I absolutely LOVE to run. It’s a good thing I do, because it’s a big part of my contest prep. Running is my time to just let my thoughts flow freely and chill. Some of you are probably reading this and thinking: “How in the world can running be relaxing?”
Well, it can be! In this article, I’ll tell you how with my tips on how to make running something to look forward to rather than dread or avoid.
Make a Commitment
To be able to achieve deep relaxation in meditation, it takes time, a lot of practice and concentration. The same thing goes for running. The first thing you must do to love running is to get in cardiovascular shape. You can’t possibly feel good running when you feel like you are going to drop to the ground from trying to catch your breath, right? The more you run, the easier it gets. So, commit to doing it for a few weeks, despite the fact it may be difficult initially.
How to Begin
If you are a beginner, start off at a slower pace and shorter distance. A slow jog for five minutes is a great starting point. The next time you try, speed up the pace a bit and go for a bit longer. Stay consistent and continue to up the pace and or time with every session. You will see big changes in the way your body adapts and responds over a few weeks.
Getting in the Zone
Once you can go at a steady pace for at least 30 minutes, begin the practice of clearing your mind during the run. Make running a time where you’re not forcing yourself to think about specific things or tasks that need to be done. You can take 30 minutes out of the day just for you, right? You deserve it! So, when your brain starts to wander off to stressful or hectic things going on, divert it to something else positive and uplifting like a vision of you achieving your goal.
I run for an hour or more a day at least five times a week. I use these runs as my time to envision my goals or just let positive thoughts flow freely. During contest prep, I pick a spot or object in front of me and stare at it. As I run, run and run, I can feel my eyes squinting as I become overwhelmed with excitement and determination to reach my goal. I might look a little crazy when I spontaneously start lip synching and trying to dance while running at 7.5 – 8 mph. Whatever, it’s all about having fun and enjoying life!
Anyway, for those of you who just hate hearing the word “run,” give it a chance—you may be surprised how much you really like it. I hope my tips have inspired you to run free!
Until next week!
Photo Credit: Rob Rosetti