this sum­mer, you’ll need to do more than log kilo­me­tres and com­plete key work­outs. These strate­gies will help you set ap­pro­pri­ate goals, per­se­vere when the go­ing gets tough, and cre­ate a mind­set that’s primed for suc­cess.

Runner's World South Africa - - Contents - By Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness

Use these cut­tingedge strate­gies to set ap­pro­pri­ate race-day goals, train like a cham­pion, and per­se­vere when the go­ing gets tough. BY BRAD STULBERG AND STEVE MAGNESS

The se­crets

to a break­through race may lie in un­ex­pected places. Sure, most run­ners dis­sect their long runs, in­ter­val work­outs, and nu­tri­tion; but the best run­ners look be­yond those met­rics to reach their full po­ten­tial. That was the key takeaway from re­search­ing and re­port­ing our new book, Peak Per­for­mance: El­e­vate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Sci­ence of Suc­cess.

Although one of us (Steve) coaches pro ath­letes and the other (Brad) writes about sports sci­ence, we dis­cov­ered novel ways to op­ti­mise ath­letic per­for­mance by in­ter­view­ing world-class artists, in­tel­lec­tu­als, en­trepreneurs, and mu­si­cians. By look­ing out­side of run­ning – and study­ing not only phys­i­ol­ogy but also psy­chol­ogy, so­ci­ol­ogy, and even phi­los­o­phy – we un­cov­ered pow­er­ful strate­gies that can help all ath­letes suc­ceed.

While we learned far more than can fit on these pages (that’s why we wrote a book!), what fol­lows are seven of our favourite dis­cov­er­ies, all backed by the lat­est sci­en­tific re­search.

may be pos­si­ble to tran­scend this – if you stay in­spired. For a re­cent study, re­searchers used brain scans to ex­am­ine what hap­pens when peo­ple are pre­sented with threat­en­ing mes­sages. In in­di­vid­u­als who were asked to re­flect deeply on their core val­ues (eg, to be a good spouse or par­ent, to have courage) prior to re­ceiv­ing such a mes­sage, their un­der­ly­ing neu­rol­ogy be­came more re­cep­tive: the test sub­jects’ brains moved the sub­jects to­ward the challenge in­stead of go­ing into pro­tec­tion mode. In other words, the more we think about our deep-seated be­liefs, the bet­ter we rise above shal­low, in-the-mo­ment con­cerns and dis­con­nect from our body’s per­ceived lim­its. AP­PLY IT

Set a goal be­yond run­ning 42.2km. Con­sider rais­ing money for a char­ity you sup­port, ded­i­cat­ing your race to a per­son or a cause, or join­ing a team. Your pur­pose needn’t be com­plex: it can be as sim­ple as “to in­spire my chil­dren to live a healthy life­style” or “to be part of a positive com­mu­nity when the world seems to need pos­i­tiv­ity.” When the go­ing gets tough – dur­ing your most chal­leng­ing work­outs or on race day – re­flect on your pur­pose to help you power through.

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