At the beginning of the summer I decided that I wanted to participate in a mindful Triathlon again. Wanderlust will be hosting a 5K run, yoga and meditation triathlon (sounds delicious doesn’t it?) in Toronto. I attended 2 years ago, and I really liked the vibe. We could get smudged before the run, shop for pretty crystals jewellery, and they had delicious health conscious food vendors. Plus the vibe was all about community, not about competition. I’m really excited!
Well… it’s been 2 years since I’ve consistently run. I would go for a run here and there, but nothing regular. I decided I needed to get back into a routine and ran throughout the summer in order to be ready for September 15th (boy it was a HOT one)!
I had some interesting aha’s today as I was running uphill, that I found applied to so many areas of my life, so I wanted to share these self discoveries with you too, in case it may benefit you too 🙂
Here’s what I noticed:
I typically take short strides and have to remind myself to take long ones.
Short strides makes sense sometimes, especially if you’re running uphill. When you are running downhill, it makes more sense to take longer strides and take advantage of the momentum supporting you (now I’m not talking crazy steep hills, I’m talking inclines going down several meters over a half a block or so).
And I could see how I can get into a rut or habit of just taking short strides. It’s what I know, it’s my norm, and I do it automatically. And yet, I also want to improve my time, go longer for the running sections (note I don’t run 5K straight, I walk for 2-3 minutes and then walk for 40 seconds), and taking a longer stride can help me achieve those targets.
I can see how I do this in other areas of my life too. There are systems, or different ways of doing things that can save me time and, most importantly, energy, and it takes an undoing of a habit to embrace that new approach. It feels a little uncomfortable at first, then it easily becomes a new norm.
I also noticed that when I let go of the numbers for how long I run (I count in my head) and get present to the nature around me, I can run longer, than if I focus just on the numbers.
So, I can achieve more if I focus on the present, and how I’m feeling rather than the results I’m generating in that moment.
I’ve also come to discover how much running boosts my physical and mental energy – all of that great oxygen going to my brain gives my brain a huge boost and clears any tiredness or fog (so cool!)
Have you had some interesting insights while you’ve been running (or swimming, or biking, or moving your body in whatever way feels fabulous for you)? Please share in the comments below!