When racing in triathlons, I was out on the course for hours and would have to distract myself from the cramping, fatigue, and pain. One of the things I love about CrossFit is that it helps us to push past what we think our limits are. This ability to push yourself harder than you could have ever imagined is what differentiates you as an athlete.
When you hear people say,”It’s all mental,” they are right. The brain sends pain signals to the body to slow it down. It does this long before you will physically start to fail. The hardest part of any workout is pushing yourself mentally. The human body is capable of so much more than most people imagine.
I would like to share some methods of breaking down the mental wall that have worked for me.
First, two methods that apply to endurance workouts involving running, rowing.
Counting steps – I count every other step and when I get to fifty I start over again.
Mantra – Just a one liner, and repeat it over and over again in your head. This is a popular technique among runners and triathletes.
Second, two methods that apply to workouts with a high volume of reps such as 100 push presses for time.
Break it up – If you break up larger sets into smaller sets it makes the reps much more manageable. I use all kinds of different counting methods to make it seem like it’s less reps than it is. Try using 5 sets of 20 or 10 sets of 10. And use the beads! That way you are only counting to 20 each time, and not to 100.
Keep Moving – You hear me saying this a lot when I’m coaching, but its true! If you just keep moving, especially on longer WOD’s that are 20 to 30 minutes, you will get through the work.
I leave you with a quote from my high school track coach,”Trust me you aren’t going to die, you will pass out first!”