I comfort myself by remembering this exchange whenever I generate my own contradictions. I really do feel exactly as Foucault did, yet I can’t help but also dream of writing something that I will never change my mind about on any important level. I believe this book marks a culmination. It certainly contradicts things I have written in the past, not least in Brain Training for Runners, which I now view as a sort of rough draft of the present volume. But I have a good feeling that the philosophy that is manifest here is one I will hold on to as I continue my pursuit as a student of the sport of running. The core of this philosophy, unchanged from Brain Training, is that the brain is the seat of all our possibilities and limitations as runners. The brain governs how fast and how far we can run. If we become faster and more enduring, it is mostly because we have changed our brains or better harnessed their power. And, of course, our brains do all the learning that we use to improve our future running. The governing role of the brain in relation to running performance has been proven by recent research in exercise science, which has taken advantage of our lately acquired ability to look inside our minds in ways that were previously impossible. Yet this new research suggests that we don’t exactly have to be brain scientists to harness this power and become better runners. In fact, it suggests that the best possible way to improve over the long term is to run almost completely by feel because our perceptions, intuitions, and feelingsdelivered to our conscious minds from our bodies through our unconscious brainstell us everything we need to know about how to run faster and farther, provided we know how to interpret these messages.


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