Elevate Running Camp – Day 1

With no time to waste we took a bit to get introduced to each other. Our fun rendition of Let’s See if You Can Remember Everyone’s Name left anyone missing a name – doing push-ups. [Well, I ended up doing more than anyone else today. I blame senility.] To make it a bit more interesting each camper stated their name, their favorite track/running event and their favorite animal. One catch – no animals could be repeated. Therefore, a narwal, aardvark, prairie dog and giraffe lead the interesting categories.

Then we were off to an easy introduction run. At 7000 feet even this proved to be at least a mild challenge. A No Excuse attitude overcame one bloody knee – all was well. Lunch followed. All bodies accounted for.

Our first discussion/lecture (held outside under a wonderful shade tree) started with two surveys on mental toughness and getting psyched out. These will be used to focus some of our upcoming sessions on mental toughness training in the afternoon sessions.

We laid the foundation with a discussion and explanation of 9 scientific training principles, terminology and training basics. We touched on the importance of consistency not only in a week but in a season, and between seasons and year to year. This is what builds champions.

It was time to get the bodies moving again. Another mile warm up plus the introduction of sound warm up drills that the elite and Olympic runners lead us into rousing games of Capture the Flag. A post games session jog back rounded out the afternoon and lead us to dinner.

We watched an inspiring video created by the USATF (our national track and field governing body) celebrating the past 30 years. Gail Devers, Michael Johnson, Joan Benoit-Samuelson, Stacy Dragila, Carl Lewis and Jackie Joyner-Kersee were the athletes interviewed. They shared their insights into their journeys, their struggles and disappointments, the importance of mental toughness and controlling themselves first. A lively discussion ensued after the video. Can’t wait to see what all the campers will remember about this one!

Time to get off to bed. 0630 we are on the trails!!!!


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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