• Dr. Pat McSweeney PT, DPT

Pushing through the “Resistance”


Ever get to that point in a training session when you feel like you just can’t go any further and you feel like slowing down or stopping to walk? Or have you ever woke up and thought to yourself, “there’s just no way I can do that hill repeat or threshold session that I have planned, maybe I’ll just do an easy run on my usual route” ?



Yea, me either. (Tongue firmly in cheek)



I think every athlete has been there. Every day and every training session, we are faced with tiny micro-decisions of do I, or don’t I. Should I or shon’t I (No one says shon’t but it flowed well at the time). These little decisions over the long term add up and go a long way in determining our outcome on race day. It stands to reason that the more good training decisions we make, the more likely it is that we are happy with our race result.


I just recently finished “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. In this book he discusses the invisible force (what he calls “Resistance”) that prevents us from reaching our goals. He describes the goal of “Resistance” is to keep things exactly how they are. It hates growth and change. While the context he gives surrounds the world of writing, art, and business, the principles covered apply across the board. Especially to endurance training. With 2019 in the rearview, and 2020 resolutions/goals aplenty, this seemed like a good time to talk about that little voice in our head (the "Resistance") and how working to overcome it can be the difference in reaching our desired outcome in 2020.



My experience with the “Resistance” has definitely been up and down. I definitely don’t have it all figured out. Some days I feel like I can easily push through tough workouts and some days its difficult just getting started. (And most days I still just want to eat pizza.) While this is definitely still a work in progress here are some things that have helped me to push through the “Resistance”.


1. Don’t forget why you are training. It is easy to get caught up in the monotony of day to day training especially when we factor in the rest of our commitments (work, family, etc.). Whether the goal is to set a new PR, qualify for world championships, or just to stay healthy, keeping our why at the forefront can go a long way to keeping us motivated. (Bonus: Sharing this goal with those closest to you helps a lot too. Having a strong support system is huge. See #2)



2. Surround yourself with people who support your goals. The “Resistance” is strong, and having people around you who know and support your goals can help to keep you on track/hold you accountable. This can come in the form of friends, family, spouse, teammates, or coaches.



3. Start small.


“The way you do anything, is the way you do everything.”

This is something you can get better at. If you are someone who misses workouts consistently, focus on just showing up more frequently. If you are someone who cuts workouts short or consistently leaves a little on the table, focus on one key workout throughout the week where you give it your all. These small changes over time will pay dividends.



Like I said, this is something I still struggle with and am working to improve in 2020. I’m not big on resolutions, but the word I’m focusing on this year, whether it’s a workout or writing this blog, is “Finish”.


I would love to hear what your goals are for this year.


Whether you want to cross the finish line for the first time or you are looking to set a new personal best, we are here to help. For more information on how you can reach the starting line of your next race healthier and fitter than ever, email pmcsweeney@pro-activity.com or message us directly on Instagram @pro-activity_ohio.





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