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If you’ve decided to run a marathon or cycle a century, you might want to consider adding self-talk to your training regimen suggests a recent study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
To figure out whether you might be able to talk yourself out of exhaustion during endurance activity, researchers had 24 participants cycle at 80% effort until they were exhausted, then they either participated in self-talk training or nothing at all. When they cycled again two weeks later, those who had motivational self-talk training had significantly reduced rates of perceived exertion and enhanced endurance performance.
How can you self talk your way to a personal best? Start by talking to yourself like a motivation coach; then think more about how you’re feeling and how the activity is affecting you. From there, use your inner voice to monitor your body and your pace, and give yourself instruction and commands.