As primitive as superstitious rituals may be, they reflect an understanding that familiarity is a key aspect of the situational comfort that sustains psychological momentum. You wear your lucky socks over and over because they are familiar. The baseball pitcher initially makes a habit of slowing his setup because it seems to work, but as this habit becomes familiar, he continues to do it also because it is familiar.

Maximizing psychological momentum in running is a two-step process. Step one is to discover what works for you; step two is to make your personal comfort zone as familiar as possible by repeating its elements again and again and by defending your comfort zone against threats to its integrity. The entire notion of mind-body running supports this first step: tapping into your intuitive nature, finding more enjoyment in your training, and honing a personalized approach to training (or magic formula) based on what brings results and what keeps you healthy and injury free.

In the remainder of this chapter, I will talk about how to use repetition in your training and lifestyle to become a better runner. THE BENEFITS OF REPETITION IN TRAINING Coaches and experts often talk about the need for variation in training. I myself have often written about this need. But I have come to believe that the importance of variation is overstated and that the value of variation’s antipode, repetition, is underappreciated.



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