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If you're training for a marathon, triathlon, or other long-distance event, long-distance running is an important part of physical performance, especially. However, accumulating those miles in your head isn't always easy. Fortunately, researchers have discovered a well-known technique called cognitive reassessment that may help improve your mental endurance and make long-distance running feel easier.
A recent study published in the journal Motivation and Emotion recruited 24 runners between the ages of 18 and 33. They run regularly, at least 9 miles or more a week. When cognitive reassessments were used before, every 30 minutes, and after the run, the subjects felt as though their physical activity decreased, although average speed and heart rate remained the same.
So how does this work? "Cognitive reassessment is really a two-part mental exercise," said Dr. Erin Oliver, MPH. "The reassessment part is when you look at your thoughts during the run and learn how to change." they. The other part, decentralization, is that you take an observer's stance on your thoughts and feelings. "Be prepared to say "sayon ara" to tedious long training sessions and give your training a mental edge with these expert tips.
Train Your Brain: How to Use Cognitive Reassessment in Running
1. Pay attention to what you're thinking.
"Ask yourself if your thoughts when you run are making things easier or harder," says Oliver. If the answer is the latter, pause for a moment and see what negative traps you fall into. You may be tempted to compare yourself to other runners, call yourself "slow" when you feel your speed is incomparable, or just adjust and magnify any discomfort you feel so that it becomes harmful (this friction will definitely make I have blisters on my feet against my shoes!). Once you identify one or more areas and whether you have negative thoughts, you have a solid starting point for change.
2. Keep yourself away from negative thoughts
"When you can take a step back from a situation and observe your thoughts as you would an object, you can create psychological distance," Olivo said. See things from a reporter's point of view. If you hurt your leg or start to feel mentally fatigued while running, don't ignore it. Instead, it reports internally, acting like a news feed. Acknowledge that they are hurt or that you are bored, and provide reasons. This separation makes you feel like you are in control of your thoughts and, more importantly, you can make positive choices to change them, not just reactionary ones. It might seem silly on the first try, but the more off-center you run, the easier it is to do it.
3. Combining both techniques
Now that you're aware of your negative thoughts and know you have to get rid of them, it's time to put these learned behaviors into practice. "Watch your negative thoughts and choose to change them," says Oliver. This doesn't mean adding to your running playlist to eliminate negative thoughts. Instead, actively change your focus. Using cognitive reassessment, a thought like "This run was bad, I felt slow" could become "This run was hard, but if I keep at it, my stamina will improve and I'll get faster ."
4. Take a full picture
It's important to focus on the entire experience of running, not just the thoughts in your head. If you could focus on all your senses - the feeling of your feet on the ground, the smell of your road, the brightness of the sun, the sound of traffic - you would have a whole different run than, as Olivo said, you Trapped in your own head, focused on your own thoughts.