I am having one of “those” weeks. You know… those weeks. It’s all small stuff, mostly, but enough to put me in a general funk. Henry is battling a cold, which means that I’m a little sick, too. Just a river of snot for Henry and a tickle in the back of my throat, but I’m hoping it doesn’t become something worse – for both of us!
Anyway, I took yesterday off from training because of my cold, but today, I decided to go ahead and just do it, since I don’t appear to be getting any worse (or better). While running, I was thinking about the oft-repeated phrase… It’s all mental.
As my fitness level has increase, I believe this phrase more and more. Of course, six miles is going to feel like hell is you can’t run six miles. But if you can… and it feels like hell… maybe it’s more mental than anything else (assuming you’re hydrated and fueled, etc.).
I definitely believe the swim portion of a triathlon is mostly mental. For me, I’d saw it’s 95% mental. It’s a physical feat to swim in open water, but whether or not I have a good swim mostly depends on whether I can hold myself together emotionally. Because if I start to freak out… I breathe faster, my heart rate goes up, my strokes become uneven, and it’s all over.
I asked my Instagram friends (Hey! I’m CaitlinHTP) what they thought about the mental aspect of working out, and here’s what everyone said…
klesm937 Reading blogs that relate to fitness is pure motivation for me 🙂
sarahlawth I just keep thinking, you’ve done this before you can do it again! or I take it 10 minutes at a time.
acgougler Positive mantras really help me push through! When running I also will set mini goals for myself throughout a long run. Like run this far for a quick walk break, etc. usually I can push past that point!
heatherslg I trick myself. For example on runs I break them down into smaller segments or say "just run to the stop sign" then it’s the next and the next!
klesm937 Also "the faster you run, the faster you’re done"
bermunn Fitness related Instagram accounts to get started. If I hit a road block while I’m running I try to focus solely on my music. My husband also tells me to think of something that really has made me mad and pour all that energy into my run.
katiepsouthard I just think about how far I have come with my training and how with each run I feel stronger! If I finish the run I will stronger for the next run.
cmguinane I give myself a day off. It took me a long time to give myself permission to do so but I’ve found that my fitness doesn’t suffer for it.
meredithpbrooks Training is 99% mental! Training your mind is key for endurance events. Some tips that work for me: if there is a portion of my run or ride route I don’t like, I make myself double back and do it twice. I also try to run by my house 5-10 minutes before the end of my run. Running past and not stopping is challenging, but builds mental toughness.
kimflobeck Sadly – I think about work. All of the stress and frustration and anxiety, I pour all of that into my soul and the next thing I know, my run is done and I’m in an amazing mood. Not to mention my blood pressure is down, my shoulders aren’t hunched around my ears and I’m ready to face the office again. 🙂
bentfsh2 Remind yourself that it’s a privilege to exercise! We’re lucky that we’re healthy and able to get out of bed in the morning, lace up our shoes, or jump on our bikes, and head out to a good workout. There are many less fortunate who aren’t so lucky! Do it for them 🙂
sydwitz For endurance events I totally agree… It’s all a mental battle. For sprint events, I really feel like its physical. The shorter the event, the more this is true (at least in my experience!)
wigglewoggle It’s 98% mental, but then there’s the part that is your body telling you to take a rest! It took me a long time of crashing my metabolism by working out to much to realize that rest days are a GOOD thing. When i opened my mind to that possibility, I started noticing all the fitness professionals telling you to take rest days and pointing out that rest days are when the magic actually happens!
joeycampbell07 Yep, "what you say creates your day" …
ahealthyslice I wouldn’t say it’s ALL mental but certainly in yoga when the teacher says to ‘try easy’ instead of ‘try hard’ I find myself able to approach a pose from a different mind frame and usually breathe through it more easily. However with running, I can feel my body physically shutting down if I push too hard, so I don’t think that it can ALL be mental 🙂
So – what do you think? Is it all mental? When you’re not feeling in the best frame of mind, how do you get out of your funk?
I always tell myself, “There is no excuse for not working out.” (Barring extreme illness or injury, obviously!) Every time I’m having an off day and don’t feel like going I immediately tell myself to stop making excuses and that skipping the gym will only make my mood worse. I think the other thing that helps me is just taking it one day at a time. I’ll worry about tomorrow’s workout tomorrow, I just need to get it done today. 🙂
I think it’s also important to find a routine you can stick with. I ran a marathon and roughly a dozen half marathons in my early twenties. Then once I had kids every time I would think about getting back into shape I would immediately start planning to train for a half marathon. Only I would NEVER stick to the training. Ever. Finally about 6 months ago it hit me – I don’t WANT to run a half marathon. So I started focusing on other fitness challenges and I have been enjoying that so much more!