I would like to open this post by clarifying that I do not currently meditate before or during running – in fact, despite numerous attempts, I have never experienced a period of meditation which I would class as ‘successful’ (success in this instance is, of course, highly subjective.) I struggle to sit still, I struggle to concentrate, I struggle to focus on the positive, and I have NO IDEA how to be in the present moment. However, I aspire to experience elements of the above someday, somehow…
There have been numerous studies undertaken exploring how meditation before running could be more beneficial for mental health than practicing meditation as a singular activity, or practicing running as an isolate activity. From my research, which in my humble opinion has been extensive, it seems that there is still no definitive conclusion to this.
The potential benefits of meditation and running include better performance (this seems like a rather bold claim?!), reduced injuries, reduced negative thoughts and reduced anxiety.
I am yet to reap any of these benefits, and subsequently am beginning to become a little frustrated. I have tried using various meditation apps, partaking in mindfulness classes, yoga etc. I am slowly but surely beginning to enjoy yoga, but always struggle with savanasa* – all I can think about is what I’m having for dinner and whether I’ll be home in time for Love Island.
Jean-Pierre** recently invited me on a 1-week Meditation Retreat, which I seriously considered until I found out that women are not actually allowed to participate in any meditation sessions. Apparently, women on the retreat spend their time cooking and preparing the meditation spaces…as you can imagine, I had quite a strong viewpoint on this. I’m sure this is an EXTREME example of a Meditation Retreat – however, I wanted to share my outrage.
I would challenge the concept of running and meditation, and question whether running is my personal form of meditation. Do I need to bother/stress myself over the fact that I cannot practice what I feel meditation should be when I already have a robust running practice in place? Do I simply not have the right mindset/personality to practice meditation?
I would love to hear your views on the correlation between meditation and running, especially from those who meditate as part of their running schedule. Has meditation had a positive impact on your running?
*Savanasa is usually carried out at the close of yoga practice, the purpose being to promote relaxation
**His name is definitely not Jean-Pierre. But I can confirm that he is indeed a member of the male species.