3 Se­crets Of Men­tal Strength

Your brain can push you fur­ther

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

IF YOU WANT TO run your best, there’s no way around it: it’s go­ing to hurt. Whether you’re rac­ing a mile or a marathon, the abil­ity to push through pain is what lets you trans­late train­ing into a brag-wor­thy fin­ish. Even if you’re run­ning for fit­ness, you’ll need to keep push­ing your lim­its to see progress as your body be­comes more ef­fi­cient.

Stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Cape Town show that the brain may ‘shut down’ your body when you still have more to give. Par­tic­i­pants per­formed high-in­ten­sity ex­er­cise for as long as pos­si­ble. When they tapped out, re­searchers stim­u­lated their mus­cles, which con­tracted with great force.

Sa­muele Mar­cora, direc­tor of re­search at the Univer­sity of Kent’s School of Sport and Ex­er­cise Sciences, ex­plains that while we run, our brain weighs up ‘per­cep­tion of ef­fort with our mo­ti­va­tion to suc­ceed’. When the for­mer out­weighs the lat­ter, we slow or stop. So chang­ing how we per­ceive ef­fort and/or boost mo­ti­va­tion could help us get more from our bod­ies.

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