Why The Pros Are Pros and How YOU Can Learn to Think Like One

Professional athletes have to handle immense amounts of pressure and stress. In fact, at the most recent Track and Field World Championships in Beijing, many American athletes with high expectations didn’t fair as well as they had originally planned. In particular, Molly Huddle had arguably the biggest heartbreak in the 10,000 meters after she failed to run through the finish line thus allowing fellow American Emily Infeld to nab the more » Read more

Every Runner Needs to Find Her Inner Monster

Like most little kids, I was afraid of monsters. The Wicked Witch of the West would give me nightmares for days. And don’t get me started on those flying monkeys! I made the mistake of believing my brother when he told me Chuckie was just an ugly looking doll and what bad things could a doll do? I’ll let you cringe at that one for a second…. But, I’ve learned, more » Read more

How to Train for Badwater: Extra Everything

It’s been no surprise to me that people are curious about Badwater – and even more curious about how one even begins to train for it.  There’s certainly not the wealth of “couch to Badwater” training programs that there are for the 5K, 10K, and half marathon distances; even my non-runner friends who are able to get their heads around 100-milers have been stymied anew by this latest adventure of mine.  Extra more » Read more

Fake It Until You Make It

Together, we’ve taken a big leap: we’ve resolved to dream big and to stop being embarrassed about it. Yeah! But that is just a first step to realizing our big goals. Ladies (and you 2 gentlemen readers), we have more work to do to become the runners we dream of becoming. Today I’m going to put on my self-help guru hat and discuss how the power of positive thinking can more » Read more

Hypnosis and Running: Are You In?

When you hear the word “hypnosis,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it an image of being on stage before thousands doing the chicken dance in your underwear? Is it an image of an old man with white hair dangling a pocket watch in front of you and droning, “you are getting sleepy, very, very sleepy…” While clichés of hypnosis may make it seem like a silly party trick, it is actually more » Read more

Find Success In the Chase: Learning From Mistakes in Marathon Training

61 baby! That’s was magic number for Pittsburgh. On May 3rd, I pinned on the first elite bib of my life: F61. It was a race that didn’t come together. In fact, I didn’t even end up finishing. But this article isn’t about that race; I already wrote about that. Often, I’m realizing, the best part of running isn’t necessarily achieving a goal time in a race, although that is pretty more » Read more

Readers’ Roundtable: Are You Competitive? If not, why not?

I had to delete Words With Friends from my phone.  My competitive nature didn’t allow me to go easy on anyone who wasn’t as formidable as I, and when I did find worthy opponents I would…well to put it mildly, I’d get shouty when I wasn’t winning. It’s pretty rare that a mid-30’s mid-packer like me will be vying for even the most humble award, so I don’t generally consider more » Read more

Make Both Performance and Process Goals to Achieve Running Success

This week I begin a 15 week training cycle for the Marion Rotary Marathon For Shoes, to be held on June 14th, 2015 in Iowa. I happened to stumble across this marathon when doing a Google search for “spring marathons in Iowa.” Why Iowa? A good friend of mine lives there and I thought it would be nice to come visit and run somewhere new. This will be just the third more » Read more

The Champion Mindset

A few weeks ago, I ran the Canton Fall Classic 10K and ran as well as I’ve ever run in my life. Though my time was a significant PR, and I am proud of that, the biggest breakthrough was a mental one. You see, for the first time ever in a race I “went there.” You know that place, the impossible, painful, air-sucking, muscle-burning place of exhaustion. I went there, more » Read more

Quieting the Quakes: How to Deal with Pre-Race Anxiety

Recently I ran my fall goal race, the Cambridge Oktoberfest 5K, and I experienced a full-blown case of pre-race anxiety.  Starting about a week before the race, every time I thought about it I felt sweaty and sick to my stomach.  Though I always feel somewhat anxious in the days leading up to a race, this race lead-up was particularly bad because for the first time I was racing with more » Read more

Four Workouts to Help Build Mental Toughness

Of course it’s important for us runners to be physically strong, but anyone who has run an endurance race knows that there comes a point when your mind does the heavy lifting.  When your legs are tired and your body aches and your brain starts to give up, the key to saving a challenging race is what you do mentally to push through the pain and the rough spots. My more » Read more

When Easy’s Not Easy, Make Your Easy Runs More Fun!

Easy running can be boring and tedious. I want to go faster! I have things to do and sometimes running slowly makes me think of all that other stuff – laundry, grocery lists, figuring out what the smell is in the fridge…  And when I snap back to reality I tend to find that I’ve slowed to a near-crawl.  It’s always hard for me to keep a consistent speed, but when more » Read more

The Smart Runner Girl’s Guide to SMART Goals

All of the World Cup craziness lately has me thinking about goals. In soccer, it’s easy to see whether or not you’ve achieved your goal: your team wins, the crowd goes crazy (or in the case of the U.S. your team loses to Germany and the crowd still goes crazy), and the commentators infamously scream, “GOOAAAAL!” But how can runners achieve that same sense of pride if we don’t win more » Read more

How Visualizing the Achievement of Your Running Goals Might Set You up to Fail

We all know that one of the most valuable tools in our mental training arsenal is visualization, the mental exercise of picturing ourselves succeeding. Visualize pushing through those final miles to your PR marathon to nab that PR. Visualize that OTQ time on the finishing clock with your arms raised in triumph to nab that OTQ. Visualize the top spot on the podium if you want to win. If we more » Read more

When Training Slips, Watch the Self Talk

We all talk to ourselves; it’s human nature.  On both good days and bad, we coach ourselves along through life, celebrating victory, lamenting defeat and encouraging ourselves in-between. At least, that’s the idea, but very often those of us with competitive natures can be found to scold ourselves, disrupting the rhythm of encouragement with phrases like “I did it again.” “What’s wrong with me?” and “I could never do what more » Read more