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Mindset & Meditation: Make a Mind Shift

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“What blocks us is clear. I am too short, too old, too scared, too poor, too stressed, no access, no backers, no confidence. How skilled we are at cataloging what holds us back” – The Obstacle is the Way

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case, you fail by default” – J.K. Rowling (taken from the book Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

When presented with a challenge be it physical, work related or personal, are the first thoughts that cross your mind “I can’t do that”, or “that’s impossible at my age”, or “I wish I could do XYZ”? Never undermine your success or ability in the gym, in sport, or in life. Most people I speak to about Ironman triathlon, ultra-marathon, or long-distance obstacle racing all have the same response. “I could NEVER do that”.. They have already defeated themselves mentally, however when they see someone their same age, weight, disability, etc complete one of these events, their mind begins to shift from “I could never” to “I think I could do this”. Regardless of how fast or slow your finish time may be at a race, or even if you had a “bad day” at the gym or in a race, someone out in the world watching, thinks you have just accomplished the impossible. Be proud of everything you do and learn from every day, race, adventure, and trial. Celebrate the small stuff.

In setting and achieving small goals you slowly begin to build your confidence. As you do this, begin to change your self-talk from, I wish, I want, If I could only, to I am, I can, I will. Once you make that mental shift what you thought was impossible becomes a challenge that you will stop at nothing to achieve. Set small goals, but at the same time don’t be afraid to reach for the stars and set a large goal for yourself. If it scares the hell out of you… GOOD! Everyone feels fear, from the most elite Extreme Sport Athlete to the baddest UFC fighters on the planet. They are all afraid. It’s what they do with that fear that makes them special and it can do the same for you. Fear will not kill you but it will contain you. Take your fear and shift your mind from letting it hold you back, to having it motivate you to conquer it and achieve the goal.

In creating a mind-shift think about it in one more way. What if you tried to accomplish a goal for the next 20 years. Something that you thought and maybe Dr’s or “experts” said was impossible for you to do. At the end of 20 years you don’t achieve that goal. It will be so much better for you to realize and say to yourelf “I gave it my all and tried every avenue to get there”, than to never have tried at all. You will NEVER say “what if” and I guarantee you will have learned a TON about yourself in the process. That, is a victory.

Mindset and Meditation: Gratitude

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Gratitude…

 

Have you ever heard the expression, “ A little kindness goes a long way”? Think about that. If I display kindness; a kind remark, gesture, or act towards you, you feel happy, and you may not realize it, but you feel gratitude/grateful for being treated kindly. That same feeling you get when you receive a kind act, gratitude, can be felt when you practice gratitude yourself. Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be an outward display of kindness, rather, simply being grateful for people, opportunities, and experiences in your life. No one needs to know or hear what you are grateful for. You simply speak it to yourself while practicing relaxed diaphragmatic breathing and receive the benefits.

 

The act of practicing gratitude, has shown in multiple studies to alter the way our brains process information, handle stress, and more. In this article, practicing gratitude, along with compassion, was shown to slow heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. The physical and mental/emotional benefits of gratitude have been proven. Now it is time for you to implement this practice, along with relaxed diaphragmatic breathing, into your daily routine. Here is how I suggest you start your day with gratitude and how you can use it throughout the day to keep a calm mind and body during stressful situations, and as a reminder “check in” throughout the day.

 

  1. First thing in the morning while still lying in bed and practicing your relaxed diaphragmatic breathing, think of 1 thing that you are truly grateful for. Be very specific with your thought. Visualize it. Note if there is sound, color, smell, or taste associated with it. Become fully immersed in this item of gratitude. You can even smile slightly, physically displaying your gratitude as your breathe and visualize

 

  1. Take this with you throughout your day. Perhaps write it on a note card that you carry with you, or write it in the notes on your phone. Set an alarm to revisit this item of gratitude during the day, or, if you like you can visualize/reflect on another item/items of gratitude during the day. Your options are totally up to you J. If something happens during the day that you would normally see as bad, or a failure, or upsetting, instead try to be grateful that you experienced it, as it serves as an opportunity for you to learn and grow from the situation

 

  1. At the end of your day, as you’re lying in bed relaxing with diaphragmatic breathing, reflect back on your day and be grateful for the opportunities you had to learn and grown from. Single out 1, or more, items of gratitude and repeat the steps above. See it, feel it, be it. Be grateful, be relaxed, and fall into a restful, peaceful, grateful sleep

Mindset & Meditation: Breathe

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Breathe…

We have all heard, or been told the expression, “take a deep breath” when we need to calm down from a stressful situation. We know breathing can help reduced the anxiety or stress of the situation but most of us never think or consider physiological mechanism of how it actually settles us down.

 

During the exhale of a deep diaphragmatic breath, your vagus nerve is fired stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system. This is your calm, relaxed state of mind/being, and is the key component to mindfulness and meditation. When you are calm and breathing properly through your diaphragm your ability to think rationally, respond vs. react to situations, sleep, and digest food just to name a few is at its highest.

 

A mindfulness practice begins with the breath. A meditation practice begins with breath. EVERY action, sport, day begins with breath… However, most of us begin each day in a busy hurry as soon as the alarm goes off with short quick chest breaths, never thinking or considering to begin the day with a few minutes of deep diaphragmatic mindful breathing to start your day off a bit more calm, centered, grounded and focused. Below is how I recommend you introduce mindful breathing into your day, and how to use it throughout the day to help you reduce stress and become more mindful and present.

 

  1. As soon as you wake up, before getting out of bed, take 5 minutes to lie on your back, place your hands on your stomach to feel it rise and fall, and simply breathe…. Don’t force inhale/exhales just take full relaxing breaths

 

  1. While breathing in bed try to ONLY think about your breath… Feel the air go in your nose and notice how it feels cool, then notice how it feels warm as you exhale through your nose

 

  1. When commuting to work, sit up straight in your car seat, place your hands at 10 & 2 on the wheel and repeat the same relaxing breath pattern as you did in bed. Don’t worry about other drivers or changing lanes…. Just breathe… Do this for at least 5 minutes

 

  1. Take 1-5 minutes during the day to either stand up or sit upright in your chair, close your eyes and breathe… Again, the goal is to focus only on your breath. If/when you notice yourself beginning to think about something else, that is totally fine & normal. Simply recognize that thought, let it go, and return back to your breath. Even if this is only for 1 minute… ***NOTE you may want to set an alarm/notification on your phone or computer to remind you to breathe J

 

  1. Repeat step 2 on your way home

 

  1. End the day in bed with breathing just as you began the day.. The goal is to breathe nice and relaxed, focused only on the inhale and exhale until you fall asleep. This may take a little time to nail down but within a few days of consistency you will begin to fall asleep quicker/easier with a relaxed mind and body

Happy Thanksgiving from LINK Endurance!

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Hi! Alix and Mo here! We want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and share how thankful we are for each one of YOU! We cannot begin to express the JOY that each of you brings to us – YOU allow us to wake up and do what we love – what FEEDS us – every day! Thank you for trusting us and allowing us the opportunity to be a part of your lives in some capacity!

Our goal when we started LINK Endurance remains the same today — to empower as many people as we can reach to take pride in what you put into your body and consider yourself as a WHOLE being – mind, body and heart. When you have all of  these “links in your chain” working together – you will be your best self. Our goal is to encourage you along the way and offer as much education as we can so that you know HOW to live this best life you have inside of you!

We posted this Facebook LIVE last week – for those that missed it or need the pep-talk prior to your Thanksgiving meal/time with your family, check it out here.

We wish all of you a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Stay tuned for all the best info on how to PERFORM, EAT and THINK at your optimal level!

“I am” Guided Breath Practice

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This short guided breath practice is designed to help you reduce stress and go into your day with a calm/confident mind.  As you listen to this recording follow these tips:

  • keep your eyes closed and relaxed
  • breathe at your own comfortable pace
  • exhale fully on each breath, drawing your belly in towards your spine to stimulate your calm “rest and digest” nervous system

Static Dumbbell Hold

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****Be sure to bring the dumbbells back to starting position, elbows in front of shoulders, at the end of each set and lower from that position to avoid potential shoulder injury****

This is a great addition to your strength workout to build both strength and endurance in your shoulders, arms and posterior chain.
—-
Begin with 2-3 sets of 60 seconds, building to 90-120seconds over time
Rest equal time as you are under tension, so if your set lasts 60sec, your recovery will be 60sec up to 90sec

If you have any questions about this or any other strength movement, email coach Mo at mo@linkendurance.com

Race Review- Coach Samantha Friedel- XTERRA Rock Dallas Trail Run Aug 20, 2016

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Sam run

All week there had been on and off rain. The temperature was staying in the 80-90s and it was looking like there might be perfect running conditions for this race. I was praying for an overcast day with no rain on race day. Well I sure got my overcast day but lightening and torrential on and off downpours came with it. What was the trail going to be like? The race was supposed to start at 7AM but due to the weather the start time was delayed three hours. Not ideal but better safe than sorry, right? I checked in and then went back home to get dry and stay moving vs. sitting in my car for a few hours. Once I got back to the race site, went through the racers meeting and headed to the start line, I looked around and picked out a few people that I felt I could stay with or to make sure I stayed ahead of them. My goal was to be the first female finisher so I needed to check out who was racing. Competitive a little? Haha. I have done this since I was in high school running cross country. It has always helped get my mind in the right place. You could say it is me putting on my game face.

At 10AM the gun went off and off we went into the woods. I was feeling good and close to the front. I had a few guys around me and I felt very comfortable with the pace that was being kept. As we made our way through the trails I was filled with so much adrenalin. I love racing. This was a 2-loop race and I wasn’t familiar with the course. The first loop felt great. Along the way a few people around me broke off to finish their shorter distance race. Now it was just me and another guy. We keeping each other going. It was so awesome to have someone with me to push me a little. The first loop came and went rather quickly and back into the woods we went. This time my legs were beginning to feel the effects of the rocks, mudslides, creeks and roots that I had been running over and through. The guy I was running with began to break away, but I kept on going. A volunteer at one of the aid stations told me I was the first female and that small thing kept me moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, my body was feeling it. There were points were I wanted to stop. My goal stayed in focus. The trail was a bit more rough after everyone had run through it. The downhills and rocks were more slippery. I knew I needed to focus on the terrain more this second time through. All I could think was, “Keep on moving. You got this.”. I came out of the woods for the final time and I saw the finish line, to my disappointment there wasn’t anyone there cheering on the finishers. What?! I crossed the finish line and heard a distant “good job” from the lady who was keeping the time. That was it; I was done. I was a little bummed but then I realized I had reached my goal. I was the first female to cross the finish line and 5th overall in the race. That was a pretty good feeling.

As I reflect back on my entire experience, I am filled with so many thoughts and feelings. I’m proud of myself, yet focused on what I need and want to do next to be stronger & faster for the next race. To get across the finish line better. To go farther. My race prep has already changed. A solid strength plan, running more on trails or in the grass, working on mobility and ensuring that I am getting the proper recovery is going to be key. One of the biggest lessons that I learned was that by keeping my mind in the right place, I was able to keep moving forward. I was aware of what was happening in my body and listening to it but visualizing myself crossing that finish line. When I felt like I needed to walk up a more technical, rocky, root laden hill, I did. The last thing I wanted was to get hurt. I was also glad that I did not run with music. I listen to music during my training but knew that with trail running, more attention needs to be paid to the terrain and other racers moving around you. The trails can be narrow and people can come up on you very fast and want to get around you. If you are not careful you can get hurt. The sound of the woods, my breath, and the sound of your feet hitting the ground was music enough.

Time to focus on the next race in 3 weeks and then my 50k in November. Follow my journey to doubling the distance that I am racing on Facebook (Samantha Loveland Friedel),

www.linkendurance.com & Instagram @samanthafriedel . I will be running the Rough Creek Half

Marathon September 17th and the Big Cedar Endurance Trail Run 50k November 5th. Let the training commence 🙂

If you need help with your trail run, obstacle course, nutrition, or fitness goals, shoot me an email at sam@linkendurance.com

Episode 75 Lindsay Webster talks about Long Course vs. Short Course Racing, Pre-Race Jitters, The Obstacles she Fears the Most, Craft Beer and Ice Cream, Her Favorite Workout and Much More

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In this episode we chat with Battle Frog Pro Team racer and Leader in the Spartan race series Lindsay Webster. This was such a fun episode to record. We talk about her time on the Battle Frog Team Challenge,  pre-race jitters, that damn spear throw, beer :-), and much more!  Lindsay is an incredible person and I am excited to share this episode with you.  Click HERE to listen or download on iTunes for later.

Episode 74: How Squats & Deadlifts Conquered the Leadville 100Trail Run, Future of Battle Frog,The Best Travel Food Bar

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In this Episode We discuss:

Click here to listen or download on iTunes for later.  Also, please rate us on iTunes and share with a friend that could benefit from this information.

Episode 73: How to Make Training Seem Easier, How to Train for a Hilly Race Without Hills, Benefits of Watermelon

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Have you ever wondered how to make running seem/feel easier? Or how to magically make weights not seem so heavy when lifting? Miles and I will tell you how in this episode. We discuss how to prepare for a hilly race when you don’t have any hills near you, and finally we get into the amazing health benefits of watermelon and tell you how to incorporate it into your daily nutrition plan. CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes by searching EatRealandMove Podcast.

 

To read more about the amazing benefits of Watermelon click here.

 

To check out Alix’s latest recipe from www.justeatthefood.com click here.