How to build a mindset for endurance
1. Analyze your thought patterns
Mind and body connection is so strong, that it inevitably affects our performance. Instead of complaining about obstacles, direct your focus toward success. If you want to be a mentally tough athlete, pay attention to things that are in your control: your thought patterns, daily workouts, focus on constant improvement, and build emotional resilience. Whatever we put our attention on will grow stronger in our life, that’s why peak performances are only possible when you’re in the right mind state. Think what you can accomplish and what you actually achieve. There’s a difference between having the ability and realizing your true potential.
2. Build discipline
Although motivation affects athletes’ abilities, and helps them to exceed their limits, it occurs as an inconsistent force. It comes and goes, so when you rely on motivation, it’s easy to start procrastinating, and get trapped into old habits loop.
Discipline is different, it’s consistent. Discipline does the work when motivation isn’t there. It helps us to keep moving forward.
When we rely on motivation, our performance comes and goes, and we risk falling back into old habits. When we build discipline, our performance remains steady.
Athletes who progress to increase their performance, like completing half-marathons to marathons, become more internally motivated by their personal development and more joyful of the activity, instead of focusing on external rewards. It means, that motivation can be cultivated with time and progress.
Find a quiet place, and make yourself comfortable. Take 15 to 30 minutes each day by breathing deeply until you feel calm and relaxed. Now, immerse your mind into a competitive environment. Try to use all your senses and picture yourself achieving your goals. Imagine difficult challenge, where you struggle and overcome occurring obstacles. Feel the positive side of ambition and strength. See yourself achieving your dreams, performing your best and being in flow. Remember, if it’s possible in your imagination, you can accomplish that in reality.
4. Improve your focus
Control your attention for longer periods of time. By practicing it daily, you will be able to easily let go of any unwanted thought. As you concentrate on the selected task, you leave less room for the negative thoughts to come. As a reward, you’ll be used to stay strong under any conditions.
Remember, brain training is as challenging, as all the physical workouts you do.
5. Positive self-talk
Your inner voice can guide you toward a positive outcome. An athlete must control his emotions to perform well during an event. When you feel pain, your inner voice can be very discouraging, because it tries to avoid difficulties. Positive self-talk is needed in these kind of moments. You have to be ready for long and uncomfortable competitions. Master your inner voice to become mentally tougher, because at the end of the day, it makes a difference – you either win or give up.
6. Get out of your comfort zone
Expose yourself to discomfort and uncertainty. By training in unenviable situations, you’re developing your toughness. The more you can embrace discomfort in your training sessions, the better you perform in a competitive environment.
On top of that, it will help you to build a stronger discipline and increase the ability to fight through the “unmotivated” times.
After months of progressively transforming and challenging your body, your performance will increase. You will be able to use more oxygen while running, it will be easier to maintain the pace, and your body will be leaner, fitter and stronger. You will be more mentally tough, more extroverted, and less neurotic.
Intrinsic motivation will increase, which means you will be more driven by internal rewards, rather than external ones. Your mindset will be constantly transformed by the challenges you put your body through, and you will be more growth-oriented.