Running Deep

Last night I did not have the world’s best run. But on the upside it also wasn’t the world’s worst run! 🙂

Because I spent a good chunk of spring running on the treadmill, I’m still acclimating to the heat and humidity of (pre) summer. Give me two weeks of straight outdoor running and I’ll be there!

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While I was on vacation I noticed that my runs felt totally effortless. My calves weren’t tight at all and the minutes ticked by so quickly. It made me realize just how much of an effect the daily grind has on running.

When you can lace up after a perfect night’s sleep, properly hydrated, stress free and care free, the experience of training reaches a whole different level.

If I could somehow feel the way I felt during vacation throughout my entire Chicago training cycle that would be amazing. Does anyone know a genie?

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I’m definitely going to take steps to get into bed earlier and drink more water, those things are within my control. The stress part is a big harder to anticipate and avoid.

Recently Jack Thompson reached out to me about a guided meditation album for runners he created. Jack, an avid runner, kindly donated to my Team PAWS fundraiser in exchange for a review of the album. To be honest, I’m really glad he reached out, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

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Now, I have never really tried to meditate before, and I wasn’t even sure what guided meditation was. Of course it’s exactly what it sounds like, a soothing voice instructs you on what to think about and how to breathe to achieve a really relaxed and thoughtful state. What makes Jack’s album perfect for the blog is that it’s meant to be listened to while you run!

You can listen to sample tracks of the album here, each track is voiced by a meditation expert.

I told Jack that I personally enjoyed listening to the album while I was at home. I tried listening to it while I was running but I am so used to upbeat music that I just couldn’t get into it on-the-go. At home I would listen to the guided meditations and visualize myself having a perfect training run. I would even sometimes visualize myself running Chicago and having a perfect day. It definitely helped me unwind, de-stress and feel less anxious about what is going to be a challenging training cycle.

When you listen to it while running I think it would really help you get in-tune with your body. For instance, the One with Everything track has you focus on your breathing, your stride, your arm movement; all things you forget to notice if you tend to zone out like I frequently do. Some of the others help you zone out a little bit and relax into the run, as you reflect on being thankful for your health.

I know there is going to be no way I’m going to be stress-free the entire Chicago training cycle (which starts next week), but I’m glad I have a copy of Running Deep to help keep the stress in check.

Hope you have a great weekend!

What do you like to do to de-stress? 
Escaping into a good book is a favorite of mine. 

15 comments

  1. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    I think I would love something like this! The only thing I listen to while I run is podcasts, so I think this would be perfect for days when I want to listen to something but also want to focus on my running and try to relax. Thanks for sharing!
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    1. Kristina

      Yes, I think that type of run is perfect for using the meditation album. It seems like it would be an easy transition for you too since you’re used to listening to people talk during your runs!

  2. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor

    This is a great idea. Unfortunately, I just can’t listen to things when I run. Music throws off my rhythm and pacing, and I just can’t for the life of me pay attention to a podcast while I’m running. I run whole marathons with no headphones, that’s how ridiculously overactive my brain is.

    Well, this isn’t the most glamorous or intellectual thing ever, but my favorite way to de-stress is probably watching TV – my old sitcoms or Law and Orders. I do like reading before bed though.
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    1. Kristina

      I am really bad at paying attention to podcasts when I run too. The only one I’ve ever really been able to pay attention to was the first season of serial. I’ll sometimes listen to Psychobabble, but I usually miss whole chunks of time because I zone out!

      I like TV for de-stressing too, but mostly just re-runs of my favorite shows. I don’t like to watch new episodes when I’m stressed because I feel like I enjoy them less!

  3. Running schlub

    Never heard of guided meditation but I think it would be excellent for those of us that have never meditated before. I guess it’s similar to when I find a quiet place and pray.

    De-stress?? Going out for a run of course lol. I’ve written about this before, for me nothing is better than sitting a to a mountain and enjoying the peace and quiet. Really reminds me that there are bigger problems and I’m pretty blessed lol
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    1. Kristina

      Yes, I think it’s very similar to finding a quiet place and praying, or just finding a quiet place and reflecting… on running! 🙂

      I totally understand your mountain thing, because I find it SUPER de-stressing to end a run by sitting on the sand and just listening to the waves crash. Ah, just thinking about it is soothing!

  4. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    Paul does meditation. He learned it in Kung Fu and he swears by it! I just don’t think I would ever try true meditation like he does. Like how are you supposed to think about NOTHING? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    But this meditation for runners thing sounds interesting!!! Maybe it could help for tempo runs or race day when I get SUCKED into my own head!

    To relax I like to do mindless stuff on the internet, watch The View or some other mindless show. oh, and puzzles!
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    1. Kristina

      Hmmm I don’t think it would be good for tempo or race days because it’s just so soothing. Like, I literally could fall asleep listening to it!

      I can’t relax when I’m on the Internet. It actually stresses me out because I think “I have so many blogs to read, so many videos to watch, so many snaps to look through before they delete in 24 hours, etc.” The Internet sometimes feel like a never ending task list to me! But it sure is helpful too!

      1. Megan @ Meg Go Run

        Oh okay I gotcha if it is really soothing then I could see it not being good for a race or something. Maybe they have podcasts to listen to during a race!? WAIT I SHOULD INVENT THAT! It will just be me going “go go go you are awesome dig deep go get it!” hahaha.
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  5. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running

    Sometimes I listen to slower music or musicals on the run, so maybe this would work for me if it didn’t drive me nuts. Is the music…annoying?

    I love how great my legs feel when I’ve been resting. I fully believe in taper and vacation rest haha!
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    1. Kristina

      The music itself is very slow and soothing. It sounds like the kind of music I listen to loudly with earbuds when I am sharing a room with someone who snores and I need to block them out but still be able to fall asleep. So definitely not annoying!

  6. Jack

    Try “Running with the Wolves” or “Run of Empowerment” or “Connecting with the Power Within.” All upbeat, empowering, “pick up the pace” meditations. 🙂

  7. Angie @ Run Which Way

    I might just have to give this a try! Thanks for the review.

    Running is actually how I de-stress. That and my morning weight training at the gym. I don’t live a highly stressful life, but sometimes work can have it’s moments. Working out in the morning helps me put my mind in the right space before I get there and my run helps me unwind after.
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  8. Meranda@Fairytalesandfitness

    I usually need upbeat music to run to but I am very interested in this album and am going to check out the sample you linked too!

  9. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust

    I could see the running meditation being good during a cool down or long easy run. LIke you, I have to listen to upbeat music during the main portion of my runs. It would also be good to listen to this during walks (I take Axel on a lot of walks – so I am always looking for ideas).

    I know what you mean about running being easier when you don’t have a plate full of life to deal with. I always wonder how my training might be different if I didn’t have work and a baby to attend to every hour that I’m home. 🙂 Not that I would change that….
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