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Tales from the Grateful Runner

“Truckin’ in Style Along the Avenue…”

One of the great aspects of sport psychology is the personalized application of the strategies. While there is a science behind these valuable mental skills and techniques, it’s up to each individual to find their own way of making the strategies work best for them. Since being featured in the July issue of Runner’s World Magazine, I’ve been contacted by a number of runners looking for more information about my book, Grateful Running: Mental Training for the Long Distance Runner, as well as to share stories of mental strategies they use during a run. One particular anecdote that I found entertaining, instructive, and a little disturbing (in a good way, of course) illustrates the unique nature of sport psychology training. For the record, this particular individual, Mike, is in his early 40’s, has never ‘been a runner’, and simply decided to become a runner a few weeks ago – he is now planning to run a half-marathon in October.

Here is the transcript from the message I received:

“On July 5th my gym wasn’t open because of the holiday… I went full on Forrest Gump and was like I’m going to run. Went 6.5 miles. On Saturday, of this past week, I went 7 miles….there is a mental road block that happens at like 5.5 miles, that I always have to bust thru, and it sucks.”

I encouraged him to read Grateful Running….here is what he did the next day….

“So at 5 miles this morning, when I started to focus on the stiffness…I had a revelation. I ran the remaining two miles with my shirt off. I was so fixated on how terrifying I must look to motorists that I totally took my mind off everything else!!! I got the idea from when I read [the chapter on focus & concentration] and I realized that the focus is the key. Taking my shirt off was the game changer! Or the distraction is the key. I am so self-conscious of being shirtless, NO PAIN entered my head. I am telling you, there is something to this…I was shirtless, neurotic and killing the last two miles without pain or fatigue”

I can only imagine what he may expose once he hits 10 miles for the first time….

That's all for now.....Maybe I’ll meet you, on the run…..


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