Mindful

There are some particularly valuable resources that will help you understand both the premises and practice of running mindfully, beginning with websites devoted to techniques for learning to run more naturally and efficiently.

1) ChiRunning

ChiRunning, which is based on the movement principles of T’ai Chi, connects the mind to the body in a way that helps runners stay relaxed. The website’s blog is updated weekly with useful tips, and the site also links to lists of ChiRunning workshops and instructors around the world. While the books and instructional CDs can help you understand the basics, the workshops are the best way to learn ChiRunning, particularly those workshops whose instructors use videotape to analyze their students’ posture, gait, and so on.

2) The Natural Running Center

The Natural Running Center also provides particularly useful information about running efficiently, with regular posts written by experts in exercise and anatomy. Most notable, perhaps, is the mesmerizing, 8-minute video of running naturally that features the site’s co-creator, Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a family physician and elite marathoner.

3) MindfulRunning.Org

Michael Sandler’s website, MindfulRunning.Org, offers useful blog posts and videos that address everything from mindful breathing and running posture to barefoot running and training pitfalls. In addition, Sandler hosts a related podcast, “Inspire Nation,” which addresses fitness, spirituality, and meditation.

4) Elinor Fish’s Healthy Running Blog

Elinor Fish, whose business leads mindful running retreats around the globe, writes the most thoughtful and informative blog posts about running mindfully, including everything from the practical (“Set Yourself Up for Running Success in 2017”), to the unpredictable (“Is Mindfulness a Runner’s Secret Weapon?”), to the inspirational (“Why is Running Constantly So Difficult?”).

5) Running with the Mind of Meditation

Running with the Mind of Meditation, by Sakyong Mipham (Harmony Books, 2012), seamlessly melds together the author’s insights about meditation with his running experiences and revelations. In addition, his follow-up website offers guided meditations and helpful videos.

6) What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by acclaimed novelist and veteran marathoner Haruki Murakami (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), is not technically about running mindfully, but the book makes a compelling and eloquently written case for the psychic benefits that running can offer.

This web extra appeared in the June 2017 issue of Mindful magazine.

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Alan Green

Alan Green is a veteran investigative reporter in Washington, D.C., whose books include Animal Underworld: Inside America's Black Market for Rare and Exotic Species. He ran his first marathon in 1987.

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