Sportswear brand Asics is promising to train the mind, as well as your body, with a running track in London that offers total mental focus.
Just for this week, brand has unveiled a custom-built 150-meter "Blackout Track" at East London's Printworks which is almost totally dark with no tech, no music, no scenery, no "comforts" and no finish line.
Developed with leading sports scientists and top coaches, the idea is to remove all distractions, forcing runners to truly focus on synchronising the mind and body. The track is inspired by a technique long practiced by distance runners who train the mind by running on loops of a mile or two without any technology. It has been used successfully by runners all over the world, including Japanese distance runners.
The track isn't open to the public, but this week it will play host to a series of events, including a "mental marathon" involving Olympic medalist and American record holder Deena Kastor, adventurer Danny Bent, and Asian movie star Aarif Lee.
The campaign promotes the Asics Gel-Kayano 25 shoe and was created by Edelman U.K., Edelman Deportivo U.K. and production company Unit9.
Mattias Ronge, creative strategist at Edelman Deportivo, explains: "The mind is the most injury-prone muscle in a runner's body. Since K25 is all about protection perfected, we decided that it was time to train the mind and not only the body when it comes to running. In Japan, you already see runners choosing to run laps to get stronger mentally. We decide to take this one step further and develop the world's first runner's track designed to train the mind. No music, no gadgets, no scenery, no start or finish-line. The craft by Unit9 in creating the experience was state of the art. We left the runners with nothing for their minds to hold on to and their views when leaving the track were quite remarkable."