Train Your Brain for Success- Evie Serventi

Running can be tough, not just on our bodies, but on our emotions and psyche.

This is especially true whenever we experience any perceived setback; injuries, a rough workout or a less than desired performance in a race.

We all talk to ourselves, whether we’re aware of it or not, but many people don’t realize that this self-talk actually affects our performance. This is both good and bad, depending on the type of self-talk in which we engage ourselves.

If we habitually beat ourselves up after a setback, this can become detrimental to our running. On the other hand, if we use more positive self-talk, even after a setback, we can recover from it that much better.

Evie Serventi, a competitive runner and swimmer, is the Deputy Editor of Running Fitness magazine in the UK and is also a Sports Psychologist.

In this episode, she talks to us about the importance of Mental Training and shares with us techniques that she recommends for training our brains to help us run better and to not sabotage the effort we put into our physical conditioning.

As you will hear, Evie and I have a wonderfully close relationship. She has been a tremendous resource for me and I think you will come away with actionable steps that will get your brain and body working more effectively together.

Train Your Brain for Success- Evie Serventi

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

  • How running is helping refugees cope in England
  • How Evie has helped Tina PR
  • How to be aware of our self-talk and use it to perform even better
  • Self-encouragement vs. Excuses
  • How to use ‘Check-ins” to become aware of our mental states and adjust accordingly.
  • How could a running diary help?
  • What is ‘Reframing’ and how can we use it to improve our performance?

Questions Evie is asked:

4:40 Tina’s Big Announcement

7:05 Evie’s Big Announcement

10:10 Will running be a part of it?

12:08 How did you become Deputy Editor for Running Fitness Magazine?

16:33 How did you get into sports psychology?

19:47 What advice would you give to someone who, later in life, is considering making a big career change or going back to school for something new?

22:00 What about the refugee group you’re working with?

28:57 Why be kind to yourself vs. being tough on yourself?

34:26 What does ‘Be Kind To Yourself” actually mean?

35:26 Should someone work on this prior to a race or can someone start doing it once they are racing?

38:11 How can people start putting these “Mental Bottles” into practice?

42:14 How do you avoid letting ‘being kind to yourself’ turn into just making excuses?

45:04 What’s a good exercise for people to start with?

48:32  What other mental strategies would you suggest for those thinking that they are struggling in various ways.

52:27 What are your future plans, website, other info?

55:05 Are you still taking on new clients?

59:13 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Evie:

“Run your own race; control what you can control.”

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

“If you want to do something, you find a way.”

“The risk, though with (motivating yourself via) negative emotions, or feeling angry, even if you feel that they’re positive at the time, is that they’re generally not sustainable.”

“Self-talk is part of your mental training.”

“There IS a lot you can control about your own performance and your own actions. You can’t control the weather, you can’t control the amount of runners, the speed of the other runners. But what you CAN control is your attitude and the way you approach the run.”

“Keeping a diary of what you’re thinking, during a run, after a run / post-run thoughts, can often be quite revealing and help you in terms of “Where do I start? I’m not confident and I don’t feel like I’ve got the mental toughness to do this race.”

“Ask other people; observe what other people who you think have mental toughness do. How do they train? What do they wear? What sort of statements do they say? What sort of language are they using?”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel

Learn tips from @tinamuir sports psychologist on this weeks podcast Click To Tweet

Mentioned in this podcast:

Fast Feet Forward

Fast Feet Forward (FFF) is a pilot research study lead by Dr Ana Draper for Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust in collaboration with Virtual Schools Kent and a small local charity, Kent Kindness. The study involves a sport-based early intervention trauma group protocol for unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) who now live in Kent. The idea behind the intervention is to coach a group of young (male) asylum seekers through a series of running drills and fast feet movements to help them process trauma – trauma which they may have experienced back in their country of origin, on their journey to the UK, and ongoing trauma as a result of the stressful immigration process taking place.

RTTT Podcast: Katy Sherratt – The Power of Running to Overcome Homelessness

Connect with Evie on LinkedIn

Follow Evie on Twitter

Follow Evie on Facebook

E-mail Evie

Book: Runner by Lizzy Hawker

Saucony Triumph Shoes Use coupon code TINA for 10% off

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

If more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, it means I can reach out to and get through to the top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting Run to the Top

Enter to win a FREE 6-Pack of Perfect Amino from BodyHealth

body health

Use coupon code TINA for 10% off at


Have a running friend who would love this? Share it...

Connect with Jeff Gaudette on Google+

One Response on “Train Your Brain for Success- Evie Serventi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Adding new comments is only available for RunnersConnect Insider members.

Already a member? Login here Want to become an Insider for free?.Register here