A central tenet of Mindfulness and therefore of Mindful Running is to live deliberately , with intention. Being Mindful is a commitment to slow down and pay attention to the world.
A great tool when practicing Mindfulness, which is what every run should be for a Mindful Runner, is setting an intention. Set your intention before every run and you will see the ripples impact your entire life.
What is intention setting
This is the practice of setting micro goals and sticking to them. An intention serves as a focal point for a workout. It’s useful as a reminder when you get distracted or you find yourself just going through the motions. Setting an intention means something you want to amplify or cultivate in your training or your life. The intention you set should be the driver of the workout.
In a world where we are pressed for time having a mechanism which assists us in staying on task is invaluable. The intention is a yardstick , something we can use to measure the effectiveness of our workout. Working on intention setting is practicing staying in the present moment. Being present is vital to finding flow and it’s a skill cultivated by all top athletes.
Create a ritual
As you are lacing up your shoes and putting on your running kit. Begin by bringing your attention to the session ahead. Calm your breathing. Focus on the in and out breaths. When you can feel that you are breathing steady and easy and your mind is focused on the present then you are ready to set the intention
How to do it
Choose your intention, which is usually the primary purpose of the session. Visualize how you will honour the intention. An example of an intention would be a scheduled Easy run. Your intention would be to keep the Easy run relaxed. When you visualize that your mental picture is of your shoulders relaxed, face relaxed, breathing easy, posture upright, strides flowing from your hips. As you run focus on that mental image,. During your session keep focused on your intention. If you find your mind wandering off then simply bring it back to your intention and the mental image you have of practicing that intention.
Set an intention for every training session that you do. You will find that setting an intention seems to multiply the training effect. It will open a wellspring of joy in your running you might not have previously been aware of.