By Hanna Tarver
Reluctantly, I lay on the damp lawn and shut my eyes. After reading a few articles discussing the benefits of mindfulness for running, I wanted to try it out for myself. I switched off and brought myself into the present, focusing on breathing in, then exhaling… inhaling… exhaling. A few minutes later I stood back up and felt renewed, with an increased focus. Ready to run in real-time.
Numerous studies have shown that incorporating mindfulness into your run can counteract the effects of stress, lower blood pressure, and provide an overall sense of well-being. Why not give it a go and see if it can help you?
Forget. Focus. Feel.
1) Switch off
Try to avoid thinking about your day at work, family or things which can stress you out. This time is run time, time to yourself, live in the moment.
2) Concentrate on your breathing
Before running, shut your eyes, and focus on inhaling and exhaling. This will help to bring you into the present and continued focus on breathing throughout your run can also be beneficial
3) Positive mantra
Do your legs still feel heavy from your run yesterday? Turn this into a positive mantra. ‘My legs are getting stronger’ Repeat a personal phrase and keep going.
To be perfectly honest I was slightly sceptical when hearing about mindfulness. It sounded unnecessary and ridiculous- surely running is just running? However, if you take just one of the above points and try it out before or during your next run I’m sure you’ll experience a difference.
Next time you lace up, prepare for REAL-time running!