With the London Marathon just over a month away, both newbies and veterans are wondering how they can become better runners.
The clever people behind the Headspace meditation app have come up with a form of meditation that you can do while running, which helps to refocus and calm your brain. The first is for walking, followed by a meditation for running.
Breathe deep and take a look:
Without trying to change the way you’re walking, simple observe how it feels. Just take a moment to observe it, to notice it.
Pay attention to what is going on around you. It might be people walking past, shop window displays, cars, advertisements. Notice the colours and shapes, the movements and perhaps the stillness too.
Turn your attention to sounds – what can you hear? Without getting caught up thinking about the objects of sound, just take a moment to be aware of them, as though they are just coming and going in your field of awareness.
Notice any physical sensations or feelings. Perhaps it’s the feeling of warm sunshine, cool rain or a cold breeze. Perhaps it’s the sensation of the soles of the feet touching the ground with each step.
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1. Before you go get ready for your run try to get sense of how you are feeling, and as you change into your running clothes, begin to notice the physical sensations in your body
2. Before you leave take a few deep breaths to help to help you focus. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Once you are running you can return to your preferred breathing method.
3. As you begin to run bring your attention back to your body. How are the muscles feeling in response to the movement?
4. As you settle in to your run, begin to notice the rhythm you’ve established, is there anywhere in your body that feels tight? If there is observe it and let yourself become aware of it and resist the temptation to try and fight it.
5. Be aware of what’s going on around you instead of remaining lost in thought/ if you are running more seriously you may prefer to focus on the mechanics of running. Even if you are pushing hard to better your time try to notice how little effort is involved in the actual action of running, the more effort you put in. The more likely you will tighten up.
6. Whether you are running for fun or seriously, the exercise is more manageable if you break it down into sections, some people prefer stride by stride, others prefer street by street.
Click here to find out more about Headspace.