Runner's World


The secrets to a breakthrough race may lie in unexpected places. Sure, most runners dissect their long runs, interval workouts, and nutrition, but the best runners look beyond those metrics to reach their full potential. That was the key takeaway from researching and reporting our new book, Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success.

Although one of us (Steve) coaches pros who have been on the cover of this magazine (like Neely Spence Gracey) and the other (Brad) writes about sports science, we discovered novel ways to optimize athletic performance by interviewing worldclass artists, intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and musicians. By looking outside of running— and studying not only physiology but also psychology, sociology, and even philosophy—we uncovered powerful strategies that can help all athletes succeed.

While we learned far more than can fit on these pages (that’s why we wrote a book!), what follows are seven of our favorite discoveries, all backed by the latest scientific research.


A very well known

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