Thursday, April 11, 2013

Transcendental treadmillism

Be the treadmill
Today's run (treadmill): 3.2 miles

Rainy weather put me on the treadmill this morning, but I was fine with that. I'm way behind in my magazine reading (I blame the lack of a daily commute) and have been catching up on recent Runner's World issues. I came across an article about meditation and running, and was curious to learn how the two might be linked. Were they suggesting that runners should meditate during a run? If that's the same as zoning out, I guess it could make sense.

Much of the article covered mental preparation for a run, but the writer also suggested some specific meditative running techniques. One example was taking a breath every three steps and exhaling for two. I tried that on the treadmill this morning with mixed results. Just like when I tried to calculate cadence by tracking my steps per minute during a run, I found it extremely hard to keep my counts. The challenge was maintaining synchronization between my steps and my breathing. I gave up fairly quickly. 

The one idea in the article that proved viable was simply acknowledging the tedium of the run and the pain and fatigue that may come with it. Instead of relying on TV or music, the meditative approach is to understand the discomfort and appreciate what's good about the experience. As I ran today, I thought about how I felt (strong, mentally energized), how the floor fan was keeping me cool, and how nice it was to have a schedule that didn't involve 4:00 AM workouts. I may not have reached the highest mode of consciousness today, but meditation did do a fine job of distracting me from the damn treadmill.

2 comments:

  1. I love the title of this post!
    The breathing is doable. I've got it down pat, now.
    The 'zoning out' follows.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Let me know if you get there. I'll keep trying!

    ReplyDelete

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