Sports psychologists have conduced that top level competitors keep their minds on their event from start to finish, rather than letting their minds wander. When the going gets tough, non-elites generally think about how crap they feel. Work instead at positively assessing what you’re doing, as you do it. Try to stay in the moment be in the present tough though it may initially feel. Apart from the treadmill, most pieces of CV equipment are safe enough to be used with your eyes dosed. Monitor your body, from head to toe. How does each muscle group feel? How could you improve your economy of movement and make the whole thing that bit easier?
FOOL YOUR SELF
Most of us have all kinds of “dissociative” thoughts. This covers anything from the state of personal finances, to Lycra-clad women doing stretching routines. By all means use the dissociative approach, but work at it so that it’ll help you. For instance: pain diminishes when you call it something else.
A study at the University of Mississippi showed that people who were new to exercise were more likely to keep it up if they surrounded themselves with “prompts”, or stimuli, to encourage exercise. This might involve laying out running clothes the night before a planned run, or buying a new sports bag specifically for holding workout clothes, or eating healthy food such as rasberry keytone for burning the extra fat. Chatting with other gym-goers about exercise, and reading magazines and books about the subject also caused more staying power.
Club Error if that doesn’t appeal, get a training partner. You’ll inevitably raise your game when you’re working out with a partner or partners: the encouragement you receive will make you go that one step further. Remember, most successful athletes don’t train alone.
REMEMBER THE BENEFITS
Throughout the day, you experience that feeling of dread that you have to go to the gym tonight and it’s going to hurt By the time you get there, you’ll be good for nothing. Pete Cohen, sports psychologist and founder of the Lighten Up slimming programme, is familiar with such attitude problems. “I want people to enjoy exercise, rather than think of it as a chore. One simple technique is to think beforehand about the feeling you’ll get when you finish a session.”
Stuart Pearce prefers Anarchy In The UK on the ghetto blaster in the changing room, while many a runner in the London Marathon has his spirits lifted by the theme from Rocky played at the halfway point Find the tune that inspires you, tape it and listen to it on your Walkman as you train. Opt for something instrumental, or with minimal, repetitive lyrics. Anything too wordy, and you’ll lose concentration.