Everyone has different reasons to run, but for me it initially was to improve my level of fitness. I like to participate in a variety of sports and wanted to be stronger physically as well as mentally. I will continue to work on the physical benefits of running but now I am concentrating on the mental aspect of our sport.
I like to use running as my form of meditation, of trying to be in the present, letting go of issues I may be dealing with. When I first start my run, I think just about my breathing, nothing else. Measuring my breathe to ensure that I don’t breathe too fast, and I breathe out slowly. This has a calming effect.
I then like to take in my surroundings- whether it is by the ocean or on a trail. The sights, sounds, smells are invigorating- always changing.
If my mind wanders, as it often does, I make a mental note and then return to “now”.
But for longer runs, more than 40 minutes, I find I can not maintain my concentration on “being in the moment”. When my mind wanders I change more to reflection than meditation. Alone with my thoughts allows me to go over days events or plan future activities, while staying away from negativity.
With our lives so busy it is wonderful to take time out just for you- running is a great escape whether you meditate or reflect. Enjoy!