A Mindful Approach to Running

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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 ChiRunning 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?

Happy Running.


Posted in Beginners

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