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We all know moving your body is great for both physical and mental health but what about your working on your mind? Choosing to spend time working on your mind will improve BOTH mental and physical health. You shouldn't think of this as 'another thing to get into your busy day' (Hello old program (see below)) because if you don't work on this then this can absolutely be the thing stopping you from getting to ANY OTHER goal you have in your life just just fitness related.

Lets see how it works...

Trigger - an event or thought conscious or sub-sonscious

Old Program - the brain stores information from past events and recognises the trigger

Mind Familiarity - the brain LOVES familiarity and starts to process the trigger in the same way as it has done previously.

Habit/Action - this process leads you to carry out actions in accordance with the Old Program

Sabotage - the actions taken can sabotage progress and derail you from the journey you are on to reach your goals

Feeling - the Sabotage can leave you feeling sad, anxious, annoyed, frustrated, depressed etc

Thought - the Feeling response can trigger further thoughts as the brain learns how you felt in the past and matches this with the thought which keeps you in the downwards spiral

Repeat - Remember the brain likes familiarity and thinks its doing the right thing so you are now processing old programs leading to more actions, sabotages, feelings and thoughts.

Lets put this into practice...

1. You've decided to enter a running event and you have a particular time in mind - Trigger

2. Your mind recognises that you've entered an event before with a time goal, it remembers how you felt during the event and that you didn't get the time you wanted to previously. Your brain remembers how you felt at this time whether its anxiousness, failure, disappointment - Old Program

3. As you have reacted this way before your mind is comfortable with processing this trigger and believes how it should react. For example 'God this is going to be hard', 'What if I can't do it again', 'I'm silly for booking another run as I'll probably walk off', 'I will fail'.... Of course NONE OF THIS IS TRUE, we can't predict the future but because you've processed this many times your brain believes that this is what you should think - Mind Familiarity

4. You start overtraining as you think you should do more to reach your goal and set out before every session feeling the pressure of the 'end' goal - Habit/Action

5. As a result this leads to burn out and not hitting paces during training. You have no choice but to take time out or you continue to train and end up injured- Sabotage

6. This sabotage shows your brain evidence to believe the program - you feel low, can't train, disappointed, sad, even worthless - Feelings

7. The brain recognises these feelings and thoughts go through your head; you think its impossible to reach your goal, its too much effort, you have no confidence in your ability. This also triggers other familiar thoughts associated with the feeling which can be totally unrelated to the orginal trigger - Thought

You give up, you don't enjoy training, you're not sure what the point is and have no faith trust in your own body and ability therefore you do not reach the physical goal you've set yourself.

Can you see whats happening here? You started out with amazing intentions to book an event and see what your body can do, to get fitter and healtheir whilst doing it and enjoying a different phase of training but the mind, thinking its serving you well, has stopped you from realising your potential. This is why it's important to notice the mind muscle; to overcome this.

Where should you be putting in the work?

At the Old Program stage. Events and thoughts will trigger you but as soon as you recognise this, be kind to yourself and notice where it will go (THE ABOVE!). So what should you do instead, journal on what’s going on right now, know that if you have a goal; taking smaller steps is key. Just bringing awareness can help to notice that these are thoughts and you can chose whether you go with the old program or create a new path.

Understanding your mindset plays an important role when I coach you. I've worked with many clients who have the physical ability and I program them a training plan which will get them to their goals but its a mixture of the training and our chats to discuss their mindset that really helps them to not only hit their goals but ENJOY getting there!

Im taking online clients NOW, click here to see the options available to you or message me for a chat. Coaching took my training to the next level and it will do the same for you!


ASICS FrontRunner shoot Pete Stables Brighton Marathon Weekend
ASICS FrontRunner shoot - taken by Pete Stables

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