Anything can change anything test
Could strenghening your diaphragm reduce leg fatigue? How about improving your vision or balance?
Your non-conscious brain controls how well you run, e.g., how you move, how you feel, your autonomic functions and sensory skills.. It takes in millions of sensory inputs a second, evaluates them and changes performance accordingly. Understanding this hugely expands training and performance enhancement options. Learn more here
Everybody is different
Should you train like the winner of the Boston Marathon?
That we all are different seems intuitively obvious. But why does most training advice start with the premise that “this worked for someone else, it should work for you”? You have unique skills, physiology, reasons for running, lifestyle and preferences. Add to that your unique genetics, experiences, environment, and diet and there is no chance that you are the same as anyone else. We all respond to physical and mental challenges differently. What works for one person may or may not work for another. We also change over time, get better at some things, worse at others, change our nutrition or environment, etc. What worked for us at one time may not anymore.
If you aren’t assessing, you’re guessing
How can I know whether specific training will work for me?
So given that we are all different and change over time and anything can cause anything, how do you know how your brain perceives a particular training stimulus at a point in time? Fortunately, it can tell you if you know how to ask. Use our assessments to understand how your brain is currently evaluating the activity or change you are testing. Try a few easy experiments on your own.
Treat everything as a skill
How would I train differently when I view running with a brain-centric lens?
You can really improve your training if you treat as many of your capabilities as possible as skills that can be learned and improved, and realize that your non-conscious brain is always learning and changing your skill set. Running efficiently with good form is a skill. Running well in high temperatures or in a new pair of shoes is a skill. Think of sitting in a chair all day as a skill. You will become good at what you practice, for better or worse.
Use it and improve it
I get that I need to acquire new skills to improve. Is there an efficient way to do that?
So, how good a runner you can become largely depends on learning new skills and maintaining them. Many aspects of good learning (also a skill) are similar whether learning cognitive, sensory or motor skills. If you focus, prime your brain, make it challenging and important enough, get good feedback and repeat periodically, you will learn more quickly. These concepts underly NeuroRunner’s training philosophy and this website.
Use it or lose it
It I make limited training time available for new skills, won’t my existing skills atrophy because I’m no longer spending as much time on them?
Skills will atrophy with lack of use. The higher the level of skill the more quickly it perishes which is why it’s difficult to maintain peak performance. The good news is that most skills require a lot less effort to maintain than the effort to acquire them in the first place. If you think of refreshing skills as relearning them and apply the methods for learning, you can often reduce the frequency of training a lot and stay at the same level. Knowing how to do this, is critical for training efficiency and performance.
You can get used to almost anything
Can I be comfortable that my training will carry forward successfully to a race situation?
Do the drill, forget the drill
It’s very difficult, and often counter productive, to try to consciously change movement, including breathing, when you are trying to perform at your best. Imagine how hard it would be to activate and inhibit each individual leg muscle as you ran. Fortunately, you can change your autonomic movement patterns by using brain science in your training. By practicing corrective movement prior to running, you can ingrain change over time.
What Fires Together, Wires Together
Does the smell of vanilla extract remind you of the holidays, or Mom baking cookies, or make you smile, or make you hungry, or something completely different? Our memories contain facts, concepts, emotions/feelings, movements, images, sounds and sensations, etc. Memories are associated with other memories, some unilateral, some bi-lateral.
The concept can apply to things that are located near each other in the brain or have shared or common pathways. Activating one area of the brain will activate others nearby or connected areas. This is the underlying reason why changing inputs can change outputs