Three important running stages should be addressed so you can access your best performance state. These stages are the preparation for your run, the actual running time and the recovery period afterward. Introducing a guided meditation for runners practice to these three aspects can enhance your performance and allow you to run faster and longer. Many meditation techniques can be used specifically for the various running phases. Visualization is great for the preparation time, breath awareness and mindfulness focus are great for the running period, and relaxation techniques such as body scans can be used for recovery. To implement these into your life, you only need to set aside time each day or week to commit to these practices. Before long, you will be reaping the benefits. Try one of the guided meditations for runners listed here and see how your running training improves.
Running and meditating may seem like two sports with opposite energy requirements, but much evidence is emerging to show that these two go together naturally.
Contrary to popular belief, Meditation doesn’t always have to be done in a seated lotus posture with your eyes closed. Many meditation styles involve movement and can be used to improve performance. Great sports people often use visualization or focus-based meditations to improve their competition results, which is no different from running. Whether you just started running last week or are an Olympic athlete, there are many ways that Meditation can help you. Let’s explore these options for meditations that focus on preparation for running, the actual running and the recovery post-running.
Guided Meditation for Runners
In preparation for running, visualization meditations are great! They help your mind prepare for the challenges and obstacles ahead of you. The visualization also allows you to set your goals and support you in achieving them. When you work with visualization, you consciously picture the future as it unfolds. If you connect this with the emotions that you will experience as these events unfold, you will empower your visualizations with feeling. This is a fast-tracked way to feel the future. The more you connect with these positive visions and feelings, the easier it becomes for your body to feel and know that it is possible. The idea of visualization is to create the future in the present moment and to believe it is fully possible. This will help you to breathe through your limits and reach a new level of achievement.
This short visualization exercise is great for achieving success in running
- Find a comfortable seat, relax, and close your eyes.
- Think of one of the goals that you would like to achieve in your running training or competitions.
- Now, visualize yourself at the finish line, as though you have just completed a successful training session, created a new personal best time, or won the race. Whatever your dream or wish is for your running practice, connect with it now as though it has already happened. Who is around you to celebrate? Where are you exactly? Create a solid picture of your surroundings.
- When you have a clear picture, feel the emotions connected with this moment. Do you feel ecstatic bliss? Happiness? Successful? What is it that achieving this goal will bring you?
- Take 10 to 20 deep breaths to enjoy this sensation and allow the feelings to move through your entire body.
- Open your eyes.
- Repeat this at least once daily to manifest this visualization into your reality.
Where attention goes, energy flows; this will help you focus and improve your running practice. You can also try other visualization-based guided Meditation for runners, such as this pre-run hypnosis track or this pre-race guided track.
Guided Meditation while Running
When running, you can listen to guided meditations or guide yourself through mindful awareness as you move your body. Connecting with a mantra or affirmation you repeat in your mind can be beneficial. These positive statements are spoken in the present moment, such as ‘I can do this.’ You can connect with your affirmative mantra to keep you going throughout your run.
Another great technique is breath awareness. This is done by focusing on where the breath moves through your body. If your attention is on your breath, it keeps you in the present moment and you will be focused on bringing oxygen into your body and muscles. The breath can also help to transmute negative thoughts that may arise during the run. You can connect positive thoughts to your breath instead, for example: ‘I am breathing in energy, I am breathing out fear’ or ‘I am breathing in power, I am breathing out the pain.’ You can change these words to suit whatever you need during your run.
This epic running Meditation is great to listen to while running to give you the confidence and strength to continue. You can also listen to meditations to improve your mindset while running or a guide on how to increase your stamina and Runner high.
There are many guided meditation tracks for runners, and you can listen to a few until you connect with the one that feels right for you!
Scripts for Runner’s Recovery
After the race is also an important time to consider. Once you have visualized your goals, achieved them and finished the race, it is time to rest and recover. The best meditations for Runner’s recovery are body scans. This helps you to become aware of what is happening in your body, where you are holding onto stress or tension or perhaps where your body feels injured from the run. Body scans help you stay connected to your body and give it time to recover and heal after a run!
Best body scan for Runner’s recovery
- Lay down with your legs spread hip-width apart, your arms resting long by your sides and your spine straight. You can support your body with cushions or blankets if necessary. Make sure you are warm and comfortable.
- Begin by bringing your awareness to the top of your head, and slowly scan through your body from your head down to your toes.
- Observe every little muscle and every part of your body. Move slowly to ensure you are acknowledging every part of you that ran that race or completed that training.
- If you notice any parts of tension, pain or injury, connect with your breath and deepen your breath to move into this part of your body. Allow the breath to carry healing and rejuvenation for the parts of your body that it.
- When you have reached your toes, zoom out and feel your entire body. Give thanks to your body for moving and carrying you throughout your day.
- You can drift off into sleep for a deep recovery or return to the present moment.
- Repeat this each evening after a race or training session to give your muscles time for conscious reparation.
Suppose you prefer a guided script to help you rejuvenate your energy levels. In that case, you can try a guided sleep meditation for runners’ recovery or you may like a 10-minute yoga nidra practice to help you relax.
There are many techniques that you can use to support your running practice. Make time to invite all three stages into your life – the visualization before your run, the presence during your run and the recovery and relaxation time after your run. Every guided Meditation for runners is an opportunity to tune in and find what works for you! Try a few guided meditation scripts from this article and see how your running improves.
Meditation can be done in many ways, and if you think you are ready to begin a regular practice, you are invited to join our 30-Day Meditation Challenge. This will help you to establish and maintain a meditation routine that is great for the body, mind and soul.