Sportswear brand ASICS has unveiled world’s first running track to train the mind; a custom-built 150-metre course in London, England, which is cloaked in darkness with no tech, no music, no scenery, no comforts and no finish line.

Developed with leading sports scientists and top coaches, The ASCIS Blackout Track removes all distractions, forcing runners to truly focus on synchronising the mind and body.

The only support provided on the track will be the newly launched ASICS GEL-KAYANO™ 25: the shoe that helps runners win the mental race.

The track acts as the global platform for the launch and brings together ASICS athletes and brand ambassadors from around the world to test it in the most extraordinary environment: in the dark.

The campaign created by Edelman UK has been designed to inspire runners of any ability about the power of the mind in determining athletic performance and inspire them to go the distance with the new ASICS GEL-KAYANO™ 25.

ASICS Global CMO Paul Miles said: “ASICS was founded on the belief that a sound body fuels a sound mind, so this campaign goes right to the heart of who we are as a brand. Our promise is to bring our founder’s vision to life in the modern-age – where negative distractions of the mind can prevent us from reaching our potential and going the distance. We create shoes like the GEL-KAYANO™ 25 designed to remove all physical distractions, so the only thing holding you back from succeeding is your mind”.

The Experience

The track in Printworks, East London, will play host to a series of events demonstrating that, when it comes to running, it’s not the strongest legs that go the distance, but the strongest mind.

These include a 10k ‘mental marathon’, and a scientific experiment to show that mental strength is as important to athletic success as physical fitness.

Runners participating include Olympic medallist & American record holder Deena Kastor, athletes Dewi Griffiths, Susie Chan and Iwan Thomas, adventurer Danny Bent, and influencers including Emily Abbate.

“By exposing how easily the mind can be influenced, the campaign is designed to remind athletes of any ability about the importance of training both the mind and body, to reach their goals in sport and life,” said Fiona Berwick, Strategic Planner, ASICS Global Marketing.

ASICS will be sharing full results from the experiment on the 25th of June.

Brain training

ASICS is also mobilising its owned channels and running communities to help runners around the world train their minds to optimise performance.

Human Performance & Mindfulness Coach Chevy Rough has shared tips on the ASICS website on how to better synergise the mind and body ahead of long distance running.

ASICS running communities – FrontRunners and SMSB – are hosting running groups where people will be asked to leave the tech at home and run a repetitive circuit to see what it’s like to train the mind first, ahead of the body.

USA, UK, JP, IT, DE, NL only: Runners around the world will be able to get a taste of the ASICS Blackout Track with Runkeeper’s new ‘ASICS Move Your Mind Challenge’, where they can compare a regular run to one without any audio cues and notifications.

The shoe

The 25th iteration of the KAYANO features new FlyteFoam™ Lyte and FlyteFoam™ Propel Technologies which work in parallel to deliver superior protection and enhanced stability no matter the distance. Reassuring runners with the ultimate confidence in their shoe, the GEL-KAYANO™ 25 frees runners to focus on their run and connect the dots between mind and body.

Whether runners are on the Blackout Track, in a running group, using Runkeeper, or following #ASICSBlackout online, ASICS will inspire them to reach levels they thought they could never achieve.

The ASICS Blackout Track brings to life the ASICS brand philosophy of ‘I Move Me’; harmonising mind and body to enable optimum performance.