A Mindful Approach to COVID-19

Having a goal event cancelled or postponed is very disappointing. The silver lining is that it affords us a little time to step back and ask some important questions.

Why do you run? Is it for the medal, the accolades, bragging rights, sanity, physical confidence or some other reason known only to you? If you’re a Mindful Runner, then you are at least part way along the path of using running as your Practice. Martial artists, yogi’s, ascetics, all use movement and ritual as a way to integrate body and mind. It is the same for us. Running is our discipline, breath, posture, ground contact, arm movement, mental state are all aspects of our practice.

Every step, every breath is another opportunity to strive for perfect movement. Perfect movement is not about speed or finishing position. It’s that point when you feel the flow, when your body, breath and mind move effortless together.

Then there are those rare beautiful runs when all the time spent working on your practice come together and you realise that you were running in the flow. It’s over the instant you notice it but for that period of flow it’s like being in the presence of the divine.

If running is our practice then events are our testing ground. A space in which to see if we are improving. When you are stressed or hurting during a race can you stay present and focused. Have you gotten faster, are you more powerful on the climbs, maybe more skilled on the descents*. My hope is that as you continue to practice and find flow. That the pursuit of flow becomes the reason to run.

We have an opportunity to reset. Work on aspects of our running that may have been neglected as we focus on the big events. Time to address that little niggle, develop more explosive feet, improve stride length, work on glute power. Running does not suppress your immune system, just the opposite, it improves your immune system. Severe physical stress to your body such as racing a goal event hard will impact your immune system but that will only be for a few days.

Let’s keep practicing keep searching for the flow so that we are ready when the restrictions are lifted.

*this applies to road and trail

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