Mental Conditioning


Self-talk—repeating a phrase in your head—is a practical, proven strategy to push your limits

Ultrarunning is as tough on the mind as it is on the body, so the sport's best have developed mental strategies to reframe their darkest moments. Their techniques can help us all get more from our training.

How to put in the work now to ensure that you will go for it later

You don't have to summit mountains bare-chested or meditate on a snowbank to train your body to reap the benefits of one of the world's most extreme approaches to health

Florence Williams has been writing about the tangible benefits of getting outdoors for years. Presenting the best of what she's learned.

Risky pursuits like BASE jumping offer a buzz better than any drug. New technologies provide the same rush without the danger.

A new device called Halo Sport promises to improve performance by stimulating your mind. We zapped our brains in the name of science to see if it could really make us faster.

American churches are building first-class gyms to get followers in shape and attract new members to the flock. Critics see lucrative businesses masked as ministries, but the programs are a spirited defense against our obesity epidemic.

New research shows that perceptions of fatigue and pain stop us from hitting our physical limits long before our bodies do. Can athletes train their brains to reach unheard-of levels of peak performance?

If you’re willing to work hard, conquer your fears, and maybe don some superhero spandex, anything is possible

The art and science behind the best training environments

You’ve heard that Kobe Bryant meditates, and that most pro athletes perform their best while in a flow state. But what does that mean, and how do you get there? Three new books attempt to demystify the cloudy world of mindfulness training.

Standing desks may be all the rage, but learning to properly embrace your chair is the best way to survive the workday

The brain’s tolerance for pain may be the deciding factor in how far we can push ourselves

You can't. But you can channel it and grow from it.

4 strategies to help you quit worrying and learn to love the snow

Inside the first ever Faith and Fitness Conference in New Orleans

Dane Jackson is an international kayaking prodigy. Here’s an inside look into his flow—and what his sport can do for you

It’s more nuanced than the headlines would lead you to think

You already know her as one of the best climbers in the world—and only 14—but this fierce competitor will also school you on mental strategy

There are countless watches, bracelets, headbands, and foot pods on the market promising to record every little thing you do. But can any of it make you a better athlete? The author wades through the muck and the mire to data-mine his best self.

From extreme athlete Niccolo Porcella, the man who survived The Biggest Wipeout Ever

Endurance expert Matt Fitzgerald shares how to push your body further by mastering your mind

The secrets behind the 40-year old Catalan ultrarunner’s winning streak

Norman Ollestad's father taught him to surf during rambling, tough-love safaris down the coast of Mexico. Then the education came to a sudden and tragic end. Forty years later, Ollestad heads south with his own son—and finds that the old road maps can only take them so far.

Hall will tackle her first-ever marathon in Los Angeles on March 15. Here, she talks mileage, fueling, and how to train with your spouse. (She’s married to two-time Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall.)

Boost reaction time and reduce clumsiness on the field with these expert moves.

The science behind how logging lots and lots of miles fosters an unflappable demeanor—and how to get it yourself.

Stop that lawnmower! Your urban backyard is packed with hidden performance-enhancing plants that can be tossed together to make an ancestral wonder meal.

So conquer it with these six tips from cycling’s comeback queen, Alison Tetrick.

These simple strategies will lift your mood, get you outdoors, and help you spend more time doing what you love.

Being in the zone. Zenning out. Whatever you call it, concentrating so deeply you don't even realize it is sublime.

Stephanie Gilmore was a world-champion surfer when a brutal attack by a stranger nearly ended her career. Now she's back on top, with a sixth world title, and reveals how she found happiness again—in the most unexpected places.

This super coach’s three unconventional training strategies may be the key to your next PR.

The Super Bowl virgin on running hills, eating yogurt, and guarding Revis Island.

A recently declassified report shows that stressing your mind is the secret to training your body.

Danish brew measures creativity in ABV

Breakthrough therapies are helping athletes recover from injuries previously thought untreatable. But many doctors remain unaware of the advancements.

Specializing in one sport will take you only so far. To really break through, you'll need to branch out.

Cue: Your iPod dock set up by the door. Reward: Serenity, more intuitive pacing.

Make those nebulous resolutions last by turning them into habits. The key? The right reward.

Take a random day off—it’ll work wonders for your happiness and health

But not just for the caffeine

Your bowl of oatmeal may get boring, but it’s the key to better meal choices throughout the day

Something about messing up has us tiptoeing around mistakes, but embarrassment can help us get ahead by making risk-taking seem a little less risky

Nothing in this world is certain, except death, taxes, and traffic on the morning commute

Even if it means eating a bar on the bike

It’s not just for elite athlete. Training alone—in the right dose—will make you a faster and more resilient athlete.

Fact-checking trusted training maxims

Meet Chloe Kim, a snowboarding prodigy who threw her first backflip off a natural feature at age six. Next up: Aspen's X Games.

Ill-chosen goals put you at risk of injury and burnout. Here's how to avoid that fate in seven easy steps.

When a longtime triathlete took on a Kokoro camp—a beyond-extreme fitness challenge modeled on the Navy's Hell Week for SEAL candidates—his first question was purely about the pain: Can I survive this? The second was more metaphysical: Should I even want to?

Strength is useless if you don't hone your agility—the skill of translating power into meaningful movement. And it all starts with mastering the "Kong vault."

More than 76 years ago, a visionary Australian coach had an epiphany that forged a generation of super-athletes: true fitness is all about translating fear into raw power.

One of the most surprising heroes of World War II was a pint-sized shepherd nicknamed The Clown—and his fitness wisdom can change your life.

The two-time Olympian will lead the women’s national squad to the 2015 World Cup—and share her secrets to unleashing athletic potential.

Examining the perpetual youth and singular talent of surfing's king

More pain quest than workout, misogi is the secret, punishing ritual that has revolutionized Atlanta Hawks supershooter Kyle Korver's game. You have time for this—if it doesn't kill you first.

Our drive to raise billions annually is a crazy effective performance enhancer.

I know that proper form while I'm working out is important, but what about my posture the rest of the day—does that really impact my fitness level?

We don't know if the biohacking craze is full of snake-oil salesmen or prophets. Probably a little of both.

I've always heard that exercise is good for the brain, but does it actually have a real-world impact?

A handful of years ago Rachel Brathen was a cigarette-smoking, rebellious teen in Sweden. Then she moved to Costa Rica, found yoga, booted up Instagram, and became a yoga celebrity—if there is such a thing.

We've taught ourselves to consider high-calorie snacks a reward for hard work. But there's a secret to making our diets more effective and keeping the weight off—and it has nothing to do with willpower.

It may be the oldest emotion. Before happiness, before sorrow, before exhilaration, and way, way before the urge to climb mountains and bomb down steeps, there was fear. Now scientists are finding new ways to help us conquer our deepest anxieties—and use them to perform even better.

Dennis Kimetto set a new world record Sunday. Was it the course? You bet.

Our innate desire for adventure has some going big in the mountains.

I want to see if my smartphone can make my workout better, but there are so many choices. What are some tried and true apps that I won't just delete a week in?

I like to exercise in the afternoon or evening, but I often feel too tired to motivate myself. Could a quick rest help?