Dr. Rob Udewitz has been working with New York Road Runners’ Team for Kids program for the last ten years, providing performance consulting for the athletes involved.  Team for Kids is made up of a group of adult runners from around the world who raise funds for NYRR’s Youth and Community Services programs while training for endurance events.  The funding provides support for kids such as free or low-cost health and fitness programs to kids who would not usually have access to them.

For many of the amateur athletes, it is not just about giving back to the community, but also about maximizing their performance.  Rob’s personal experience with running (he ran his first NYC marathon at the age of 17) let him bring his professional and personal insights about running a marathon. Rob works with the athletes to help them understand their discomforts and pain thresholds, and how much can you negotiate with that discomfort to perform your best.

In his lectures, Rob helps runner become more aware of their fears as well as share those concerns with others.  Some common themes that come up are focusing on the result of finishing the race, pacing, breathing, and maintaining energy.  Rob emphasizes the importance of an emphasis on the process.  He explains how important it is to cultivate a “beginner’s mind” where you have the spirit of excitement and adventure.  He says this ‘let’s see’ attitude helps us balance the critical mind with the learning mind, and cultivate peak performance.

Find one of Rob’s talks with New York Road Runners’ Team for Kids here.

By Laura Kirschner M.Ed.