Perceived effort is how your brain interprets slow-down-now signals – like mental fatigue. Here’s how to fortify yourself against it.
RUN WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO
Once a week, run after a gruelling workday, mental chore (like doing your taxes), or sleepless night to practise running through a haze.
LOG SCREEN TIME
> Before a run, bore yourself with online games like this one at wellcomecollection.org/tiredness.
> Build gradually; aim for 30 minutes.
TALK TO YOURSELF
Brain studies researcher Samuele Marcora and his student Anthony Blanchfield found that a two-week program teaching motivational self-talk (using statements like “don’t give up”) allowed subjects to reduce their perceived effort during exercise and increased their time-to-exhaustion in a cycling test by 18 per cent.