Tag Archive for: performance

Reset your frame of reference

Technically a frame of reference is defined as a complex set of assumptions and attitudes which are used to filter perceptions to create meaning.

Situations and environments that we are familiar with and comfortable with are our frames of reference.

Therefore experiences we have in physical training and in life are directly linked to how we perform in certain situations.

Spartan Up!

“The development of mental control is the foundation for building an unbeatable mind that will not fail at any worthy goal or task…”

Spartan Race co-founder and CEO Joe De Sena and author of Spartan Up!.

Changing your frame of reference means every time you hit a challenge, be it a tough workout, your first marathon or climbing a six-metre cliff face in the pouring rain at 1:00 am in the morning; you have a choice.

Changing your frame of reference means making the choice to keep things easy and comfortable. The way you’re used to doing them, or intentionally making them harder or at least not avoiding difficult situations when they arise.

Expect the unexpected

You can’t control situations that may crop up in an event, such as an ultramarathon. Which is why I follow the principle “train for all conditions”. This applies as much to mental preparation as it does physical preparation.

Things will go wrong, and you need to be able to refer back to situations in which you’ve faced similar challenges. Change your frame of reference by embracing the obstacles and challenges that pop up, as well as actively forcing them upon yourself and you’ll reap benefits both in training and in life.

Sometimes that means seeking them out

By experiencing new challenges in life and learning how to overcome them will make you better prepared to handle future obstacles when they arise.

Don’t be afraid to follow the path less travelled once in a while.

If you’re thinking “it’s time to change my frame of reference” and looking to embark on your first challenge then check out this great post by Obstacle Course Racer and Coach Mike Meredith where he talks about finding his passion for Spartan Racing and what to expect when you take on your first Spartan Race event.

Why is stretching as important as exercise?

Improve flexibility and the range of motion in your joints.

Better flexibility can even improve performance in activities like running or decrease the risk of injury by helping your joints move through their full range of motion, enabling your muscles to work most effectively. Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle, keeping them healthy.

It may seem like a chore at first but if you make it just another part of your training, you even may come to enjoy the ritual of your post-workout stretch!

Improving your flexibility

Before you take the plunge into stretching, make sure you do it safely and effectively.

While you can stretch anytime, anywhere (in your home, at work, in a hotel room or at the park) you want to be sure to use proper technique. If done incorrectly it can actually do more harm than good.

Stretching Essentials

Use these tips for safe stretching.

1. Focus on major muscle groups.

When you’re stretching, focus on major muscle groups (just as we do at the close of each session) such as your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Make sure that you stretch both sides. For instance, if you stretch your left hamstring, be sure to stretch your right hamstring.

2. Be smooth.

Stretch in a smooth movement, without bouncing. Bouncing as you stretch can cause injury to the muscle.

3. Hold and breathe.

Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds or four breaths; in problem areas, you may need to hold for around 60 seconds or 8 breaths. Breathe normally as you stretch. Breathe into the stretch as the muscle releases.

4. Stretch just beyond discomfort, just before pain.

Expect to feel tension while you’re stretching, but not pain. If it hurts, you’ve pushed too far. You want to stretch just beyond discomfort but just before pain, then hold the stretch.

5. Incorporate movement.

Gentle movement can help you be more flexible in specific activities. The gentle movements of tai chi or yoga, for instance, can be a good way to stretch.

6. Be consistent.

Stretching can be time-consuming but you can achieve the most benefits by stretching regularly. You should aim for at least two to three times a week. When you don’t stretch regularly, you risk losing any benefits that are gained from stretching. For instance, if stretching helped you increase your range of motion, and you stop stretching, your range of motion may decrease again.