You’re ten minutes into your daily run and you’re already beat. You can’t possibly go on. Clearly, the only option is to walk home, ease your poor, tired body into a onesie and curl up on the couch. Not so fast, buddy!
Scientific proof for “mind over matter”
In one study, South African physiologist Tim Noakes observed a group of cyclists. His measurements showed that at the moment the cyclists felt compelled to stop due to exhaustion, they were actually using less than 50 percent of their muscle fibers.
In another cyclist study in Wales, participants were given a substance that they were told would enhance their performance. The substance was a placebo, but this information was enough to increase the cyclists’ speeds by two to three percent.
While not all of us can apply this knowledge to our elite athletic training, bear it in mind the next time you’re feeling sluggish. Perhaps the right mindset really is all you need to go – or finish – the extra mile.
Want more on the awesome power of the mind, and are you curious why blue sleeping pills won’t work for Italian men? Take a look at Cure, by Jo Marchant.