Altering Our Perceived Level Of Effort When Running
In all of my explorations of methods and strategies for using hypnosis to help advance sporting performance, one of the most impressive uses of hypnosis within studies has been that,
“Perception of effort during exercise can be systematically increased or decreased with hypnotic suggestion even though the actual physical work-load is maintained at a constant level. Furthermore, alterations in effort sense are associated with significant changes in metabolic responses and brain activation as measured by SPECT and MRI.” (Morgan, 2002)
This is incredibly good news for us runners.
Additionally at the time of recording this audio track, my friend, hypnotherapist and multi world title winning fighter, Gary Turner is writing a lot about running while he is spending just 12 weeks preparing and training for a 40 mile ultra marathon. Here is what he wrote as his Facebook status update earlier this week:
“Heard on the radio earlier a DJ talking about his London Marathon entry talking about what a massive hurdle it is to overcome.
In a couple of weeks I’ll be doing a marathon a week for my ultramarathon training. Long runs for me now seem normal. Yet his is only my 4th week of preparation. Impressive? Nope. Just know what I’m doing and expect to be able to do it.
Eddie Izzard did 43 marathons in 51 days on just 5 weeks of training. Think about what our military do in training as a matter of course.
Many people do far more impressive distances.
Your body can do 1,000 times more than you think it can. You just have to vote with your feet, and have a strong mind.” (Gary Turner, 19th September, 2012, Facebook)
Gary sums up nicely my own sentiments and there is evidence to show that we are more capable than we sometimes think, and also we can alter our perceived level of effort to enhance and advance our running performance.
In the early 2000’s Williamson and colleagues (2001, 2002) showed how hypnosis and receiving suggestions in hypnosis could alter the level of perceived effort by the athlete, resulting in them being able to perform better – and actually having a cardiovascular response to the brain believing in that perceived effort level. It sounds like the stuff of fantasy, but evidence repeatedly supports this notion and it makes complete sense when you consider it fully.
This hypnosis audio track and process is a cognitive strategy to engage in while running, but to implement with mental rehearsal the hypnosis session.
Our bodies respond to the message of the brain and we really do tend to respond to effort, pain, discomfort in a very sanitary and self-preserving fashion which does not really stretch and push us.
Elite athletes and sports people know that they can go further and have conviction and belief that they can push themselves further. This is not the central theme with this audio track, but that belief in our perception of our own level of effort is what this is all about. You’ll be able to run further, faster and also enjoy your training runs much more as a result of this hypnosis audio track.