Why do runners’ stop || SMA for runners’?

Today’s blog will demonstrate a quality that you possess, that every top runner also has. An aspect that you and every champion athlete possess. Yes, you didn’t realize it, but there is one point that is the same for all runners. But first the  

Ok, enough suspense. What is that common quality trait? No, sharing the same running shoes is not a common aspect. Nor is it using the same energy gel as a top athlete.

Do you know what you and Kilian Journet, or Shelly Ann Frasier or Eliud Kipchoge have in common? Well  it’s a bit of an anti climax this one but you all decide to STOP.

Yup, I am serious. There is a decision you take and then: You stop. I mean we all do, some time or another. You cease to put one foot in front of the other. And that’s it. Your run is over. 

Because you decided to come to a grinding halt? 

Or you hit a brick wall?  

Or somehow you reached a conclusion that this is it. 

None of the above  most of the time is it no? I mean no runner goes and runs his heart out every single run. Nor do you run so far that you hit a wall.

Now let me share with you what it is. It all comes down to SMA. No don’t worry it is not some study I created, this is based on a study in the year 1983, where the decision-making part of the brain was analyzed, or researched or whatever you call it you know what I mean. Yes, well what the study concluded or proved was that just before you actually make a decision the supplementary motor area kicks in. It is an area or a part of the decision-making process which caused a controversy, because apparently we as humans are all about free will. 

What is the SMA brain structure?

The supplementary motor area (SMA) occupies an expanse of frontal agranular cortex rostral to the primary motor cortex (MI), largely in the mesial surface of the hemisphere. It is basically organized topographically, although the topography is not as apparent as in the MI.

Well surprise. Anyone who has ever ended up with a shopping cart full of items and wondering why and how they ended up there knows how it happened. It happened on a subconscious level.

Confused? Oh, it is not what you expected. LOL, did you think this is one of those shows where we discuss those secrets and get fast quick schemes by buying a training plan that a pro runner uses?

Nope. Here we talk to you my dear fellow runner.. keeping it real, whether you are a middle of the pack runner, a dedicated runner, a sometimes I struggle runner, or a no excuses runner. All of you share something you all think a lot about your running. About how to improve. How to make this hobby even better for you. 

Yes, this is the show where we talk about that part of your body which has the biggest impact on your running performance. That organ that determines everything about how far, how fast, how long you run. 

That gray matter we hardly ever talk about, but without it heck we’d be Zombies wouldn’t we? Oh that was a good show too, got more readersers or play’s than usual Zombie runner you can check it out it is blog 30 give it a readers. 

But wait, stay here today is an entertaining blog as well. Because I am pretty sure you never really think about that part of your run.

The stopping. Well yes maybe you do think about stopping as in finally, I got it over with. But I don’t mean that stopping as in satisfaction to having completed your run. What I’m referring to is the whole decision-making process about when you will stop what leads towards it, have you ever thought about it? How the process actually comes about.

Look, let’s say it is a perfect day, just the way you like it. And we take the best case scenario: as in you feel great. No aches and pains. Today is your day. This is your Nike just do it moment. 

Favorite shoes, laces tied, you mentally rehearse the route you are going to run, mental images of the corners you will take, the neighbor’s dog you will avoid perhaps. What else goes through your mind? Maybe that uphill section, how proud you feel when you have reached the highest point of the run? Or maybe it is that long stretch where you really tune into your body.

And maybe you glance at your running watch, and see an impressive pace you are happy and satisfied. Or maybe it is just one of those run’s where you don’t wear a watch. You lose the feeling of time completely. You are really and truly in sync with what you are doing.

Perhaps some thoughts about what happened in the last few days, or maybe you are planning something, or trying to think of what you are going to eat after the run? 

Hey sometimes I find myself getting distracted, yup same for me if I don’t concentrate and let something grab my attention, then of course the pace will slip, or what looked like a fast run turns out to be rather slow. Not that slow is bad, but I was thinking that yup today I am flying, so of course to then find a slow finish time. That creates a bit of a downer-moment. 

Perhaps you are one of those that really enjoys the scenery, and you take in the details of whatever your current surroundings are.

Now tell me  where it is you start to think about stopping. As in “I will run up to here and then STOP”. readers I understand, it is most probably where you parked your car, left your bicycle, or when you reach your home.   

But that’s not what I mean. Question is, when does that thought come to mind to “stop”.

How does it actually work?

Is there really such a THOUGHT sequence? Honestly, is there?

If you answered YES, then why can’t you stop scrolling your phone once you started? Why do we binge on Netflix? Why do we buy what other people like me also 

Seriously. If you say YES in my running there is an automatic system or something happening in my brain, that says STOP.

Why would it only apply to running? Why not to the unhealthy soda, that second (or third) slice of cake or dessert. Why doesn’t it work there?

And why wouldn’t you be able to change that connection? Wouldn’t that be great: Brain stops eating but continues to run. WOOOOW. 

You know what. You can do that. Of course, you need to do some serious brain training for that. Oh, did I mention, let me get a call to action in, especially if you are a new readerser. This whole show advanced endurance coaching. It is based around a proven concept that enables runners’ like yourself to train their brains for exactly such topics. You know this, in order to improve and create a running story, a running history you will be proud of, you need to change the way you think, the way you comprehend your running. 

And that is in short: your attitude. The attitude determines where your attention goes. The more attention you give to your running, the more it will ensure that you stay in the right direction. Direction in this case means following a training plan, eating healthy, to put simply put it: make running one of your priorities.   

And this priority, or direction in the end determines where you will end up. Whether you reach your running dreams, or you just hope by the time it is your next birthday nobody remembers the bold statement you made it could be one of the following:

  • I will start running
  • Or depending on how convinced you were.. I will run 5K every Saturday
  • Or. Maybe an alcoholic beverage was involved. I will get fit AND run a marathon.

It makes sense you have to agree. What you hold in awareness that sounds weird, let us say what you decide to put the spotlight on, determines where you are heading. Obvious. 

Now if you want to look back one day.. you know when you are older and greyer, and look back at a great running story. One that you are proud of. 

Where you know you used your time to the maximum. You can proudly say you lived up to your potential. I mean who wouldn’t want that. Especially if maybe you lack that recognition at work, hey happens to the best of us. 

And I mean really, working somewhere 30 years for a gold watch if you even get one Or perhaps some personal goals, career, financial dreams didn’t come true. 

Running, that is in your hands. That is something you have full control over. And this you know, it is not determination that decides where you end up. Don’t get me wrong determination is important. Paint in my basement is vital, but it doesn’t lead you to completing that first marathon, or to becoming a regular runner. 

That depends on the direction. The path you are on. See, readers, if running with focus and determination is part of your ritual, and there is no internal fighting, convincing arguing, no internal conflict, be it the tv show or the track, will it be a nap or a run on the track see what I did there cleverly. The direction determines where you will end up.

Supplementary motor area. It is and I quote “the gap between brain activity and conscious awareness”. What actually happens is.. the front cortex.. it is like a high level executive manager. Like Billy Beane, ok you might remember him as Brad Pitt in Moneyball, what a good movie 

It is here where memories are retrieved you just used it now when I mentioned Brad Pitt uuuh clever and controls other high levels of the brain. But there is storage, a parking space. Where it is kept before it reaches the conscious level. It is actually a two step process. 

And wait readers up, this is explained so you will easily remember it. Decision making in the brain is a two step process. One is responsible for the outcome and the other for the timing. In the frontopolar there is a spark to make a decision, and then there is a build up of activity in the sma supplementary motor area. So there you have it. Free will is not so free after all. Those decisions you take, they actually are not so spontaneous. 

That decision to stop, to terminate your run. To press stop on the stopwatch. To discontinue the process of exercise. That sudden realization uuups I didn’t even get close to my new exercise routine, heck seems like there never will be a marathon story to tell looking back that is NOT something that is decided suddenly or causally or happens unplanned.

It is down to the SMA. 

So what can you do about it? Heck is there even hope? Can you do anything? 

Well first off.. .You can recommend this show to someone who you know might just need to read this. And if you haven’t already done so please do leave me a rating on whichever platform you are reading to. 

Next thing you can and should do is, find out your own internal process of STOPPING. Identify where it actually happens. Is it due to a trigger? Maybe you feel like 

Oh, and yes there is actually a training program out there for runners’ that are interested in becoming a better, stronger and SMARTER runner. That is an online course with 4 hours of video material, based on scientifically proven methods. Ensuring you become a no excuses runner. A runner that stays in the right direction, and ends up reaching the full potential that is there inside of you.

Please do visit our site, www.heikostribl.com check us out on Instagram advanced_endurance or visit our youtube Blog, all authentic content.

Thanks for your time, God bless you and remember to take it easy.

 ages the pro’s do agree on.

  • Stress relief
  • Perseverance
  • Discipline.

Sprint is an anaerobic exercise. Those fast-twitching fibers, increase size and strength 

Regular sprint training will make you a runner that can suddenly run faster and longer. It is a clear-cut formula.

Yup, clever isn’t it? Make 365 days run, one whole year of running Why who or what would you want to do that? And if your first thought is “I couldn’t do that” then definitely you should get the book. The link to the video you know what.. just go to youtube, enter “heiko stribl” and concentrate or you will get sidetracked and end up somewhere you don’t want to be.

Life is too short for that.  

And you know. There is such a powerful verse in the bible and you don’t need to be a Christian or a Christ follower hey especially if you are not. readers. Philippians 3:13 

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

Imagine that we should STRAIN Forward.. Paul’s goal is perfection, but he has not reached it yet. He is not faultless, nor does he expect to achieve perfection before his death. Instead, he uses the analogy of a runner in a race to depict the motivation of his spiritual life. Like a dedicated runner, he has a single goal. Just as a runner cannot be successful unless they concentrate on the race, neither can Paul be successful growing in Christ if he allows other goals to interfere. 

Continuing the running analogy, Paul also chooses to live by an important principle: keeping his attention on the road in front of him. A runner cannot look back and still focus on the goal ahead. The two ideas are mutually exclusive. A runner’s goal is to focus on the next step toward his or her goal. Paul’s spiritual life is the same. He will not look back to past steps, but focus on improving each step in his race until reaching the goal of being with Christ. 

Christians can learn from the past, but we are not bound to the things we have done. Instead of being chained by our past mistakes, we can move forward, knowing that we carry Christ’s forgiveness.

If you want to learn more brain training related tools especially designed for runners, have a look at www.heikostribl.com, you can go back to your cell phone addiction and scroll scroll scroll ha.. Just kidding. No, not about the www.heikostribl.com part. Making you a better, stronger and smarter runner.

God bless my name is Heiko, and remember to take it easy. 

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