Mindfulness and marathon

Yesterday there was the webinar titled “The marathon mental coaching” and one question concerned the use of mindfulness in the marathon. If we mean with mindfulness “to allow the present to be as it is and to allow us to be, simply, in this present” (John Teasdale) this mental condition can certainly be useful to the marathon. During the long distance running the present is the stride or the breath. Learn how to listen it’s especially useful in the early pahses and in the end of the marathon, in which for the athletes is important to be aware of the reactions of the body. During the run the mindfulness can be differentiate from non-judgmental acceptance of the present, because the athletes may be aware that they are in trouble. For example, they realize that breathing became too frequent or the heart rate is too high, or even that the stride is becoming increasingly heavy. In these moments, the runners have to go in a state of mind more active, with the aim to reduce or counteract these feelings that are undermining the run.The runners maybe short the stride or slow down a few seconds the speed or shift the attention to other aspects, distracting from these debilitating feelings. Many runners use a dissociative strategy allowing to be focused on anything else but your own body. Paula Radcliffe said that in these moments she counts to 100, knowing that after she counted three times she ran another mile. Every runner has to find solutions during workouts. The marathon training is very challenging and difficult times met are used to find these answers and begin to put them into practice, so as to arrive at the day of the race the runners will be mentally prepared.

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