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Train Your Brain to Run Your Best

September 2, 2014

In less than 7 weeks, I will return to the starting line where my marathon journey first began – the Chicago Marathon. Four years and a half dozen marathons later, I am looking to run this race an hour faster than my first attempt.

Although I feel confident in my training up to this point, I’ve admittedly had a few moments of self-doubt. Last Monday – during an 8-mile training run with a friend who has the same pace goal as me for her fall marathon – I said, “Can I ask you a question that’s going to sound negative?”

“Do you ever wonder if we can really run a XX:XX pace for 26 miles?”

Don’t get me wrong; I believe more than anything that I’m fully capable of running the time I want to run in Chicago. But it won’t be easy. It will be really, really hard. I know believing in myself is just as important as all the speed workouts, tempo runs and long Saturday morning runs I’ve been logging. But on those hot summer days when an easy run that’s a minute slower than marathon pace feels like death, it can be hard to imagine.

I’ve started trying to push those negative thoughts out of my mind and focus on my brain as much as I work on my lungs and legs.

Here are 5 good articles from across the Web to remind us how important strengthening our mental training is for those moments when self-doubt creeps in.

  1. How to Think Like an Elite Runner from Runner’s World
  2. 7 Traits of Mentally Tough Runners from Competitor
  3. 10 Inspiring Tips to Race Like a Champion from Chris Narborne (If you can ignore all the typos, this is a really great piece.)
  4. Positive Perspectives: Mental Training for Runners: A guest post from Tere Zacher on
  5. 80 Quotes on Mental Toughness from My DNA Experiment

What techniques do you use to strengthen the mental aspects of your training? When self-doubt creeps in, what do you do to push it away?

Friday FITspiration: From ‘Unfit Girl’ to Runner and IRONMAN

August 22, 2014

Here at, Fridays are all about sharing the inspiring stories of fit people who motivate all of us to be better tomorrow than we were yesterday. My Friday FITspiration series profiles runners, triathletes and casual exercisers who are making choices every day to be as healthy as they can be – in both huge ways and… Read more»