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Mental Toughness Running Tips


Last Saturday morning I laced up my shoes again for another 5K.  It was the Draper Days 5K and as I toed the line, and saw the many talented runners around me, I was struck with the realization that I was going to have to work hard to place well in this one.  This would be no “walk in the park”.  The race turned out to be one of those rare occasions where I felt like I was mentally tough and pushed through the pain to get to a new level.

Here are a few mental toughness strategies which may help you get to that next level in a workout or a race:

  1.  Relax – Your form can make an incredible difference in your time.  Focus on staying relaxed and you will be able to finish stronger and run faster because you will be running with less effort.  Relax your arms and shoulders, run upright (but not rigid) and stay light on your feet.  Think “smooth” and “fluid” in your movements.
  2. Maintain focus – There are lots of strategies to help you focus during a workout or a race; try these out at your next opportunity:  come up with a mantra to chant in your head, take a mental inventory of your body – focus on the moment and the work your body is doing,  spend some time visualizing your race and the course you’ll be running.
  3. Have confidence – Trust in your training.  You’ve done the work to lead up to that race or key workout, now trust your body.   Think about some good workouts you’ve done and use a little self-talk, “I ran this pace in my workout on Tuesday, I can do this today”.

Running really is a sport where being mentally tough makes a HUGE difference in your performance.

What do you do to be mentally tough in your workouts and/or races?

by Janae Richardson – Runner | USATF Certified Coach

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by on Jul.26, 2012, under Motivation, Racing, Training, Utah Running

Making Time to Run on Your Summer Vacations

This time of year many runners are loading up their swimming trunks, sunscreen, sandals and heading out on vacation. Excitement about being on vacation has probably kept you up a few nights. Well, the day is here…did you pack your running shoes?

It’s racing season folks. You’ve been training for a race I’m sure and now you are staring at a week that will surely cut into your fitness if you don’t run.

I know what you’re thinking: “But Brad, even you know how darned hard it is to get out running while on vacation!” With an attitude like that, you bet your farmer’s tan it’s hard to get out. But then you’ll be missing out on the most memorable runs.

I absolutely love running while on vacation. You don’t remember tons of your day to day runs, but bet your bottom GU pack you remember the runs you take on vacation. It’s new, and a great time to get a new best on a course.

Just like at home, running is just part of my day. You’ll never have time unless you make time.
A good tip is to get it out of the way early. The longer you wait the harder it is to get a run in. Getting up 30 minutes early will work wonders kids.

“But Brad!” You cry. “Where will I run? I mean, I’m from out of town.” Well, for this one you’re on your own. But be creative. I ran 3 two mile loops around Arizona Mills Mall in Phoenix when it was 112 degrees. (Hotel’s treadmill was out of order) I ran at a cemetery in Center Valley, PA. A park in St. Louis. A country road in Virginia. Next to the beach in the Riviera Maya. All over the Abajo Mountains in southern Utah. Amber and I even ran a 10 miler on the Kern River Pathway in Bakersfield. The world is your oyster…even in Bakersfield. This country of ours has so many beautiful places to run if you just take the time.

Or, check out: http://www.usatf.org/routes/. There should be many runs in any city you could ever hope to be in.

If you can’t get out on the roads, by all means, use the hotel treadmill you uncreative sucker.

Now I realize you are on vacation. It’s about being with your family and friends. Be flexible. You may miss a run or two. You’ll live. But if you just take a little time planning, your running shouldn’t skip a beat. And hopefully you, like I have, will find out how much fun it is to run on vacation.

by Brad Anderson – Inspirational Runner | Has raced from the front & the back of the pack | Voted “Most Comical Sense of Humor” by UtahRunning.com

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by on Jun.28, 2012, under Motivation, Training, Utah Running

“Be the Change You Want to See in the World”

Today while I was running pushing my two kids on the Ogden River Parkway I came across this mural.  It is one of the many cool paintings on the back wall of the rodeo grounds that skirts the edge of the paved pathway.  For some reason though, this particular one caught my attention.  

“Be the Change YOU want 2 C in de World”.  

I’ve heard this saying before, but I actually thought about it deeper today.  Maybe I needed something on my mind to pass the time while I was running.  (Time passes slowly when you are running by yourself and pushing a double jogging stroller for five miles–my 7 month old and 3 year old aren’t exactly long conversationalists.)  

So I thought to myself, “What is the change I would want to see in the world?”  Lots of things crossed my mind, but since I was out running on a beautiful day, I concluded that I would like to see more people being physically active.  I have grown to realize how important this is.  In fact, I’ve become passionate about it.  I really would like to see more people setting aside time each day to workout.

Why?  Because I know what it does for my body, mind, and attitude.  Through coaching, I’ve also seen the positive effects on others.  I’ve seen it build confidence, discipline, and teach life skills.  The effects are numerous and so positive in more than just the physical aspect of it all.  As my thoughts turned inward again, I thought, “Am I being that change I want to see in the world?  Am I setting aside excuses and getting out the door everyday?”  “Am I being a good example to my family and friends?”

Lately, I can feel myself settling.  Being content with 3-4 days a week of running.  Life is busy with two little ones, a husband training for the Olympic Trials, managing a website, coaching, and fulfilling church callings.  But, I am a better person in all other areas of my life when I make my health and fitness a priority.  Of course life has to have balance, but it is like the oxygen mask idea on airplanes.  Put yours on first and then help others with theirs.  Make your health a priority and then you will be better able to help others around you.  

So, I’m recommitting to be a more consistent, dedicated runner for myself, my family, my friends, and YOU!  So join me… recommit to being physically active and “Be the Change We Want to See in the World!”


by Janae Richardson – Runner | USATF Certified Coach

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by on Mar.28, 2012, under Motivation, Utah Running

Jordan Ridge Elementary 2nd grader completes 2012 St. George Half

Ellie Kate Simmons, a 7 year-old second grader from Jordan Ridge Elementary School in South Jordan, Utah finished her first ever running race, the 30th annual 13.1 mile St. George Half Marathon, this past weekend. Ellie finished in a time of 2:37 and was the youngest runner on the course.

Ellie was inspired to start running after finding out that her mom, Anne Johnson Simmons ran the 26.2-mile St. George Marathon 30 years ago when she was just 8 years old. Ellie and her mom began training soon after her baby brother was born last July. They started out just walking to school each day which eventually turned to running to school and then each week they would add 1 more mile to their training program until they could run 13- miles. Ellie said the best part about the race was the Gatorade at the aid stations and meeting a new friend, 38 year-old Debbie Labaron from Clearfield, UT who caught up to Ellie to find out how old she was and ended up running and visiting with her and her mom for many miles. Ellie was also running for a special cause and wore her pink running outfit to honor her 71 year-old grandmother, Linda Simmons, who was supposed to be running with her but underwent colon cancer surgery a few weeks ago and was not able to participate this year.
What’s next for Ellie? Her mom, aunt and uncle are race directors for southern Utah’s new Top of Zion Relay in June and northern Nevada’s Ruby Mountain Relay in August, both part of the Run Back Country running series, so she will keep up her training so she can run those relays with her cousins and maybe even join her parents and grandmother on the St. George Marathon course in October. Running is part of Ellie’s family tradition and she wants other kids to know that you are never too young to start living a healthy and active lifestyle.

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You Know You’re A Runner If…


“you’re not afraid of snot rockets.  That’s when I crossed into true runner-dom.”

–Bethany Dawn Larson


“…you have calloused toes, missing toenails and rubbed raw between your thighs and underarms.  Glide this!”

–Lily Campbell Wheatfill


“you skip the shower to get that extra mile.”

–Felicia Nicole


“you have more running clothes than regular clothes in your laundry pile”

–Fabricio Gutierrez

Read More….

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by on Feb.08, 2012, under Motivation

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