Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


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Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


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Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


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Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

  ·  2 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: How to Run in Heat and Humidity

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! Hello! I live in Costa Rica. We do not have Summer, Winter or Fall we just have rainy season or summer season. Right now is rainy season here and it is sunny and moist during the morning and rainy (a lot) during the afternoon. I usually go out for training at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and temperature is perfect at that time (not hot neither too cold). I’ll have a race soon and it’ll start at 8:00 am. I bet it will be sunny and terribly humid. What can I do to prepare my self to those conditions? – RunRocker S.Running in Costa Rica with its challenging mountains, forests and beaches, can be a terrific experience. Then again, heat, humidity and rain, can be a bothersome factor for some. Some runners handle these weather conditions better than others, of course. And the fact is, we can’t always run in 50 degree, light wind, overcast weather.Keep this in mind. When you run in any conditions, your body temperature increases as a natural accommodation, which cause your sweat glands to produce, well, sweat. In most conditions, the sweat on your skin vaporizes and disappears. In humid weather, your sweat glands will produce sweat but the sweat won’t evaporate. This may lead to dehydration, impaired blood flow, escalating heart rate by about 12-15 beats per minute or more as the temp goes from the 70’s to the 90’s, and cognitive difficulties including dizziness and disorientation. Be aware of these indicators of humidity exhaustion, and of course take a rest, hydrate and recuperate. I suggest you don’t only drink water, but include water-rich fruits and veggies as well.What you wear can also help. Be sure the clothing you wear is made of micro-fiber, high-tech, sweat-wicking material. Light colors will reflect heat better than dark colors. Don’t forget your neck and head, so a visor is important.In preparing for for a humid run, don’t focus so much on your regular pacing at first, and instead learn to identify the early signs of humidity exhaustion. Given enough time for preparation, watching your hydration, you’ll have time to focus on the pacing and emerge victorious.Good luck in your race!Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

  ·  4 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: The Elusive Runner’s High

In the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, we have fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answer questions from RunRockers! I run because I like feeling healthy, because it’s good for me, and because I like the feeling of accomplishment. But I so often hear about people who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails or track. Do they simply get a bigger rush of endorphins than I do? Or are they more addicted or responsive to the endorphins than I am? I feel like I’m missing something. Running is hard work….I can’t say that I “love” it or crave doing it. I’d take the couch any day and it takes willpower to run multiple times a week. I am proud of my willpower despite the fact that I don’t love any of the exercise I do. – RunRocker ConnieWhat a great series of questions, Connie! Thanks for asking…First, let’s talk about the good old “runner’s high” that results from endorphins produced during a run. These neurotransmitters are released by the pituitary gland, and “feel good” motivational little devils that they are they actually find a way of attaching to two areas of the brain that leave that goofy smile on our faces – the prefrontal cortex and the limbic area. Guess what, Connie? Those friends who “love” running and can’t wait to hit the trails? It’s because those endorphins are finding their way to the very same areas of the brain (the limbic and prefrontal cortex areas) that are stimulated when we are involved in romance or are listening to great music! So YES, your friends do “love the love” they feel from running. The interesting thing about these love chemicals is that their effects increase with routine. Get into a running routine and you’ll be rewarded with lots of “love” like your friends, and even more, with optimal health.I agree about the “hard work” you find in running, and thus not craving it. However, if want to fall in love with that love feeling, try following these steps:Stop focusing on what’s wrong with running—how hard it’s been, how boring it’s been, how you haven’t loved it. Get the focus off the past.Forget goal setting…that’s right! I said it. Instead of goals, focus on intentionality, the planned actions you need to find a way to run, not the intended outcomes of running. Goals are about the future and may or may not happen. Intentions are about the present and what you actually do. Implementation intentions trump simple goals.Start as slow and as brief as you’d like. A quick five-minute jog or a quicker paced around-the-block run to get you going, will be like a first date. Check it out and see if you’ll accept a second date. Make sure it’s a fun first date—think of a cool way to enjoy the experience, no matter how brief it is.Consider a run buddy, as running friends are always helpful for keeping you going. Especially if it’s someone who is a bit—just a bit—more into the love than you are. Don’t try to keep up with an experienced full-fledged run lover.Let yourself fall in love. Don’t fight it. Love the process of your run. Feel those endorphins? Track them, journal them and be mindfully aware of that feeling you get. Want to turbocharge it all? Be sure your choice of music (or mix on RockMyRun!) is the right music and that it gets your heart beating and puts you in the mood for love. Then let your endorphins do their work.These five steps cover all of the key behavior science behind loving to run, or any exercise, and creating that internal motivation you see in your friends. There is no magic in running a course, or lifting a dumbbell, or swinging a kettlebell or hanging on a TRX. These are simply activities. “The link is what you think” and these five steps will help turn your mindset around, and get you no longer feeling like you are missing something, but rather, feeling the love you see in your friends faces.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

  ·  5 min

4 Mental Barriers and How to Avoid Them On Race Day

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 
Thomas Jefferson offered this observation and it’s as relevant to mental preparation for a race as it is to any endeavor in life. The key is planning.No matter how well you plan, prepare for a race or physically train, without being entirely convinced that you are as ready as you can possibly be for whatever comes up on race day, your motivation, confidence, focus and physical abilities to handle the psychological demands of the race will let you down. Properly engaged mental focus will give you the added fuel of positive emotion, which is the fuel to get out there and compete…and complete.Here are the top 4 mental barriers that I’ve found derail performance on competition day—even if that competition is simply against the track you are running on:1. Motivation is only external What’s the real reason you are running? Is it to satisfy yourself, to elevate your status, to increase your fame or wealth? Are you running because you love the sport and its challenges? Are your parents, spouse, friends, co-workers pushing in helpful or destructive ways? Have you set smart goals for yourself or are you borrowing someone else’s? If all your motivation comes from external (rather than internal) sources, you won’t develop and adhere to your physical and mental preparation plans.2. Talking yourself into anxiety Are you convincing yourself that you “can’t win…finish…do well”? Perhaps you need more positive self-talk. In addition to realizing your actual progress during training and healthy support from others, you must avoid “all or nothing” self-talk and thinking, as well as avoid confusing your past performances with expectations for future performances. Anxiety is simply predicting the future with gloom and doom, so focus on relaxation, deep breathing, music, and avoid dire predictions of “horrible” results—you really can’t predict the future anyway. Common phrases in your self-talk along the way are often very motivating: “Good job…it’s not that much further…almost on the downhill side…not long before the stadium filled with my friends pops up.”3. Intrusions Ever try to NOT think about the “Pink Elephant”? The reason you can’t is because first you have to think about it in order to NOT think about it. Distractions come almost entirely from irrational, ungrounded worry. You compare yourself to your competitors, focus on irrelevant details concerning you, anticipate conditions that may not be present on race day, and erroneously believe that if you think about them then you can control them. Here’s where visualization, mental imagery and posted reminders in your gym bag, can all help. Mentally go through an entire race from waking up on race day and see what you will eat, how you warm up, all the way to the finish line. Go through the event in a positive way and rehearse every step: swim, T1, bike, T2, run and finish. Break the big picture into little pieces to keep focused on your goals, instead of irrelevant distractions.4. Deficient trainingThe wrong coach, an undisciplined or unstructured training program, preparing for the wrong conditions and improper nutritive planning, all lead to being poorly prepared. A lack of mental preparation includes not detailing out and planning your desired goals. What mindset do you visualize for yourself throughout the race? In an Ironman for example, it’s common for the human mind to give in to despair somewhere between 60-90 miles of the biking portion of the race. Preparing in advance for how you will re-think and deal with it (these thoughts normally pass at about 100 miles, so hang in!), will turn this seeming crisis into an expected challenge you are prepared to handle. Detailed goal setting, positive and rational self-talk, mental imagery, familiarity with the course, relaxation methods, concentration, focus skills to avoid distractions, are all are a part of complete mental preparation.What’s The Fix? OMPThese three letters are Optimal Mental Performance. The optimal mindset is central to your success performance. It builds self-confidence, helps you control your mental energy throughout the race course, provides focus on the essential elements of your competition, and creates a sense of familiarity as you move through, in reality, what you’ve rehearsed so many times, in imagery.Begin with the end in mind as you prepare yourself for a big event. How will you need to think and feel to do your best? That’s the key—striving to do your best. What is the right “mindset” to achieve this goal? How do you see yourself feeling and thinking at the start line? What are you focusing on that jettisons you towards doing your best? You might want to compare your previous best and worst performances to see how the answers to these questions change. What does your optimal mindset look, sound and feel like? What cue words do you hear in your optimal mental self-talk? What do you need to do to be mentally and physically ready along the race from warm-up to finish? As you rehearse, listen to yourself positively comment on your progress as you pass landmarks you’ve “seen” in your mental imagery. These strategy rehearsal tips will help you with energy management, and the mental and physical challenges during the race and in post-race recovery.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

  ·  3 min

Duration, Speed or Frequency In Exercise May Not Matter

So you’ve decided it is time to lace up those running shoes and hit the trail, treadmill or track. Your friends have convinced you to shoot for a goal of a steady state 45-60 minute run and you believe that sounds about right.The only problem is that you’d actually be wrong in believing that you need to go on a “long distance” run to optimize your health. You don’t! At least according to the latest observational study involving data collected from 55,000 adult runners.While running generally leads to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of premature death and a 45 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, those benefits are the same regardless of speed, duration or frequency of running.That’s right. Whether you run five or ten minutes a day or much longer, you’ll experience the same reduction in death risk, leading to a three-year increase in your life expectancy!Here’s what Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences professor, and lead author of this study, Duck-chul Lee, said:“The (World Health Organization) guidelines recommend at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity such as running… However, we found mortality benefits in runners who ran even as little as 30 to 60 minutes per week.You see, long-distance endurance runs are not always better. For so many Americans who think in all or nothing terms (“either I run for an hour or more at a time or I’m a loser”) there’s no real need to exercise for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, IF you exercise efficiently and effectively. Like so much in life, more is not always better.In fact, too much exercise may lead to serious heart damage through oxidative stress and inflammation as well as plaque formation. Further there is the possibility of increased risk of injury with microscopic tissue tears, too much cortisol (stress hormone) being released, sleep difficulties and weakening of your immune system. For what it’s worth, the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010 found that consistent exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk three-fold, but prolonged endurance running actually increases cardiovascular risk seven-fold!Study after study tells us about the benefits of shorter duration high intensity interval training (HIIT), that include a proper stretching warm-up, then short all-out sprints followed by periods of slower jogging or walking, for six to eight cycles, ending with a proper cool down and stretching.Reductions in body fat, improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood sugar regulation, and aerobic power have all been found in shorter sessions of these interval runs.Get started slowly, yes, with properly fitted running shoes. Strive for reasonable and flexible goals that reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. After all, isn’t that what running, indeed, all fitness activities are about—optimizing your health and longevity? Remember it’s not the duration, speed or frequency of your run. It’s that you run that matters.Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He is a behavioral sciences coach and consultant, an Advisor to many fitness and health organizations, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Sciences for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, a presenter for Rancho La Puerta, a best-selling author and an international fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

  ·  1 min

Welcome to the Rock My Run Blog!

Welcome to Rock My Run! With this inaugural blog post I’d like to personally welcome you and thank you for visiting our website. While it has taken many late nights and long hours to bring this to you, we feel like it is only just the beginning. Much like preparing for a marathon, what we have done so far is just the training; now the real event begins!The good news is that we’re off to a great start: We have received tremendous responses from runners and active people across the country. From Virginia to Colorado, Cleveland to Walla Walla, Washington runners everywhere have told us that our mixes add to their enjoyment, add energy to their runs and they appreciate the cool “DJ features” of our mixes (seamless music, scratching, sampling etc.). Some have even really enjoyed our voice-over motivation that adds another element to your workout and can help you keep going as you grind through the miles.So whether you are training for your first marathon, on a couch-to-5k program or just run as a part of your workout, you’ll find some music here you’ll love. And if you’re not a runner – don’t worry! People have told us this music has helped them on the elliptical, in workout classes – even during P90X!At the end of the day, it is our mission to help YOU, the runners and active people in this world to have more fun and perform better during your activities through the use of music. We are here to serve you with our talents, relationships and experience. If there is ANY way you think we can better serve you, let us know!Rock’n On!


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