Setting your sights on a marathon next year? Whether you’re a professional runner or a complete novice, you will need to undertake months of gruelling training and be prepared for the long run.
The best endurance athletes are capable of pushing their bodies through extreme amounts of suffering, a stage which top athletes refer to as “the grind”. But as well as tolerating physical strain, author of ‘Ultra Performance’, Paul Moore claims endurance athletes boast five mental strengths to support their performance:
- Mental Toughness
The dedication that endurance athletes display towards realising a goal is absolute – their lives are structured around sport. It is important to adopt a mental toughness approach and focus on the long term goals you want to achieve rather than just “winning”.
- Extreme Motivation
Whatever your chosen sport, your training will be intense, so make sure you love it. It’s difficult to be a successful endurance athlete without enjoying what you do and having a true passion.
- Intense Focus
Top athletes are experts in the art of focussing. Endurance sports often take place in the most remarkable and intense environments so make sure you can focus on the task at hand without being distracted by what’s going on around you.
- Have a Positive Outlook
Endurance races are hard; athletes will remember the tough times where the sheer physicality of what they were doing was overwhelming. If the mind thinks negatively then the body will respond negatively. It is important to keep up positivity in order to relax and to realise your maximum capabilities.
- The Grind
A common term amongst athletes, the grind is the ability to push on through when things are mentally and physically tough. It is important to ensure you allow time to recover for maximum performance and reduced risk of injury.
If you’re training towards an endurance challenge, it’s not only important to master you mind-set. Your body composition will contribute to optimal exercise performance, so it is vital to find the right balance between weight, hydration, fat and muscle and monitor your body composition over time and in conjunction with your training regime. Why not try the Tanita BC-601 segmental body composition monitor with SD card connectivity. The BC-601 measures weight, segmental body fat, segmental muscle mass, hydration levels and BMR so that users can set goals and tailor their fitness programmes for success. Body composition data is automatically stored on the SD card and can be downloaded onto your computer so that you can view and manage your data using the free ‘Bodyvision’ software or our new web based my.tanita.eu software.