Is your breathing loud and forced? Do you pant thinking you’re improving your oxygen uptake? Well don’t, because it’s actually having the opposite effect: shallow, rapid breathing reduces the transfer of oxygen into the blood. It is better to increase the volume of breath rather than the rate at which you breathe. Practising yogic deep breathing will improve endurance performance, and focusing on the breath (like a Metronome) will help maintain pace, rhythm and pedalling cadence!
It also calms the nerves and helps you to focus and stay relaxed. Remember that being a better cyclist isn’t just about improving yourself on your bike. Training your body and mind off the bike is intelligent training and will improve your performance on it!