To run nice longer distance slow runs, we can even focus and enjoy running meditation. To do this type of run once a week will help support some good physical and mental health and well-being. Even if we’re training for some short or long distance races, to add this type of run in our weekly training schedule, will provide some many benefits.
Running meditation is a way of combining both meditation and running, allowing us to get the benefits of both disciplines. Running meditation helps us to reconnect with our body.
Breath, body, and mind are all working together, and running seems almost effortless. We can focus on running meditation on both road runs and trail runs, especially if we focus on looking at some beautiful scenery.
Running and meditation are both similar, they help us connect to our body, they give our mind space to wander, and they are both relaxing practices, but that doesn’t include any speedwork or fast runs. Running meditation can result in a sense of calmness and relaxation, or a heightened focus, giving us the ability to see everything clearly, and feel much more positive.
Tips to Activate Meditation for Our Run
1. Do a Quick Pre-Run Meditation
We need to only focus on deep breath, and meditation. We can start to do this when we’re completely ready to head out for our run, with our gears and shoes on.
Notice and relax your body as much as possible.
Tune into your breath. Notice where you can feel your breath, with your stomach rising and falling, or the air rushing in and out of your nose.
Breathe fully. Fill and empty your lungs deeply but don’t force it, keep it natural.
Be kind to your wandering mind. You will have some thoughts. Don’t beat yourself up for not having an empty mind. Notice them without judgement and keep coming back to the breath to help relax your mind.
Perform this pre-run meditation/breathing for 5 minutes. If this seems too much, start with just two minutes and work your way up by a minute each time.
2. Set Up Some Nice Pre-Run Aspirations
After your quick meditation, set yourself some aspiration.
An aspiration is a consciously declared guiding principle. Setting an aspiration holds you accountable and it is something that you can keep coming back to.
When your mind begins to wonder as you run, your aspiration is something that you can use. By repeating your desire to yourself you can refocus your mind on the present.
Some examples of very nice aspirations we can set up before our run
I am running relaxed.
I am running with an open mind.
I am running strong.
Or any other aspiration you like.
The aspirations above are written in the present tense. Instead of ‘I will run relaxed’, we shift to the present term ‘I am running relaxed’, so that we don’t focus on something we need to do but how we should feel at the moment.
3. Run By Yourself
Running meditation is certainly easier when your distractions are minimised. Therefore, it is probably not the greatest idea to set out on a run with your running buddy.
4. Run Outside
It is harder to get into a state of flow when you’re running on a treadmill, which is a good option for training skills and speed.
An easier way of feeling good meditation, is to head outdoors.
If we have access to green space, like a park, woods, beach, or trail, even better. If not, simply breathing in the fresh air and running around the streets will still be fine.
5. Run Slow
When we meditate while running we don’t want to be stressing about our speed. We should focus on running at an easy, comfortable pace.
6. Don’t Listen to Music.
Music can be lots of fun while running, but to truly connect to ourself, minimising distractions, and to be able to connect with our mind is key.
7. Don’t Look at Your GPS Watch
Or even better, we should leave our watch at home if we mentally can.
The last thing we want to be doing is stressing about our statistics.
If we do bring our watch we will probably look at it and be shocked to find how slow we’re running. But that’s the whole goal. Let’s not wear our watch to avoid the stat game and stress. Without wearing a GPS watch, it is so much easier to focus on a lovely run, and comfortable pace, so much more relaxing.
8. Focus on Your Breath.
This is a common meditative tool, and for good reason. The breath is anchored in the present moment and it is constant.
Our breath is also a mental sign. We can often tell if we or someone else is stressed or relaxed by the way they are breathing. When we meditate, we can allow ourself to breathe in a relaxed way.
9. Listen to Your Body.
Too often we ignore what our body is trying to tell us. We should listen to what our body is telling us. Do we need to take a sip of water or sports drink, refuel, or maybe slow down? We need to follow our body’s signs and symptoms.
An added bonus of tuning into our body is the way in which it can help us to improve our running form. We might notice that our head is leaning forward, or our feet are pounding down too hard on the ground.
Also, listening to your body and correcting our running form can help to reduce our risk of injury.
10. We Should Look at Beautiful Sceneries and Nature.
We should indulge ourself in our surroundings. One of the great things about running meditation is being able to fully immerse ourself in wherever we are. We might begin to notice things that we never had seen before, even if we are running on a regular route. And to look at stunning views, can support our running meditation amazingly.
11. Run with an Amazing Sense of Gratitude
We should remember that we chose to go out and run. And we should remind ourself that we like to run for fun. We have a body that allows us do it, a space to run in, and that’s a wonderful thing to be grateful for.
Running Meditation isn’t something that we need to feel stressed about, it should be a happy and gentle practice, so let’s be gentle with yourself.
Focus On Running Meditation, Feel So Relaxed, Positive, Happy
And Enjoy A Wonderful Run!