Today, Runner’s World’s inspirational quote comes from Amby Burfoot and is:

“I always tell beginning runners: train your brain first. It’s much more important than your heart or legs.”

And, it’s probably good advice. What gets me about quotes like this, or quotes about ‘having heart’ or ‘guts’ is that they never really suggest how to train your brain (or heart or guts).

This is going to turn into a bit of a rant if I don’t keep it short, but I believe people should always be training — whether it’s in running, or in living — to better become the people they want to be. The people they sense they are.

However, if I ever reach the place in my life where I begin giving advice, I hope I’ll stick to suggesting qualities that are worth developing, as that seems to mean more: perseverence, determination, endurance, willingness to experiment. (All of these seem as though they’d be good qualities to develop, both for running and for living — along with what I struggle with: the ability to take a break when you need it).

That is, for me, actionable advice. “Train your brain,” on the other hand, seems to be nothing more than an invitation to write a blog rant.


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