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May 04, 2020

Your brain is pretty sneaky at the best of times, but right now it can downright treacherous. It will work really hard to convince you that you don't 'need' to go for that run, when could stay at home, surrounded by warmth, food and comfort. Afterall why would you want to go and run 10 miles in a pandemic when you can kick back and watch NetFlix with some chocolate?   

This thought process is a hardwired protection mechanism that keeps us safe and can be very useful in the fight for survival. For instance it's that seem mechanism that tells us to be sensible when we're out on our run and to give people space. However, it can also hold us back from achieving what we are truly capable of.

More advice on how to train safely during lockdown here

So many people that could have finished a run, ride, walk, have stopped because their brain fooled them into thinking they would suffer terrible consequences by continuing. But, you fight against this by learning to trick your brain right back with practise.

  • Break your run or event down into chunks. Don’t allow yourself to think about the next 10 hours or ten miles; just focus on the next 10 minutes and you will get through it.
  • Stay practical. If you feel your emotions taking over – ‘I’m not good at this’, ‘I always fail’, ‘Why can’t I go faster?’ – then become an emotionless robot. Think of your body as a machine that will do what you tell it to do and take charge.

  • Breathe! If you start to panic or worry that you will have to stop, slow down and take big, deliberate, belly breaths. It is amazing what a calming effect it has when you feel like everything is going sideways.
  • Be ready to adapt. Things might not be going as planned, but you can still achieve in other ways. Focus on going forward and more often than not, things will start to improve. 

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