The more you endure, the more you can endure in training
Training is most definitely affected by your mental aptitude for the effort, how much you get used to enduring the suffering and for how long and how intense in other words it is not just about the physical body.
The more you do it the more “normal” it seems, even if unpleasant and this is not just down to the fact your body is stronger but also to the fact your mind has realised you aren’t going to stop this activity or habit so it decides it had better get on with it. That is also why getting started and doing it consistently for the first three months in a training programme is the toughest, after that three things happens, you get physically addicted to the exercise, you are naturally getting stronger and fitter and feeling better, but more importantly it’s becomes a part of your identity and who you are and it becomes a ritual your brain is used to getting through.
The more training pain you withstand the more you can withstand from a purely mental point of view. When I ran through NZ doing 500km a week, my body seemed to break down worst in the first two weeks, where everything that could go wrong did and my body was just screaming at me to stop.
However because I didn’t, the body seemed to slowly get used to that fact and decided to just get on with the job because, obviously no one was listening to the screaming so we better deal with it.
The mind can play tricks on us like that to try and stop us when it thinks we are in danger. The instinctive, primitive part of our brain wants just to get the most food for the least amount of effort, that is how through the millennia is was taught to survive. Don’t burn too much energy and eat and save as much as you can, putting it in layman's terms. That meant the body and more importantly the mind developed a number of mechanisms to stop you doing too much. But if you override this instinctive part of your brain, this protective guardian and push through the barriers you find that anatomically the body can cope with far more than you think.
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