It doesn’t make sense. You’re fit, but you keep freaking out and fighting the “I can’t do its” somewhere between the start and the finish line. You’ve done the physical prep it takes to be a fitness beast. But if you want to be a formidable contender, it might be time to focus on the mental aspects of endurance. Next time you seek to put foot to pavement, clip into a pedal or step onto a playing field, do your homework first!
6 Quick Tips to Build Your Mental Strength
1) Set a Goal with a Define Endpoint
Choose an endurance goal that meshes with your current fitness level. Add time, distance or speed in increments to ward of mental fatigue, injury, and disappointment. If you are unsure about what is reasonable, ask a trainer!
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2) Chart Your Course
If it is an outdoor run, ride or hike, study a map of the course. Know where there will be changes in elevation, turns, and distractions that might break your focus. If your sport is indoors, chart a plan. Will you toss in some intervals? Hills? Speed? Clarify your expectations.
3) Visualize Victory
Now that you know where you are going close your eyes and envision yourself moving along the course and conquering it! Give yourself time in your mind to get past the hills, turns and traffic challenges. If it’s an indoor workout, imagine what the sights and sounds will be as you dig in. How will you get past physical distractions and handle emotions?
4) Tweak Your Plan
When you visualized your journey, what were you missing? Do you need to bring water or pack a snack? If it is safe to put in earbuds? If so, consider using music to mesh with the cadence you hope to keep. Listen to the song that will push you through those final minutes.Plan now for the progress you’ll make later.
5) Meditate and Relax
If mental blocks keep getting the best of you, learn how to meditate to calm yourself before an athletic challenge. Or learn how to guide yourself through a head to toe relaxation session. Meditation and relaxation can lead to better sleep and increased clarity while you’re awake. You’ll be rested and have more physical and mental stamina when the going gets tough.
6) Use a Mantra
While you’re relaxed, develop a mantra that inspires you. Choose something you can put into play when your focus starts to fade and your stick-to-itiveness falters. Whether or not it’s “Mind over matter,” depends on what your internal chant might be! Come up with something positive that fits with your cadence, breathing or footfalls.
Once you’ve laced up and are ready to jump into the challenge, take a moment during your warm-up to center your mind.
YOU CAN DO IT, AND YOU WILL DO IT.