Hey! So, you probably think I’m absolutely crazy, but I am attempting the world record for the most chest to floor burpees in 24 hours… Have you ever had one of those light bulb moments whilst laying in bed at night, with an idea that you simply cannot get out of your head, and it excites you just thinking about it?
Well, that happened to me, and ever since then, my attitude, my motivation and my training has changed, with focus entirely on this challenge. In the past I’ve faced various endurance challenges such as the 100 mile London cycle and half iron man triathlons, however this one stands above the rest and will be my biggest physical and mental challenge yet.
I wanted to attempt something so crazy that it created conversations and shock amongst people that heard it, to create awareness and funds for my chosen charity, MIND. And that’s exactly what it’s done, and hopefully will continue to do as the event takes place.
The most common questions have been ‘How do you even train for something like?’ ‘Are you going to sleep?’ ‘When do you eat?’ ‘Are you mad?’. To be honest most of these questions I don’t even know the answer to and will have to just see how it goes!
Here are some of the ways I overcome the physical and mental barriers of endurance events.
When it comes to endurance events, it’s obviously important to practice and train in the demands of the event for example swimming, cycling and running for triathlons, or simply lots of burpees in my burpee event. Putting your body through hours and hours of motion to prepare yourself for the event will make it a much more enjoyable and successful one. Not only will this increase the muscular endurance in the major required muscles but it will also prepare the body on a neuromuscular level too. This plays a key part in making the movement feel a lot more natural/habitual, so in theory you won’t need to be in as much physical stress. Ideally I’d love burpees to feel so easy, it feels like a light jog… Yeah right!
The next step is making sure your nutrition set up is planned. Appropriate nutrition before and during an endurance event is critical, and will play a big part in how well the event goes. Physical training and preparation will only take you so far when it comes to events lasting longer than 1-2 hours long. The fitter and more prepared you are then obviously you will be able to last longer, however when working hard, the energy within your muscles doesn’t last long, which is why it’s so important to keep refuelling and rehydrating throughout!
Pre event – I think the pre event mind set is so interesting because I’m a huge believer and applier of visualisation and positivity. This doesn’t mean you can play the naïve card, and simply not to do much training. Positivity will only get you so far, but it does mean you can work to fill your mind with all the possible positive outcomes, and every time a negative thought comes into focus, push it back out of your brain. I believe this really does have an impact on the body’s capabilities.
During event – Now, this is the big one. It is true that the pain and lack of energy can set in quite early during ultra endurance events, and that it’s all up to your mental strength to get you through the challenge. But what does that mean? What thoughts do you need in your mind to keep your will strong and prevent any overcoming thoughts that tell your body it’s time to stop?
Well that’s where you need to find YOUR motivation. In my experience, it is only when your body gets to a very uncomfortable state where you need to ‘dig deep’ to places where you need to find hidden emotion and ‘free motivation’. Many people (including myself) attach their event to a charity cause, and this usually gives you an extremely strong mind in even the toughest of situations because you can’t help but think about how minor your superficial pain is compared to others who are in chronic pain or are less physically able.
There are many reasons why I am raising money and awareness for MIND charity, one of which being this exact reason. If so many people in the UK and around the world are dealing with mental illness and challenges, then surely I can put myself through some mental stress for just 24 hours. Perspective will be your power endurance events.
It’s not everyday that we go through endurance events, however everything that we need to get through these events can be applied to our everyday too! Motivation is the biggest barrier for so many people when it comes to their health and fitness journey, so keeping in mind these tips for being able to eat well, exercise daily and live a healthy lifestyle should be really useful. For example, when you next feel low in motivation to go to the gym or head out on a quick run, just remember how grateful you are to have your body! A body that is healthy, vital, alive and ready to be used, in comparison to so many others who aren’t so fortunate. I know that this gets my ass off the sofa…
Success won’t come from separate physical or mental applications, but instead an accumulation of applying both at the same time.
Wish me luck in my world record attempt, I have nervous anxiousness when writing this right now, but I also know that if it were easy everyone would be doing it. Extraordinary results don’t come from ordinary actions.
Thanks so much for reading. Lots of love,
26th-27 August. 12pm-12pm
At @londonrooftopgym Shoreditch
If you’d like to help me raise money for MIND, please follow this link.