mental readiness as it is about being physically prepared.
“That’s part of what this trip around Britain is about, getting myself into that mentality and that routine of being on the bike for 16 hours a day.
“My support team is amazing and I know they’re going to be with me all the way, but personally it’s getting used to the realisation that being on the bike 15 or 16 hours a day is what’s required.”
Beaumont’s route will take him from Paris to Beijing, then on to Perth to Brisbane in Australia, Invercargill to Auckland in New Zealand, and then Anchorage, Alaska to Halifax, Canada before finishing with a ride from Lisbon back to Paris.
To complete the route within the eighty day limit, Beaumont - who will be looking to take the current world record of 123 days from New Zealander Andrew Nicholson - will have to cover around 240 miles a day.
However Beaumont refuses to be fazed by the 18,000-mile distance and believes his training ride around Britain is ideal preparation.
“Anyone who has cycled around Devon and Cornwall will tell you it is one of the most beautiful, but challenging parts of the country to tackle, but it’s fantastic preparation for the challenge to come,” he said.
“We covered around 220 miles on Wednesday and 240 on Tuesday, so we’re making progress.
“The route we’ve chosen is pretty much the flattest around the world, so in terms of terrain, there isn’t too much I’m finding daunting. It’s more the border crossings, going through the likes of Russia, Mongolia, China; they’re all going to take time”.