NYC Marathoners Use Potent Mind-Body Connection to Excel

Armchair Athletes Can Muster the Same to Achieve Fitness Goals

ALBANY, NY (10/29/2009)(readMedia)-- Thousands of New Yorkers who are competing in the New York City Marathon Nov. 1 have trained their minds and bodies with mental exercises that can help even the most ardent couch potato achieve fitness goals.

"Training your mind is as important as training your body for any exercise, whether it's running a marathon in record time or starting a fitness program by walking around the block," said Rachel Goldman.

Ms. Goldman, a psychology pre-doctoral intern and a member of the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA), ran the New York City Marathon in 2007 and knows firsthand the mental preparation needed.

World-class athletes competing for money and fame in this weekend's New York City Marathon have adopted mental skills that allow them to run 26.2 miles in blistering times.

"Those elite training skills and the mindset needed to achieve those athletic goals can be used by anyone embarking on a fitness program," Ms. Goldman said.

"If you think you can do something, your mind will tell your body it can," Ms. Goldman said. "With your mind directing your body, you are already halfway to your fitness goal. Positive thoughts and positive reinforcement produce positive results," she added.

According to Ms. Goldman's research, athletes should embrace these points to help them reach their goals:

+ Develop an exercise plan that is fun;

+ Set realistic and achievable short and long-term goals for training;

+ Connect with others who are training. Positive reinforcement from other athletes is a good motivator;

+ Visualize meeting your goals.

"Whether you're a medal-winning athlete or a weekend sports enthusiast, the same basic steps to solid mental and physical preparation will help you succeed," Ms. Goldman said.

"The mind-body connection is a powerful tool," she added. "Learn how to harness that power and you'll meet your goals."

The New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA) is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in New York and is the state's largest association of psychologists. NYSPA's membership includes 3,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions and affiliations with county psychological associations, NYSPA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare. The Foundation of NYSPA's primary purpose is to increase public knowledge and understanding of psychology, the psychology profession and the science upon which mental health depends.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, to arrange an interview with a sports psychologist in your coverage area, or to receive regular editorial and public information articles from the New York State Psychological Association, contact Diane Fisher at 800-732-3933 x106 or