Have you ever experienced your mind tapping you on the shoulder and whispering in your ear that you should stop running, you can't do any more reps, just quit, give up already? I'm sure you've all experienced this at some point during a workout or with life in general. Let's set the record straight, your brain is lying to you.
When you feel like you're at you're breaking point you're far from it. The moment your mind tells your body to stop you actually have a reserve of energy that's more than half-full.. As seen in the video above (featuring entrepreneur, author, and endurance athlete Jesse Itzler) Navy Seals call this the "40 percent rule". Knowing this, next time you feel like giving-up keep in mind that you're just scratching the surface of what your body is capable of doing, and keep going.
Adding to the "40 percent rule" are several studies summarizing that fatigue is just an emotion. In essence, fatigue is your body's defense mechanism to protect you from injury. Tim Noakes, a seasoned ultramarathon runner, is a purveyor of the Central Governor. This is a process in the brain that regulates exercise based on exertion. He wrote an article on this topic and the title itself says it best:
The mind is overprotective and doesn't relate to your fitness goals. Instead, it responds logically to signals of pain deeming your goals unattainable . . . a terrible assumption. When you're nearing the end of a run or struggling on your last rep your mind will always tell you to stop putting your body trough pain as an attempt to preserve. My advice is to ignore the S@#T! out of these messages. Put your body through the pain necessary to reach your goals (using proper form and training techniques of coarse).
NO PAIN, NO GAIN
If you're trying to reach any level of fitness it's going to require a certain level of pain acquisition. The greater the goal the more pain you'll have to endure. That's why it's absolutely imperative that you wrap your mind around the "40 percent" rule and understand that fatigue is truly just an emotion.
Success, in any form, is always on the other side of pain. Today is the day that counts, not tomorrow, not next week, not next month, not next year. Daily resolutions. 24/7/365(4). Embrace discomfort. Fear no pain, befriend it.
Next time you're out for a run, in the gym, or struggling to push beyond the struggles of life it's time to slow down, be positive, and be present. Reaching into your energy reserves when your mind is telling you not to won't be easy and never will be. The next time your mind taps you on the shoulder with a defeating message, talk back and say this: I'M NOT AS TIRED AS YOU THINK!
Get Fit, Stay Fit, Enjoy Life!