Work Out Harder: Mental Tactics to Push Through Fatigue

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I have this thing I do when I I feel like I just can’t do another plyometric lunge or run another step.

I grit my teeth and count to 100. I make a pact with myself to work as hard as I possibly can until I reach 100. At that point, I can slow down, take a quick break or stop.

For example, the day I took Tesuto at Crunch, Angel (the instructor) was having us do these ridiculous leg combos that lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I was able to push through the last set by saying to myself “I’ll do 100 of these no matter what. If we’re still doing the exercise after I count 100 reps, I can take a break.” Obviously we didn’t do 100 reps of any exercise, but I was able to complete the entire leg series.

I think this strange philosophy stems from my running mantra.

On today’s training schedule, I had 2 miles at tempo (also a warm-up and cool-down). I felt slow and sluggish. Once during the first mile, I looked down to see that I was way behind my scheduled pace.

At the 1.64 mark, I really, really wanted to stop running. I negotiated with myself that if I ran as fast as I could in the amount of time it took me to count to 100, I could stop.

I began to count each breath. At 60, I started counting down instead of up. At zero I stopped running and stopped Pacey to see that I was .01 short of hitting my distance goal. Yet, my pace was 30 seconds ahead of my planned time.

What mental tactics do you use to keep pushing on when all you want to do is stop?