What are The Benefits of Mindful Running? 

Whether you’re an experienced runner or are just starting out, you probably know all too well how challenging it can be to enjoy running all the time. Part of the reason behind that, is how sometimes we may see running just as a workout, or something that has to get done to check off a box. Instead, why not look at running as a mindful practice? Luckily, with a few small tweaks, you can adapt your jog into a mindful run and bring on all the added enjoyment, fitness gains, and mental focus into your daily life.  

What is Mindful Running? 

Mindful running goes beyond owning the right set of running shoes. It’s all about finding your flow, being in the present moment, all while engaging your senses to enhance your relationship with running and your body.  

Benefits of Mindful Running

So what are some of the positive impacts of mindful running? Similar to other mindfulness activities, the result can range from an increased sense of emotional awareness to an enhanced physical performance. See below for a list of some examples.

 

  • Better mental health 
  • Sharper memory 
  • Expanded creativity
  • Higher levels of motivation
  • Enhanced physical performance  
  • Stress relief 
  • Boost emotional stability 

 

So if you are looking for increased physical performance, stress relief, or something else, shifting the way you go on runs (or walks) more mindfully could significantly improve both your ability to do so and the longevity of your practice. This is part of a greater process of building healthier habits that can support living a well-balanced life in the long run. 

3 C’s of Mindful Running 

So what is the difference between your average jog and a mindful run? Mindful running includes three foundational pillars, which are concentration, clarity, and coolness. Read below for what each entails.

Concentration 

Ever noticed what your brain tends to focus on while you run? Instead of focusing on your life and any problems that sometimes like to linger in our awareness while we run, concentrate on your body, your surroundings, and any physical sensations. 

 

This in turn, allows you to stay present with process, so you can get more out of your mindful jog than just dwelling on how to tackle a problem at work or trying to remember what items you need to pick up at the grocery store.

Clarity 

As the natural progression of concentration, clarity is all about taking the observations you are making and analyzing them in real time. This process is meant to assist you in feeling more connected to your body, and ultimately enjoy your jog more than if you just tried to force yourself to resist noticing any discomfort.

 

This not only makes the experience more enjoyable, but is also a good way to prevent any injuries. When you are paying close attention to how something makes you feel, it is easier to catch sudden changes in your body. 

Coolness 

The more you allow yourself to make objective observations of how you feel, the easier it can be to withstand challenges in the long run, especially when it comes to running. This brings us to the last pillar of mindful running. Coolness is all about taking in your surroundings, noticing how they make you feel, and being okay. 

 

In its essence, coolness is about neutralizing intense emotions so that you can feel more mental stability and increase the quality of your runs overall. This is something that all workouts meant for reducing stress incorporate in some way. 

 

While the benefits of running have been tried and tested for quite some time, making the subtle shift to mindful running is a great way to incorporate more mindfulness into your everyday life. So next time you go for a run, try experimenting with adding on a deeper concentration, focusing on how everything around you makes you feel, and notice the ways that this increases the quality of your time moving your body. 

 

For more on how you can switch over to mindful running, check out this Adidas infographic below.

run-to-reconnect