“There’s good evidence that saying motivational things to yourself can benefit your running, cycling or swimming performance,” McCormick said. “Planning what to do if you encounter various problems can also be very valuable.”
At times all of us find ourselves hitting the wall while exercising. It feels like you just can’t go on, you just can’t focus, or you can’t stop thinking about what’s for dinner.
This NYT article, while directed towards distance athletes, provides some good tips on pushing through the wall that can be applied to any form of exercise. Do note that optimal long-term performance requires self awareness which involves interfacing these visualization techniques with listening to and honoring your body’s limits. Finding this line is no easy task, but is very rewarding in the long run as it allows you to push yourself towards your goals without increasing risk of injury.