Vivid dreams are amazing, sometimes the dream is so real that I’m are not sure whether it‘s reality. Since childhood I’ve had a recurring dream about flying, I start running, relax, focus upwards and then glide into the air, running all the while as I rise up and fly above my home, my world. The first time I flew above my primary school and around the playing field, I can still remember the experience forty years later. I fly quite low, observing people and places, I can see their faces but am invisible to others. I used to be able to control when I’d come back to earth and wake up which was pretty cool. For a long time I actually believed I could fly, that memory of running and gliding upwards was so real I didn’t see how it couldn’t be true. It was one of those secrets as a child that I felt if I told anyone I could fly they would think I was mad so I kept it secret.
When I was about eleven I was running on a very snowy day near my home, the snow was deep, up to my shins, nobody was about and it felt amazing. For the first time I felt like running was totally effortless, I was in my flow and it felt like I was flying, just like in my dreams and I was totally free. It’s amazing when I run today and those same feelings come back, when I look at photos after a particularly amazing run, like the Marathon des Sables or Run to Work and I am more alive and rejuvenated than before I started. At least as often however, I look exhausted, as I’ve pushed myself to my limits. Mind over matter. No more, its time to fly.
I’m learning to fly – just like I did in my dreams. Making effortless running the norm for every run. So that I am rejuvenating, relieving stress in my mind and body rather than creating it. I want to feel euphoric on every run and I think I’ve found the secret: breathing!
Breathing like a baby through my nose. Slowly easing my body into my runs, with simple yoga postures, then walking before slowly running. All the time focusing on deep belly breathing through my nose with comfort rather than speed being my guide. As soon as I need to breath through my mouth I slow down, even walk to avoid creating any stress and maintaining the same rate of deep belly nose breathing. Even after a few runs I already feel better mind body connection and have ditched the headphones as they were just a distraction. The success of my run is gauged on my ability to have a complete mind body connection, breathing through my nose, regardless of speed. I know that speed will come as I get used to using my body as it was intended.
It’s a simple approach and certainly not a new one, but combined with my Chi Running, I’m confident this will enable me to Run the World with fewer injuries and greater benefits for effortless running. I want to be in the flow, flying on every run. I’m expecting it to take a few months to start to reap the benefits, just in time for next phase of Run the World in March – 400k from Germany to Czech Republic.
I can’t recommend ‘Body Mind and Sport enough, I’ve read a lot of running and health books but this brings it all together. If you are interested in running to reduce stress, bring long term health benefits and connect your mind and body then its for you. I cant believe its taken me this long to discover it!
Body, Mind and Sport
On the gear front I’m in the process of testing out a few new pairs of Altra’s and will post my experiences soon.