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Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory Hardcover – April 10, 2018
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Deena Kastor was a star youth runner with tremendous promise, yet her career almost ended after college, when her competitive method—run as hard as possible, for fear of losing—fostered a frustration and negativity and brought her to the brink of burnout. On the verge of quitting, she took a chance and moved to the high altitudes of Alamosa, Colorado, where legendary coach Joe Vigil had started the first professional distance-running team. There she encountered the idea that would transform her running career: the notion that changing her thinking—shaping her mind to be more encouraging, kind, and resilient—could make her faster than she’d ever imagined possible. Building a mind so strong would take years of effort and discipline, but it would propel Kastor to the pinnacle of running—to American records in every distance from the 5K to the marathon—and to the accomplishment of earning America’s first Olympic medal in the marathon in twenty years.
Let Your Mind Run is a fascinating intimate look inside the mind of an elite athlete, a remarkable story of achievement, and an insightful primer on how the small steps of cultivating positivity can give anyone a competitive edge.
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“A candid account about the self-doubt that enters the mind of an elite athlete and how positive thinking made [Kastor] a champion both on and off the course.”
“Long-distance runner Deena Kastor shows the secret to her success – and as an Olympic medalist and the American female record holder in the marathon, she’s had more than a few – relies less on any inborn talents, but on ‘the power of thought, attitude and perspective.’ Through race day and training anecdotes, she reveals the mental habits anyone can use to unleash their physical and mental potential.”
—FURTHERMORE FROM EQUINOX (5 Books High Performers Should Read This Month)
“I have been savoring every story, every morsel of motivation and empowerment; [Kastor] is one of my long time running heroes and I never want this one to end!”
—RUNNING 'N' READING
“Inspiring… [Let Your Mind Run] details the mental techniques [Kastor] used to improve not just as an athlete but as a person.”
“Let Your Mind Run is a fascinating read that has applications for all athletes in all sports… It’s about cultivating positivity as the launching pad for achieving great performances.”
—SPORTING KID LIVE, National Alliance for Youth Sports
"Inspiring, fascinating and insightful... Some inspirational books make you feel, 'Wow, I could never do that.' Let Your Mind Run makes you feel, 'Wow, I can be better today.' By focusing on the mind game, Kastor and Hamilton make this book practical for anyone trying to overcome the biggest impediments to climbing that next hill of growth."
—SHAWN ACHOR, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential
“There are running legends, and then there's Deena Kastor. I've always looked to Deena for inspiration in racing and in life. What she has accomplished is incredible, but how she's done it is fascinating. In her captivating new memoir, Kastor takes us on a run through her psyche so we can learn from a true master. Let Your Mind Run will fine tune your mindset for optimal performance both on and off the road!”
—SCOTT JUREK, champion ultrarunner and New York Times bestselling author of Eat and Run
"When Deena Kastor came from behind to medal in the Olympic marathon, it breathed life back into a generation of U.S. distance running. I’ve hoped many times since then for the most profound story leading to that day: Kastor’s battle against fear and doubt (and heat). Here it is, as riveting as a race itself.”
—DAVID EPSTEIN, author of The Sports Gene
“Deena Kastor is one of the greatest bodies in distance running, but this book captures what is so groundbreaking about her mind. Let Your Mind Run gives us the privilege of watching Deena’s mind become her greatest asset as an athlete and as a positive, thriving, well-balanced person—from her earliest races to her Olympic career and beyond. Living and training with Deena in Mammoth Lakes has been a great joy of my career and has certainly shaped me into the athlete I am today. I invite you to explore Let Your Mind Run and peer into the life of my greatest mentor.”
—ALEXI PAPPAS, Olympian, writer, and filmmaker
“In Let Your Mind Run, Deena Kastor captures the essence of the relationship between life and running, bringing her mental strategies and joie de vivre within stride for all of us. This is more than a memoir—it’s a gift to everyone who looks to find balance and a healthy pace in life and sport.”
—JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON, gold-medal Olympic marathoner and author of Running Tide
"Engaging... [Let Your Mind Run] is a gift to all who are passionate about running and who seek to find balance with mental conditioning... A heartfelt and impressive memoir from one of America's treasured runners."
“Let Your Mind Run shares the mentality of a champion without the clichés and platitudes we've come to expect from books on sports. This is something entirely different, a fascinating collection of specific moments of discovery and the ways they come to life on the run. Runner or not, this book will change you. Required reading for anyone in pursuit of excellence.”
—LAUREN FLESHMAN, co-author of the Believe Training Journal
"Deena Kastor showed great promise as a high school runner, but lost her confidence. In Let Your Mind Run, she explains how she changed her thinking, got back on track, and became America's greatest-ever woman distance runner. It's not about doing harder workouts; it's about taking charge of your mind. Through her journey, we learn how to use her techniques to reach new heights in our own pursuits."
—AMBY BURFOOT, winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon and author of Run Forever
About the Author
Michelle Hamilton is a health and fitness journalist. Her work has appeared in Runner’s World, Bicycling, Women’s Health, and other publications.
- Publisher : Crown Archetype; NO-VALUE edition (April 10, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1524760757
- ISBN-13 : 978-1524760755
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.42 x 1.09 x 9.52 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #206,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #331 in Running & Jogging (Books)
- #518 in Emotional Mental Health
- #678 in Emotional Self Help
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2018
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Top reviews from the United States
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The book is an easy-to-read chronicle of her running career interwoven with the development of her positive mental attitude over that period. I'd say for at least the first half of the book, if not longer, it was really enjoyable (and helpful) to read about the different mental strategies/perspectives/tactics she developed and put into action to help her achieve her running goals. Some of them you will have surely been exposed to (but others you might not have), however it is helpful to read about how she implemented them to her advantage.
The reason for only 4 stars? The message does start to feel more contrived by the end, especially when she is also discussing how she has up to 3 top male college athletes with her every day for training, will spend weeks at the Olympic training center, has a husband who is a physical therapist/masseuse, etc. Of course, I am happy she had all those things - I'm all for supporting world-class U.S. athletes to compete on the international stage. Positive attitude is important, but there were many other components to her success and by the end, the way that message is incorporated starts to feel a lot like, "I was shaken by something... and then I remembered to be positive and grateful!"
The writing for many things she discusses (notably races but also life events) can feel cursory, especially when contrasted to what I recall as some excellent, turn-by-turn descriptions of races by Dean Karnazes in Ultramarathon Man.
I did enjoy it and would recommend it if you're interested in reading about her career and picking up some helpful pointers on how to incorporate positive thinking into your life and endeavors. I commend her for writing a strong book on her career. I am certain it will be inspiring to both men and women in athletics; I know it was for me.
Top reviews from other countries
A lot to think about not only as a runner and some interesting concepts