Workout Mind Games

Good morning! I am dragging today, I think it’s time for coffee numero dos 😉 I am also super annoyed because I am feeling pain along the medial side of my right shin, a HUGE problem area for me, and it’s making me very nervous. More on that another day.

Recently Janae over at Hungry Runner Girl posted about things she told herself during the NYC Marathon (she is also having an amazing giveaway right now, check it out) and it got me thinking about the many mind games I play with myself when it comes to working out.

I am not sure why I am so ridiculous when it comes to this stuff, but sometimes I need to make a deal with myself in order to get my sweat on. I’ve realized that I usually do one of three things: bribery, bargaining, or trickery. (I was really upset that I couldn’t think of a third thing that started with a “b” I heart alliteration.)

Bribery: I use this more liberally than I should, but I will do things like, “if you go out for a run, you can have an extra cup of coffee,” or a bagel (well not really anymore), or a glass of wine that evening.

Bargaining: This is when I will tell myself, that I can’t do X until I get my workout done. Like, I won’t watch TV unless I get at least ONE mile in that day. Or if I get in my workout, then I can veg the rest of the day. I will also switch my workout days, bargaining for the “easier” workout and then put off my harder workout till another day.

Trickery: This is when I know I need to get my workout in and I just don’t feel like it. This works especially well for my at home weights DVD, I will say, you ONLY have to do X reps (depending on the phase of the workout, that varies from 6-12 with heavy weights) and I will tell myself that I only have to do the lowest possible amount. I also do this while running, I will tell myself that I can go as slow as humanly possible, as long as I finish my set amount of miles.

With all of these games, I almost always end up pushing harder, or going farther than I expected. If I tell myself that if I go for a run, I can go to the store and get anything I want for lunch, I usually end up getting fruit or something so that I can make a smoothie. It’s weird, but it works.

Maybe I am completely insane for doing this, and I promise it’s not every day, a lot of times I just do the, “get your bum out there and do it!” which also works. Some days I even workout because I WANT to. Imagine that.

Do any of  you play mind games with yourself to get your sweat on?

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10 thoughts on “Workout Mind Games

  1. I usually set goals for myself…like just run till *such and such* and then you can walk, then once I’m there I don’t walk and keep running, setting yet, another distance goal! 😀 I really love working out. If I start I find I’m pretty good at listening to my body. When I was trying to lose weight I’d just repeat “BIKINI” over and over 🙂 lol

  2. I’m sorry to hear about the shin pains, I know how you feel, they’re my problem area as well and I’ve been feeling them getting tighter and tighter and it’s making me nervous too (as in : ‘checking ‘every few minutes whether I feel any pain, pushing delicate spots..) it sucks! Got any tricks to help with shin pains?? As for mind games: I usually split the distance of my runs up and tell myself I only have to go to x and when I’m at x ‘Well that wasn’t to bad, now go till y’ and so on, until I’ve reached my goal distance, pretty mean actually 😉

    • I have a history with shin pain, when I was 17 I had horrible medial shin splints for almost a year from dance. Supportive shoes, ice, stretching your calves and rubbing the arches of your feet were all good remedies for me (I was in physical therapy for quite a while).

      And know when to take a break. Something I am not good at. Haha.

  3. Its always so tough before and beginning of a workout, especially running. So bribery works very well for me! But once I’m almost done, I don’t want to stop! Crazy!

  4. HATE me some shin pain! Dealt with them for a whole year befor finding relief! (needed better arch support and got inserts)
    Hmm….mind games. I think I’m more of a mantra gal. When I can’t go any farther I’ll repeate a phrase with each round of three or four strides. My favorite is, “Strong, Fierce, Powerful.” I don’t know why…but it works!

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