Yesterday I wrote about what to look for in a mindful runner. Today, we’ll look at a few more tell-tale markers that perhaps you too can begin incorporating into your own mindful runs.
6. Look for the runner who doesn’t appear to breath
The mindful runner wastes no breath. It’s said she could run 100 miles on a single breath, well, ok maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. But she’s worked on her internal focus, on training the lungs, the diaphragm, and the entire cardiovascular system in a completely new and yet ancient ways of the yogi–to always run with the breath under perfect control. There’s no huffing nor puffing, no over-breathing, no red-face, and no winded-ness. Instead, the breath flows naturally, quietly and helps pull the runner along.
7. Look for the runner who looks like a pendulum
The mindful runner is always centered or running in perfect alignment, inside and out. This means short strides, short arm movements, nothing moving to the sides, everything tracking straight and from the core.
The mindful runner does not stray in thought, nor in form, but always remains close to the center-line in every movement she makes. She is always well-balanced, never over-reaching and always symmetrical (yes, these are metaphors for life).
8. Look for the runner who’s pace doesn’t change based on who she passes, or who passes her
The mindful running has her own plan and always sticks to it. She’s internally focused, and always keeps her ego in check. This doesn’t mean she can’t go fast, or fly, or win the big race–quite the contrary. It means she’s running from a place of inner awareness, inner stillness, or from an inner game plan that is not concerned about propping up the self, but solely on staying in the present moment, and listening to the stillness and guidance of one’s own body.
9. Look for the runner who looks like a pilot
The mindful runner is always checking in with herself, asking how she’s feeling, how she’s doing, if she’s running with good form, if she’s gotten sloppy, needs to reset, or needs to head for home. In each moment she’s checking in with herself, making sure all systems are 100% go, and if they’re not, she’s willing to wrap up or head home early on a moments notice. Of course the contrary is true too–listening to the body also means she’s able to go extra long or extra fast if her body tells her too. It’s as if she’s running with a head’s up display, a digital dash right in her glasses, telling her exactly what’s going on with her body and what she has in the tank on a moment’s notice.
10. Look for the runner who’s dancing or running along with a child-like grin
The mindful runner is free from worries, and is firmly in the present moment, having fun like she’s a kid again. For during that run, that’s exactly how she is. No worries, no concerns, no effort, just full-out fun. She grins from ear to ear as nature carries her along, on road or on trail, feeling like she could go on for hours. And of course, she just may. But either way, she’s in the zone, the runner’s high, and that special place where running feels not just joyous but effortless. It’s the place we all want to go when we run, where we get away from it all and feel so incredibly alive!
Look for these key traits the next time you’re out on a run and see if you too can spot the elusive mindful runner. The more you look, the more of them you’ll see, and the more you’ll find yourself bringing these traits to your own runs as well.
This is Michael Sandler saying Be Mindful, Have Fun & Run Free!