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Become a Better Runner By Changing How You Think

Listen up, runners: What if you could perform better in your next 10K or half marathon by simply changing your mindset?

As head psychologist for the Boston Marathon for the past 15 years, Jeff Brown understands how emotions can make or break race day results. “As a runner, your biggest asset (or sometimes your greatest enemy) is your brain,” explains Brown in his new book, The Runner’s Brain: How to Think Smarter to Run Better (Rodale, 2015).

No question, physical conditioning plays a key role in performance. You can’t expect to run your best if you aren’t putting in the miles. But training isn’t everything.

The Runner’s Brain offers simple tips to help you stay focused, combat nervousness and achieve your personal best. Here are a few to get you started:

Set goals and create a training schedule. Read running magazines. Learn everything you can about the sport. Hang out with other runners. Wear your running shoes to bed (Ok, kidding – but you get what we mean!).

Empty your head of negative thoughts before starting each training run or race. Instead, fill your brain with positive constructive messages. Leave your phone behind to minimize distractions.

Minimize race-day jitters by telling your brain that YOU CAN DO IT! Come up with a few positive empowering mantras and repeat often. Visualize success.

Of course, we can’t give it all away! For more tips, order a copy of The Runner’s Brain (paperback, $15) from Iconoclast or Chapter One Bookstore.

Remember: The Elephant’s Perch Backcountry Run is coming up on Saturday, July 16! This year’s race features a new start time (9am), plus new distances (3 miles and 9.5 miles). Click HERE for more info and to register!

Also, join the Zenergy AT Runners running group with Alexa Turzian on Tuesdays, 6:30 to 7:30pm, during July! The group will meet in the Zenergy lobby and all levels are encouraged. Each session wil last about an hour and cover about 6 to 10 kilometers, depending on the terrain and the group's average pace. Free and open to the community.