Tuning Into Your Body
A runner is typically in one of three camps – the minimalist camp, the gadget guru camp, or the happy balanced camp. Just yesterday, I gave thanks for my many running gadgets which makes me think that I may be a member of the gadget guru camp. However, I do try and find that happy balance between nothing but a pair of shoes and gadget galore.
My first run after my Chi Running class back in the summer was a very eye opening experience for me. I went sans music and practiced a few mental tricks to help me tune into my body. The constant checking in with myself – are my shoulders straight, am I leaning forward, are my arms swinging across my body – all helped me to become keenly aware of my body. Well tonight I cam across this article that describes three workouts to help increase your body awareness while running.
Workout One: Silent Long Runs. Leave the iPod at home, don’t look at your watch (and if you can’t help it then leave it at home), and let the run take you. According to the article, silent long runs are like meditation. They are inner focused with relaxed brainwaves and the rhythmic breath and the alternating continuous right/left action of the arms and legs allow the runner to easily enter a whole-brain state (Becoming a Body Whisperer).
Workout Two: Fartlek Runs. These workouts allow you to experience different paces without the pressure of a more structured workout. The main focus of this workout – play.
Workout Three: Out and Back Runs. These runs are perhaps my least favorite but they help you learn about negative splits. The point of the out and back is to run back in the same amount of time (if not faster) than the first half. This keeps you from going out too hard and helps you to learn even pacing.
I strongly believe there is value in learning as much as possible about your body. In all aspects of life, knowledge is essential and this includes running. The more you know about your body, the better you can train. I’m leaving the iPod at home tomorrow.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Running Update: I did and easy 3.4 miles today (stats are here). Tomorrow I’m meeting Team Run Inspired for a 10 miler and then I’m taking a day off on Sunday. It has been a great first week of training.