NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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.
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2018 BY LIBRARY JOURNAL
“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
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."
New York Times bestselling author of
The Happiness Advantage and
“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
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
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
Deena Kastor is an Olympic medalist and the American record holder in the marathon. She lives in Mammoth Lakes, California.
Michelle Hamilton is a health and fitness journalist. Her work has appeared in
Women’s Health, and other publications.
Running seemed fail-proof. There were no tryouts, no one was cut, everyone participated and got a ribbon. Most kids started with the sprints, but my mom ruled them out because a few girls in the valley were already racing at a national level, including future Olympian Marion Jones. Ever protective, my mom thought if I got clobbered in the sprints, my self-esteem would plummet, so she had me join the distance-running group.
My dad drove us all to the track on the first day. I was braiding Lesley’s hair when we pulled in to the school and the chaotic scene caught our attention. Kids were jumping into sandboxes, arching over bars, falling into big blue mattresses. Coaches were shouting and pointing and clapping. My mom, with a plush stadium cushion in one hand and my sister’s hand in the other, made a beeline toward the bleachers. I followed my dad, who had offered again to be a volunteer coach. We scanned the field to find the distance team and were eventually directed to a group of about eight boys and girls huddled around head coach Sal Pratts.
Coach Pratts was a big personality stuffed into a short, strong frame. “Today’s warm--up is a half mile on the track, then five minutes on the trail,” he said.
Wary of doing something wrong, I asked, “How many laps is a half mile?”
“Two,” he said.
My dad held up two fingers.
“Where’s the trail?”
Coach Pratts started to give me directions, but then said, “Just follow Noelle, if you can keep her in your sights.”
Noelle was tall and leggy, with short, curly brown hair and big white teeth highlighting a friendly smile. We hit the track. Noelle had been running for a few years and her experience showed, but I found I could keep up with her. This was a relief; I just had to watch her to know what to do.
Our half mile complete, I followed Noelle out the gate. The school abutted the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, and we followed a dusty trail a short way into the hills. I looked up and was taken aback. The land was open and wild. There were fields of dry grasses and chaparral broken only by large arching oak trees. Rattlesnakes hidden in yellow flowering brush shook their tails, and horses grazed in the fenced--off meadows. I’d seen the mountains on the drive to the mall and thought they were pretty, but never knew you could go into them. When it was time to turn around, I didn’t want to.
I loved running right from the start. It was simple and fun. It lacked rules and structure. There was no equipment to fuss with, no technique to learn. While the kids on the infield waited for their turn to jump or throw, Noelle and I and the other kids ran single file on the dusty cinder track. I remember thinking how lucky we runners were to be in constant motion. We were part of the action all the time. Running was also, to my surprise and delight, both solitary and social. One minute I was dashing down the track as if by myself on the side of the hill. The next, I was whipping around and making funny faces, trying to make my teammates laugh.
Best of all, running didn’t make me feel foolish or ridiculous, like I’d done something wrong. The ease of it made me feel competent and free. Everything we were asked to do, I could do. I ran and counted my laps. I warmed up on the trails, happily shooting
out the gate with my teammates to the wild open space, and ran among the rabbits and deer. Sometimes, Coach Pratts let us run through the neighborhood. We stretched across the whole street, a pack of scrawny kids exploring manicured suburbia, unfettered, adventurous, going where none of the other kids got to go.