Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Visualizing Too Much?

Visualization is something that almost all successful athletes do. Whether it is visualizing hitting the game winning shot, picking it up the last 10k of a marathon, or just remaining steady throughout a long day of training, visualization helps to mentally prepare for the battle ahead.

Whenever I am out on runs, more specifically longer runs, my mind tends to wander into the realm of visualization. However, I have noticed this has caused an unexpected reaction - higher heart rates.

Let's take a test - take your heart rate right now. Recorded it? Good. Now think about your next upcoming race and start visualizing all the keys to success in achieving your ideal goal for that race. Think about hitting the last mile and really picking up the pace to bring it on home. Once the picture in your head is crystal clear, take your heart rate again. Notice a difference?

For me, just visualizing these kinds of things can cause my resting heart rate to jump a solid 10 bpm! Well, when you are out on a training run and trying to hit a specific heart rate, this can prove quite troubling. Often times, I find my mind wandering into visualization territory, only to look down at my watch and find that my hear rate is WAY high for my effort. Then I remember to stop visualizing and it goes back down.

Just a fun little quirk I noticed...maybe I should keep the visualizations limited to when I am at home and not working out.


Sean in DC said...

Heh - interesting counter-strategy...

What if you're out on a run/ride and just aren't in the mood to work as hard as you should - can you visualize to artificially raise your heart-rate to where it should be? I guess that's cheating (yourself) so probably not the best idea, huh?

Danielle said...

Does it jump as much as 10bpm if it is already higher from running?


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