What is Mindful Running?
Mindful running is about being present. It’s paying attention to your breath, your environment, and not trying to escape what is. Mindful running may include a mantra, such as “be, believe, become”, for instance that may be coordinated with your breath and movement. It is recommended to be done without music and also when your body craves. Try not to force it. It should feel easy and effortless. Mindful running is about getting out into nature and being present. It’s about simply allowing and using running as a way to mediate and quiet the mind.
What is NOT mindful running?
Mindful running is NOT about pushing through pain. It’s not about ignoring your body’s signals that your are pushing yourself to the extreme. It’s a way to listen to your body. Often, we think as runner’s that there is not pain no gain. We push through when our knees hurt and may even have a stress fracture just to FINISH A RACE. I ask, “for whom?”. Who are you doing this for? Are you doing this for yourself? Clearly your body is telling you no and yet I see time and time again runners push forward ignoring signs to stop from their body. I am guilty of this too…I’m not going to deny it. However, this is NOT mindful running.
How can I learn to mindful run? Where do I start?
I think one of the best ways to mindful run, is to ditch the Garmin and get outside. This may not be a permanent fix, but a temporary one. Once you are able to connect to your body’s cues of when to slow down and speed up, then you will start to be more mindful with your Garmin (or whatever device you use). The first step, however, is to disconnect.