3 Tips for Focused Training

Elite runner and coach at Boulder Underground, Matt Hensley, has serious goals for himself and his athletes. With handfuls of impressive race finishes under his belt, this former Florida Gator shares his top three words of wisdom for anyone looking to improve their training in 2020.

Common themes? Consistency, patience, and dedication.

1. Build the environment that helps you hit your goals

We are all born with our own specific physical capabilities, but when it comes to actively trying to elevate them, we have some control.

“Create a healthy, happy, and sustainable environment,” Matt emphasizes. This means carefully choosing “the people you surround yourself with, focusing on all the little things that keep you injury free, making sure you’re fueling your body with enough nutrients, getting sleep, being aware of and improving upon any negative self talk,” and all of the other things that factor into how well you perform.

(Looking to up your nutrition game for running? Let us help.)

2. Take a “Big Picture” approach

So many runners boil their training down to miles per week, exact grams of protein in meals, or minutes spent in recovery boots. But Matt encourages his runners to avoid getting bogged down in the minutiae.

“Focus on adaption, not miles per week or exact paces on runs.” Improvement always comes when you follow the basic principles of adaption:

Stimulus + Recovery = Adaption

In other words, listen to your body. “Reaching your full potential takes years, and if the focus is adaption [as opposed lots of tiny, inflexible goals], you can create a more fun, sustainable approach to improving over time.”

3. You are what you habitually do

We hear variations on this phrase in the health and fitness world all the time. Utter the words “you are what you eat” or “you are how you train” to anyone and watch their eyes wind up for a roll. But again, coming at this idea from a broader perspective is how Matt and his athletes continue to get better in every race.

“Always reinforce good habits,” he says. “Whether that’s everyday posture, doing a lunge here and there, remembering to breathe, reminding yourself to relax for more efficiency when running… always aim to reinforce the good habits. When you’re deliberate with our actions and movement, it translates to racing.”


Not only do Matt and the athletes at Boulder Underground work with patience and deliberation to improve themselves, they are always actively trying to make their community a better place by racing for Back on My Feet, an organization that combats homelessness through the power of running, community support, and essential employment & housing resources. 

Their impressive work serves as a healthy reminder that being at your best ensures the ability to lift others up with you. So here’s to a New Year of fresh perspective, new goals to work toward, and the BIG impact we can make in our personal training and in our world.