Meditation and Running

meditation and running
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Most often, with the word meditation, people begin to imagine a person who sits in a lotus position … In fact, there are a lot of ways to meditate. One of them is running.

To the question “what is running for you”, everyone will answer differently. Someone admits that they run for medals; for another, it is an affordable way to be in good physical shape. But for sure, among the answers, there will also be such a thought: training calms and gives you the opportunity to be alone with yourself. Meditation and running are optimal for your mind, body and soul health.

Running is one of the variants of meditation practices. With its help, we train conscious behaviour and learn to control our own thoughts.

In this article, how can you turn your running into meditation and get the most out of it? 

Running and meditation. The perfect time to calm your mind and be healthy and fit.


  1. What is running meditation?
  2. What state does the brain go into while running?
  3. How to meditate while running?
  4. Meditation for Running – Guided Meditation
  5. Let’s Sum Up 

What is running meditation?

When you put on your running shoes and hit the woods, the park, or the treadmill, you are on your own. No routine activities are distracting so you can focus on breathing and your feelings. This state of mindfulness is called running meditation. Running meditation is becoming a hot topic in the wellness and mindful living community.

During running meditation, we do not chat with a friend about discounts on sneakers and do not constantly look at the clock, controlling the pace and heart rate zones. At first, it may seem tedious and challenging, but experienced marathon runners will confirm that catching the flow state is quite fast.

You won’t be able to use relaxing incense while running meditation, but you can find other ways to calm the flow of thoughts.

What state does the brain go into while running?

At first glance, it seems that while running, the brain is resting, and only the muscles are working. In fact, physical activity has a beneficial effect on a person’s ability to learn, make decisions, and concentrate. And this is true not only at the time of the load but also after it: the effect of training accumulates and helps the brain work more efficiently.

Running requires increased concentration and neuroplasticity. During movement, the brain constantly seems to scan the space around, controlling the safe movement and the continuity of movement. This stimulates mental activity and reduces the rate of ageing of brain cells.

During prolonged physical activity, there is a sensory restructuring between the hemispheres of the human brain. The left hemisphere, responsible for logical thinking, ceases to dominate. The work of the right hemisphere, which is able to perceive information as a whole, comes to the fore. This is called the alpha state, and it is directly related to the meditative effect of running.

Running and meditation. The perfect time to calm your mind and be healthy and fit.

How to meditate while running?

In order for running to become a meditation and not a test, use the following rules: 

  1. Breathing consciously 

Conscious breathing is the easiest way to concentrate. Similar methods are used in formal practice. Try inhaling for every three steps and then exhaling every two. Models 2:2 and 3:3 are also popular, but their minus is that, in this case, the breath always falls on the same leg.

  1. Focus on the object

A good option for running in open spaces. Choose an object in the distance (for example, a tree or a hill) and focus on it as you move.

  1. Motivating phrase

This method is closest to secular meditation practice. Pick an affirmation and say it to yourself as you run. For example, “I can handle this”, “I’m moving forward.”

This method is often used by ultramarathoners who need to motivate themselves to keep racing even under the toughest conditions.

  1. Body response

Focus on the sensations in your body. Breathe in your belly, and concentrate on the correct setting of your feet. One-two, left-right. Track the signals that the body sends, and watch yourself as if from the side.

  1. Develop a comfortable pace

Do not compare yourself with anyone, do not try to overtake someone, and run at your own speed, which will allow you to enjoy the process. Relax to be able to feel your rhythm. 

  1. Relax

Don’t lean back, don’t lean too far forward, relax your shoulders, don’t tense your body, don’t restrict movement and don’t become like a robot. Run easily and naturally. 

  1. Increase the load gradually

Just because you ran 3 km yesterday doesn’t mean you have to run twice as much today. Increase the distance you run gradually. Especially if you haven’t run before. If you start with three kilometres, run three kilometres weekly, and then increase the distance. Don’t create spikes in your load that won’t let you adapt to a new process without overstressing. They can discourage the desire to continue training.

  1. Feel your body 

With each step, feel your legs, arms, head, face and shoulders, how your muscles move when you run, and how you breathe. Redirecting attention from one part of the body to another, walking from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Gradually, you will notice that you are not focused on fatigue. On the contrary, you will feel the energy of your own body.

  1. Don’t use headphones

In order for you to hear your rhythm and your body, you have to give up the music in your ears. Perhaps it will give you a certain mood but will not allow you to talk to yourself. 

Running and meditation. The perfect time to calm your mind and be healthy and fit.

Meditation and Running: Guided Meditation

We have created the perfect guided meditation you can follow along with while you run. Let us inspire you and listen to this while you start your meditation and running journey:

Effective Running Guided Meditation – Run Better TODAY!

Let’s Sum Up 

Running teaches you to listen to your body and understand it better. When you feel discomfort, do not immediately try to change the pace, speed or technique.

Although running is not a complete replacement for meditation, it is a simple and effective way to calm the mind. In a state of flow, the legs move as if by themselves, and the sense of time is lost. After such a workout, even if you get tired physically, you will have a feeling of cheerfulness and a clear mind. Find out how to incorporate meditation and running into your morning routine here.

We hope that these tips will help you improve the quality of your workouts, make them more comfortable and bring new meaning to your running. Run to help you!



Hi, I'm Michael. The creator and host of Catch a Sleep, a Blog and Youtube channel making wellness and mindful living content.

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