Finding Inner Focus through Mindfulness with Gary Dudney

Gary Dudney – The Mindful Runner

Every runner has been there. The place during a race, a long training run, or a tough workout where we start telling ourselves to just stop. “It’s too hard”, “I don’t need to do this”, or even “Let’s just quit.”

US Navy Seals learn that the human body almost always has at least 20% of performance capability left ‘in the tank’, so it’s not necessarily a physical limitation that holds us back from our goals. What then, is the barrier? And how can we break past it?

Longtime avid runner, Gary Dudney, has been publishing running articles articles for over 20 years with articles appearing in Runners World, Running Times, Trail Runner, and Marathon and Beyond.

60 one hundred mile races

His first book, The Tao of Running, was inspired by the 60 100-mile races in which he has participated, as well as over 200 other long-distance races he has completed. His most recent book, The Mindful Runner: Finding Your Inner Focus was just released on Nov. 1, 2018 and provides real-life examples of mental techniques we can all use to help us push past the glass ceiling of our minds.

With a Masters degree in English Literature and a passion for writing about running, these books explore his thoughts and experiences on Mindfulness while running to boost performance

Mental endurance – a new challenge for many of us

Early on in his running career, he struggled, as we all have, with mental endurance when races got tough. In this episode, he shares with us techniques he and other runners have employed to deal with pain (beyond ignoring it), fatigue, and general doubt. Some of these include what he calls “The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse”: Mindfulness, Mantra, Music, and Moxie. Listen as he goes into detail and gives great tips for using your mind’s abilities to achieve more than we may think is possible.

Questions Gary is asked:

2:39 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite race distance or type of race?

4:06 What was your early running experience like running cross country in high school?

5:37 When and how did you realize there is a connection between brain and body?

7:14 What is Mindfulness and how can runners use it as a tool?

10:29 How can using other runners help you through a tough part in a race?

15:01 What about the time you drafted from runner to runner to get through a challenging headwind?

17:48 Is it just a matter of being aware that these ‘conscious distractions’ are available to refocus away from negative thoughts?

20:09 What about Mindfulness and interval training?

25:57 What is the 3rd option beyond quitting a race and pulling yourself out of your own funk?

27:25 How is your first book, The Tao of Running different from Mindfulness and what is it’s message?

29:08 What do you believe is important about running and pursuing our individual goals?

32:30 How can trail or ultra running keep runners going later in life?

35:02 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite running book(s)?
  3. Words of Wisdom or Humor?
  4. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?

Quotes by Gary:

“Running provides you with so much stimuli that you can be focusing on: the feelings of your body, your breathing, …you’re outside on a trail or on a street and there’s so much …to look at and to smell and to feel. So there’s a lot of things to focus on so you can stay in the present and not let other thoughts intrude on your mind.”

“Anything that can interrupt that negative self-talk by replacing it with something positive is very good.”

“Everybody out there is feeling the same thing you’re feeling and if you can realize that they’re able to deal with the pace, or the suffering, or whatever, then there’s no really good reason why I can’t deal with it.”

“The wonderful thing about running is that you’re doing something for yourself, you’re getting exercise, you’re staying healthy, but running also provides you that release from your day-to-day stresses.”

“For the past several years now, my whole goal is to enjoy the race that I’m in and get to the finish without killing myself. Once I slowed down and started realizing that I didn’t need to run my fastest marathon time, that’s when I really started to enjoy running.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast:

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

Book: The Tao of Running: Your Journey to Mindful and Passionate Running by Gary Dudney

Book: The Mindful Runner: Finding Your Inner Focus by Gary Dudney

Monterey, CA Bike Path

Garland Ranch Park Carmel Valley, CA

Book: Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham

Book: CBD Oil: Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Hemp-Derived Health and Wellness by Gretchen Lidicker

Book: Ultramarathon Mom: From the Sahara to the Arctic by Holly Zimmermann

Follow Gary on:

Gary’s Website

e-mail Gary


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