Change doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. “You need to push through discomfort to see performance gains,” says John Raglin, Ph.D. “But if all you’re thinking about are your sore feet and legs, your brain can produce a stress response that increases the ache.” Try one or more of the following mind tricks to keep your head in the game.
Give Yourself A Pep Talk
Recall a time when you topped your expectations. Positive self-talk can help improve your concentration.
Refocus Your Thoughts
If you’ve tried pushing harder and still can’t get your mind off your agony, try giving your brain a new task, such as naming all the prime ministers in order. This will keep your brain busy enough to suppress the stress response.
Look For Little Victories
Remind yourself that this sprint will be over in 30 seconds, or that in 10 seconds you’ll be at the top of the hill. Finding achievement from segments of a workout makes it easier to maintain intensity.
Use Your Imagination
In a race, picture yourself as a tiger hunting prey. Visualisation reroutes your mind away from your pain.
Find Your Rhythm
Try counting to eight over and over; concentrating on a rhythmic pattern is calming.