Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Power of Positivity

In news that might be surprising to... no one, actually, keeping a positive mind set can make your work outs easier and more effective. And while it's not always easy to keep positive thoughts on tap, there's one easy and fail-safe way to boost your own performance and help mitigate your fatigue levels.

Are you ready for it?

 Thanks, Buddy

No joke, smiling can reduce your effort while running, potentially by up to a whopping 2.8% when compared with frowning, or 2.2% when neutral (Study: The effects of facial expression and relaxation cues on movement economy, physiological, and perceptual responses during running). If you closely followed Nike's Breaking2 attempt, you might have gotten a few glimpses of Eliud Kipchoge smiling his way to an amazing marathon finish time of 2:00:25.
Another way to improve running efficiency (in this case up to approximately 1%) is to hear positivity from others. If you train in a group setting, try working with your training partners to give each other positive feedback (here's the kicker -- it doesn't even have to be true, it just needs to be positive) while running, and you should notice a decrease in effort for the same exertion as you had been running (Study: Enhanced expectancies improve movement efficiency in runners). 

Seen at the 2013 New York City Marathon (source)

The last (and my favorite) way to improve your own running efficiency is to harness the power of positive thoughts and self-affirmations. While it's easy to get bogged down in the negatives of a normal run or race, you always have the power to control your own thoughts. Next time you catch yourself saying "This is too hard. Why am I doing this?" reframe it in a way so that you are telling yourself, "Wow, this is tough. It's amazing that I'm capable of doing this!" Don't try to fool yourself into thinking something isn't as hard as it really is, take pride in the fact that you are the one out there pushing through it all!
I saw this on Friday morning's 13-mile long run, and I still haven't stopped smiling.

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