We've been digging into a lot of new performance psychology and mindful training research lately. Most of the articles, for most athletes, are TL;DR. I guess that's what we get for playing in an emerging field. :)
So ... DeepFit Takeaways is our new, occasional newsletter that will synthesize the best of what we're learning and make the information easier for you to use as an athlete or a coach. Most of the tips will apply to your training whether or not you're on the DeepFit platform, but they're more targeted for your day-to-day if you know which zone you're in.
-Dan and Kirsten
What's that breathing GIF?
Breath is the connection. That's not just yoga speak. It's the hard science behind regulating your nervous system, your heart rate and your emotions.
DeepFit takeaway: Use regulated breathing (5 seconds in, 5 seconds out) to bring your energy up into ideal activation or down into balance. This method also helps clarify your emotional state, especially when you are in a blue and variable zone, like this ...
OK, so we're meditating.
Sort of. We're creating a space for mindfulness, within both training and recovery periods.
Simple self-awareness, followed by a values-based recognition and response to what comes up (the whole mindfulness thing), dramatically improves your brain's ability to coordinate movement and perform at your max. Tiffany Ayuda collected some pretty good perspectives on that here.
DeepFit takeaways: Observe your emotions and get comfortable with all of them. Drop what's really keeping you up at night, but keep the rest. It's more about being present than trying to match an ideal range. Use your DeepFit dashboard as a quick reminder of what has been most present for you lately, and take advantage of your daily self-reports as a 2-minute mindfulness practice.
Show me the science!
DeepFit takeaway: Emotions are brain waves. Sounds obvious, but try remembering that when you're losing your sh*t about something and possibly entering the gray zone. No really, try remembering that! It's a technique that can limit the time you spend in an increasingly stressful status, like this ...
I'd rather listen to music.
Good! The right music, with the right BPM (beats per minute), seems to help with training. According to Yadid Ayzenberg in this article by Eric Killelea, prescription music may even help with the real-life struggles of anxiety and depression.
DeepFit takeaway: Make choices about the external stimuli going into your brain. It's all "food" for movement and performance. As we develop the DeepFit platform, we're looking to incorporate targeted music recommendations for our athletes. But for now, I think we all know that Enya is right in some moments, while Kanye is better in others.
DeepFit athlete Brooke Bowen is competing on national TV this summer. Watch her on NBC's Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge. Last night, Brooke's team won big in their first event!