Endurance – The struggle to continue against a mounting desire to stop

Endurance is the struggle to continue against a mounting desire to stop!

The fundamental requirement for any endurance sport is the ability to sustain a submaximal work rate for a prolonged period.

Endurance development is all-relative, and we are trying to extend the quality of performance. Its an intricate process that requires a mix of physiological, biomechanical, emotional, mental, and neural adaptations

The ability to compete strongly in endurance events is influenced by our physical fitness and psychological strengths.

Endurance training involves developing both general and event specific endurance and the mental toughness or the grit needed to achieve our peak performance.

Endurance athletes need the ability to resist the sensation of fatigue that cries out to slow down or stop during endurance events or challenging training sessions. 

We develop mental toughness over time, through exposure to fatigue during training sessions. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is true with endurance sport but the truth is we need to become comfortable at the intensity or fatigue level, encountered during competitions

The psychology and physiology of endurance are inextricably linked. The brain and body are fundamentally intertwined.
We have a total kind of synergy between psychological and physiological and physical characteristics that go into defining your limits.

Any endurance task requires decisions, whether they are conscious or unconscious decisions, on how hard to push and when.
Changing your internal monologue does have an effect on your performance.
The brains interpretation of the body’s signals is maybe more important than the body’s signals themselves when pushing our limits. Panting and aching legs aren’t as bad as they might seem.

Fundamentally, your brain is just trying to protect you. You need your brain to be smart and anticipate that the feelings of discomfort, warnings and perceptions.
Is this harder than I am willing to work?
We judge what is sustainable based on how we feel and how that feeling compares to how we expect to feel at that point in a race.

Our brain essentially tells us whether we should make the decision to slow down and give in to the fatigue, or to try just a little harder to keep going based on our prior experiences

We have a choice to learn just how far we can be pushed, how much we can endure and how much we can handle. We can all strive to be better than we were yesterday, and we can put our hearts into something to see what we become, despite the fear of failure.

Adaptation and development occurs when we are pushing our boundaries. Being uncomfortable signals that we are in a place to grow.

We always have stuff in reserve. Our body is too well controlled to let us push so deep that we risk injury.

Racing is balancing between periods of discomfort and focus, its addictive.
The days that make you question it all which we have all experienced I’m sure at some point where you move from the perfect balance into a place of pain and doubt are important days for growth and improvement in our sport. We can’t really resent these days because they shape who we are on our best days.

You can train to have a bigger reserve or take smaller scoops out of that reserve with each challenge.

If a race was not what you expected, it wasnt a failure just not the outcome you wanted.

We need to plan your goals systematically going into races because sometimes the outcome is out of our control.

A goal – best case scenario but make sure you have a B and C goal too to remove the all or nothing fixation on the finish time.

Grieve the defeat, feel what you have to feel for a short time then silence the negatives in your mind and get back to working on your goals or wallowing in the misery of not achieving the desired result will lead to negatives outcomes.

Falling short of goals or expected outcomes in a race can be difficult but we need to fall short sometimes or it would be too easy and our best days wouldn’t feel so special. It’s going to happen and its a necessary part of the sport.

Use the failures to make you stronger, to learn from them. Ask yourself “what could I have done differently”?
Sometimes failure is out of your control and there is always another attempt.

When you focus on the process, you can find success even if the outcome isn’t what you expected. Focus on the process that gives you the best chance of improvement over time

Setbacks should be turned into motivation and determination to succeed next time.
Success is not the absence of failure, rather your response to failure.
It’s important to keep proper perspective and to realise that one day doesn’t define you, your fitness or ability, keep the bigger picture in mind. Evaluate the totality of what you do in training. Do small things each day, develop better habits that will help you reach your goals in the long run.

One day at a time, day after day, good days and bad.
Part of reaching your potential lies in giving yourself permission to fail sometimes.

If you can come over the line saying “there is nothing more I could have given today, that was all I had” – that’s a win in my books😁


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