Mind Over Matter

By Steve Mountain on Sep 8, 12 02:54 PM in Steve Mountain

Here's a few tips I find work for me when my brain tries to tell me I have to stop the exercise I'm doing because "I'm too tired" or "I'm in too much pain".

My problem is I have a "Fat Brain" that tries to convince me I'm too fat or unhealthy to complete the goal I have set myself (I'm considering therapy for this). The fact is, as Dave told us on our first night in the gym, the human body is capable of pushing way past the point where you think you MUST stop. It takes a while to get your brain thinking a different way but you just have to try and ignore what your brain is telling you while you're exercising.

At the start of this process I literally couldn't run the length of a five-a-side football pitch. In the last 2 months I have completed two 10k runs and next weekend I will be taking part in the Great North Run which is a half marathon (look out for me on the BBC coverage, I'll be the one sweating and panting profusely...... at the start line lol).

Don't get me wrong, I still struggle when out running or at the gym but I now tell my mind to shut up and I carry on. At the Middlesbrough 10k last weekend, at around 7km in I started walking because my brain was telling me my legs were too tired to run, I walked about 5 metres before I told myself to shut up and ran the rest of the race.

When you get to the stage where you're "too tired" or "too sore" and you have to stop, occupy you're thinking with something else.
Sing a song in your head (or out loud if you're proud of your singing voice, I can't sing unfortunately so mine stays in my head).
Set yourself small targets, like just running to the next driveway or road. Then when you get there set another target. I think last weekend I ran the last 2km just trying to reach the next lamp-post!
Listen to upbeat music while you're exercising. I have a playlist on my iPod which I have named "Exercise Music". It's full of songs with a fast beat. I also put a couple of the songs off the Rocky soundtrack on there (Eye of the Tiger, Burning Heart, Hearts on Fire). It's amazing to me that when I'm feeling really tired and like I can't go another step, I put one of those songs on and it makes me carry on (maybe I'm too busy imagining I'm running through Philadelphia to realise how tired I am!).

These are a few things I do to take my mind off the tiredness or pain I'm feeling when I'm exercising and they really do work.

Always remember: It's Mind Over Matter, you can do it if you want to just don't let your brain convince you otherwise.

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