Running Coaching from David & Megan Roche
In running, there's often a perception of what the "ideal" body type looks like. We want to break that stigma for all runners.
There is staggering variation in how each of us can experience the world inside of our own heads. Mental health treatment can vary from non-clinical practices to talk therapy to medication and so much more—and no treatment should have any stigma.
An incredible study from 2014 found that simple self-talk training and intervention can improve performance. What might happen when those psychology-influenced performance gains interact with physiological adaptations over multiple training cycles?
Fascinating studies from rugby show that positive reinforcement before and after matches can increase testosterone and reduce cortisol. What are the implications for how we discuss training and racing?
Sports can be cruel. And that’s why they are magic.
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The holidays are idealized as a happy, peaceful time of year. But it's okay if it doesn't feel that way, around the holidays or anytime.
Insecurities are real. Doubts happen. But that doesn't mean you should be afraid to go after lofty ambitions.
Yes, we love running. That doesn't mean every run is perfect. Here's how to embrace the suck.
A recent report in The Oregonian details allegations that the University of Oregon program adjusted training based on body composition readings in repeated DEXA scans. If true, that practice is medically dubious and physiologically wrong.
This article is on a mental-health consideration for runners that is rarely talked about on social media: the post-race blues. The goal isn’t to solve the post-race blues—that is just as impossible as solving depression and anxiety.
In coaching, we have seen many athletes go through a struggle with the scale. They’ll unwittingly sacrifice some self-worth for some speed, and they’ll wind up with neither.
FOMO is usually characterized as a social-media problem, but research indicates that it’s more of a problem of human nature.
Battle race day woes with performance psychology. Acknowledging performance anxiety is the first step to gaining control over it.
Feeling blah? Here are a few tips for getting yourself more motivated to run when you really don't want to.
While we are all unique, there are some themes that might help you strengthen your mental toughness and learn to work with your inner critic.
Sometimes running feels like an existential crisis. Why should we care about it?
It's one thing to think about a workout; it's another to actually do it. Here's how to make sure workout brain doesn't convince you to quit.
Running can come with a host of body insecurities. We're here to tell you that you're perfect as you are, no matter what.
he basic principle: athletes set intentions on each workout to finish (as long as it is not a risk to their mental and physical health) with a demonstration of self love and acceptance that always adds to their soul cup.
Tears of joy. Sad sobs. Bored to tears. Not only is it OK to cry in and around runs, it might just be a sign that you’re paying attention.
And here’s the message of this article: I think we all have to cultivate a bit of willful ignorance in all we do. That doesn’t mean we should be stupid. … Instead, I am urging you to go into 2021 leading with the heart and soul rather than with logic and a spreadsheet of probabilities.
Antidepressants can change lives. Antidepressants can save lives. And antidepressants can help support long-term athletic breakthroughs.
The power of Ted Lasso is in making the leap toward love in a world that often rewards cynicism. Maybe we could all learn from that.
The meaning of this amazing, ambitious article is just to give you permission to want to turn your swag-meter up a notch, and to help people you know turn their notches up too, and to accept it with love when you see people showing swag in life.
I don’t think riding possessed necessarily means you’re overtaken by force of will, a demon pushing you to new levels. I think it can also mean buying into yourself so thoroughly that the voices saying “I can’t” get quiet, at least for a few minutes.
Your best day a few years ago is your bad day now. Just imagine where self-belief through those bad days might take you a few years from now.
You got whatever it is you are putting your mind to because that is the superpower of an athletic life. You willingly run into the fire of hard workouts, slogs when you’re tired, recovering when you want to go hard, the day-after-day grind.
Running becomes a chore because all repetitive acts risk becoming a chore eventually. That’s something people don’t talk about too much in the dialogue related to dream jobs and perfect relationships and other idealized fairy tales.
Here’s the thing to remember: the negative people that want you to change who you are? They’re often the same types of people as those anonymous commenters, just dressed up in enough clothes to be seen outside without having the cops called on them.
Wherever you are starting right now, your potential lies on the distant horizon. There are countless miles between where you are and where you are capable of going. You just have to believe and put in the work
If you are worried about your livelihood, there are tons of people right there with you. It’s a shared feeling we can all embrace as a community and talk about openly, lifting each other up as much as we can along the way.
Some launch into fear, denial, anger. For others it’s like a snow day, full of adventure. All of this is mapped onto a world where economic disparity and privilege is inextricable from actions and options.
We love the Olympic Marathon Trials, but not because it’s the race that chooses Team USA. For us, it’s about the stories.
Running won’t solve death or climate change, but maybe it can help quiet those fearful, self-critical voices inside our own heads just a little bit. Running gives us a chance to practice seeing that swirl of chaos and moving forward with love anyway.
There is that saying: “Forgive and forget.” Well, the brain is probably not wired to forget, and I don’t think we’d want it to be. Remembering things we can do differently is the only way to learn.
Anything that brings you joy or meaning or purpose and doesn’t cause harm to others or yourself is generally good. Everyone is remarkably different, and those differences can be celebrated.
There is no endpoint of validation that will come from running, that’s for sure. You’re going to screw up and fail, many times over. That’s part of the fun!
Our brains really want to overlay order onto outcomes. One thing leads to another. Working hard means you’ll succeed. Fighting hard means you’ll be cured. That’s not cancer.
Belief doesn’t mean thinking you will win every race; it means thinking you can continue to grow even when you’re handed evidence to the contrary.
Outcomes of races and training days are dust in the wind, but the experiences and emotions you share with others have tendrils that affect everything about the world you are living in.
The lowest lows precede the highest highs, and the highest highs precede the lowest lows, and the whole time you can grow and learn and connect in ways that bring light to your life and the lives of those around you.
Work hard, take chances, succeed and fail at the limits of your capabilities. Sounds like an elite athlete to me.
A 2011 meta-analysis in the Perspectives on Psychological Science journal found that positive self-talk is effective for performance improvement across 32 studies. A 2013 study in the Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise journal found one of the mechanisms—a reduction in perceived exertion.
But even now, I look in the mirror and I’m pretty sure I see something different than what other people see. I feel a bit guilty eating that extra slice even as I know it’s good for me as an athlete. The contagion rarely goes away completely after it’s planted.
Smiling and self-talk may be particularly beneficial because they harness the power of something called cognitive reappraisal, a practice focused on the way you engage with sensations.
The research on happiness indicates that interaction with your community is one of the most important elements in wellbeing. A solo adventure can be memorable, but get your community involved and it can be unforgettable.
In your own training: Constantly remind yourself that running is a privilege requiring health and vitality, and that you should never take it for granted, even when it’s yet another day of your personal “bike path left.”
Whatever the label, many runners are secretly struggling in the chasm between what their brains want and what their bodies need.
OCR seems to flummox beginners in the same way trail racing does. Whereas we trail runners might forget lubrication before a muddy run, OCR newbies can be stumped by the entire concept of an obstacle.
There are two types of runners—those who respond to failure with despondent discouragement, and those who respond to failure with renewed motivation.
For years, sports psychologists and coaches have espoused the positive effects of positivity—and research has accumulated to back up the claim.
How do you keep training consistently in the winter when you might not always feel like lacing up the running shoes? Here are five strategies to make every season count.
The final tidbit is the most fascinating (and theoretical) of all. The central governor theory is the idea that a portion of athletic performance is purely neurological—our primal brain putting a stop to an activity because it is not accustomed to the discomfort.
The body doesn’t know miles. It knows stress. Adjust your training based on stress and don’t mimic the training of someone living a different life.
By being a fan, you get more fans. By being a critic, you only find self-indulgent satisfaction. Be yourself, accept yourself, love others and, by all means, if you want to, take that shirt off.
A lot of self-belief can lead to a little bit of performance benefit each day. Integrate those little benefits over many years, and you have an athlete that gets a major physiological boost from their psychological approach.
Just like Strava can build accountability on intervals—not letting up in that last 200 meters when everything is burning, because Strava is watching—it can also build accountability on recovery pace.
Unless you’re a self-obsessed narcissist, comparison is a game you will virtually always lose if you zoom out far enough. When you compare yourself to other people, cracks start to form in self-esteem.
You’ll fail workouts, you’ll fail races, you’ll get injured. Smart training can reduce adversity, but no amount of planning can eliminate it. Your long-term development ultimately depends on how you respond to failure.
The emotional side of running is rarely talked about. We highlight the successes and high points, but less often the inexplicable bouts of sadness and frustration, the cycles of low motivation and depression.
Training consistently, with long-term focus on self-improvement, is not just about getting faster or improving in races. In fact, it doesn’t have to be about that at all.
This is not an article about avoiding injury. There are methods to reduce injury risk, for sure. But the only way to truly avoid running-related injury is simple: don’t run.
Your brain plays a large role in determining how hard you think you are working—also called Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). RPE goes a long way in determining what you can actually do, and how much you enjoy it.
Here, coach David Roche cuts to the heart of important issues all trail runners may face at some point, so, take heart—you’re not alone in your struggles on and off the trails.
Ultramarathons are trendy (and amazing!) But we're here to remind you - you don't have to run ultras to be a trail runner.
We all know of runners whose obsession has had tragic consequences. The same thing that makes us great and fulfilled can make us unhealthy (and hurt our performance).
This article is intended to provide some tips for runners that find meaning and purpose from the daily grind of training, but sometimes have trouble fitting it all in. Most importantly, remember that you are enough, unconditionally.
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