Mental Training for Ultrarunning
BookIt’s no secret that if you plan to run in the toughest endurance races, you need to physically prepare for the extreme demands you will be subjecting your body to. But successful runners will be quick to note that physical preparation is only part of the equation. You need to be mentally strong to withstand, and overcome, the challenges of this grueling sport. That’s where Mental Training for Ultrarunning comes in.
Sport psychology consultant Addie Bracy has coached and provided mental performance consulting to elite athletes in many sports, and she herself has been a competitive distance runner for more than two decades. In Mental Training for Ultrarunning, she combines her firsthand coaching and running experience, along with profiles of ultrarunners who’ve experienced the highs and lows of the sport, to explain what you need to know and practice in order to cross that finish line.
In this book, you will learn tools and techniques to help you prepare for and overcome some of the biggest mental and emotional challenges you may encounter in ultrarunning. You’ll find more than 35 practical activities that will guide you in taking an introspective look at your own potential roadblocks so you can develop and strengthen the skills you need to run with confidence.
Whether you’re training for your first ultra or looking to compete at a higher level, Mental Training for Ultrarunning will prepare you for the good, the bad, and the worst experiences you might encounter on the trail, road, or track. With expert guidance from athletes who have seen it all, you’ll learn how to train your mind and anticipate all the variables that could keep you from achieving your ultimate running goals.
AudienceUltrarunners who want to improve their performance in the sport; distance runners who are training or preparing for their first ultra; coaches and sport psychologists who support ultrarunners.
Table of ContentsForeword by Clare Gallagher
Chapter 1. Why Psychological Breakdowns Happen in Ultrarunning
Understand the importance of finding your mental weaknesses, and develop the skills to make them a strength.
Chapter 2. Find Your Why for Running
Identify your values and build a deeper, more sustainable connection to running.
Chapter 3. Manage Your Stress Response
Learn to control your nerves and respond appropriately to outside stimuli to feel confident, calm, and collected.
Chapter 4. Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
Embrace the discomfort of running long distances and overcome the mental and emotional toll of such difficult challenges.
Chapter 5. Run the Mile You’re In
Focus on what you can influence, stay in the present, and avoid getting distracted by possible outcomes.
Chapter 6. Stick to the Grind
Prioritize your behaviors to find motivation and consistency over the long haul.
Chapter 7. Be Adaptable
Learn how to problem solve and cope with adversity.
Chapter 8. Run With Courage
Approach challenges with an open mind and be able to relinquish control.
Chapter 9. Get Out of Your Own Way
Manage doubts and control negative self-talk to find confidence and belief in what you can accomplish.
Chapter 10. Emotionally Bounce Back From Physical Setbacks
Respond to setbacks and roadblocks such as injuries and DNFs with a positive, action-oriented approach.
Reviews“Whenever we are asked about the most important attributes for an athlete, we respond with one word: ‘belief.’ In Mental Training for Ultrarunning, Addie Bracy shows how belief is a complex skill that can be developed by anyone who wants to unleash the boss athlete within them. This book will revolutionize how people think about training, and it's going to help create badass life superstars too. We are going to open it so many times and dog-ear so many pages that we just hope the book's binding believes in itself as strongly as the athletes who read it will learn to believe in themselves.”
—Megan Roche, MD, and David Roche, Authors of The Happy Runner and Coaches at Some Work, All Play
“Though ultrarunning is defined by extreme physical distances, it is universally considered to be primarily a mental challenge. There is no better guide to preparing for the mental challenges of ultrarunning than Addie Bracy. She is the real deal on all levels: as an elite ultrarunner, coach, and mental performance consultant.”
—Mark Aoyagi, PhD, Codirector of Sport and Performance Psychology and Professor at the University of Denver
“Mental Training for Ultrarunning is an essential read that allows you to understand the complexity of racing and competing in a sport that requires the utmost physical and mental preparedness. You also get a glimpse into the minds of the best ultrarunners in the sport and how they overcome adversity.”
—Hillary Allen, Professional Trail Ultrarunner, Running Coach, Speaker, and Author
ExcerptsDevelop your mindfulness
Identify your goals
The importance of routines
The power of confidence