A Mindful Approach to Running
I run quite a lot. To some of my non-running friends and family this seems extreme. They simply don’t understand why I do it. They see me as some kind of fitness freak. Comments as I head out for a run range from, why don’t you take a break to, why do you push yourself so hard to, you’re really going out to run in this weather, are you crazy, etc. They are, of course, missing the point.
I run because I love it in the same way as someone else spends a lot of time practicing his or her passion whether that is swimming, playing a musical instrument, cycling, doing yoga or painting for example.
It’s a highly focused period of time away from the frenetic pace of life. It’s an opportunity to be mindful, in this case about how I am moving; to be in the present moment. Sometimes it can feel physically hard especially if I am doing an interval session at the track but even then I am working on my Chi Running technique to allow it to feel easier, to run with less effort, less impact, to literally run myself into a relaxed state no matter what the pace.
These runs are not all the same. In terms of training, they all have a purpose depending on what I am training for but they all have one thing in common. In each run, I am working on some aspect of my technique. Mostly these days, I am trying to learn how to relax, the holy grail of running in my view. I mean relaxation, how hard can it be, right? Turns out that for many of us, it’s actually quite difficult.
So to those who don’t understand, I am not pushing myself too hard. I am not running for running’s sake. I am choosing to pay attention, to listen to my body, to quiet my mind while slowly improving the quality of my life through running.
Why do you run?
- running technique,
- mindful running,
- mindful practice