Mental Strength Exercise/Wacky Workouts I would never have other people do


I enjoy training. I wholeheartedly enjoying trashing myself and feeling my own pain. I live for that. Pushing my limits and expanding my version of what fatigue means to my mind. I understand that to make this running specific, a progressive cut-down long run would suffice or repeats getting faster by the rep, but over the summer, I enjoy getting creative and trashing my legs–to then make myself run hard and fast. Really, it is not a physical exercise as much as it is mental. I just want to increase my capacity of what “hurting” means and to keep going, no matter how much body is signaling to stop. The goal is teach myself that if I get my mind to commit to the hardest effort I’ve got left, then no amount of discomfort is enough to slow me or stop me.

*HR=heart rate*

Workout #1

  • 17 mile bike ride at 15mph (HR 120-150)
  • 45 minute fartlek on the elliptical going with a mix of maximal resistance and low resistance and high cadence at 200+ steps per minute(HR 120-180)
  • 7 mile run, with 6X 400’s at 82′ mixed in and the last mile in 6:10

Workout #2

  • 10.5 mile run around 7:45 pace on a mix of trail and road
  • 35 minute fartlek on the elliptical going with a mix of maximal resistance and low resistance and high cadence at 200+ steps per minute(HR 120-180)
  • rowed 1600 meters in 9:00 minutes (HR 130-140)
  • 14 mile ride at 16 mph on a route with the biggest hills I could find (HR 120-180)
  • 1 mile warm up, and then what all that above was for: the last hard mile: 5:52

On workout #2, my goal was completely trash myself before my all out mile. On the bike, my quads were already DEAD. I was thinking, “there is no way I can go run a hard mile” but the entire purpose of all the cross training after the 10 mile run was to tire myself out.

I ate a 2,000 calorie breakfast of refried beans and doritos and rice crispy treats. I ate some animal crackers and drank some powerade after the row before the bike ride. I then, ate a whole can of garbanzo beans and lots of prunes with peanut butter after. I then, spent the next day going for a long, easy walk and spent a lot time of the foam roller. I banged out 500+ reps of core to secrete human growth hormone to help enhance recovery.

What is interesting, is on the hard, last mile, I actually felt okay–okay for just having done 4 hours of cardio involving my lower body. The warm jog was BRUTAL. I have done some marathons, and this was by far worse than the last few miles of the marathon. After roughly 10 seconds of picking up the cadence and driving my knee, the faster running felt good–for the first 800 meters. Then, I literally wanted to stop and sit on the ground. I was very tired. I just imagined it was the last 800 of a cross country race and I can the see the final shoot.

I felt very free after I finished. I felt free of any limit(s) I have put on myself. I then, walked 2 miles as the cooldown realizing how truly insane and stupid I can be.





Sarah Bradley
Expanding on her passion for distance running, Sarah Bradley, is a young lady who finds great enjoyment in interviewing people on their journey pertaining to the sport of track and field and writing about various topics within the sport. She wishes the insights, experiences, and self reflections shared may serve someone, somewhere. Beginning running recreationally at age 18, she has since found substantial improvement. She is mostly silly, but on occasion--when she drinks enough coffee--she is fully enticed in the pursuit of her very best.