One might assume the practice of mindfulness and meditation requires a quiet space, a comfortable seat, and some quality alone time. But Nike is here to prove you can multitask, by running and practising mindfulness at the same time.
Our physical wellbeing is just as important as our mental wellbeing, and in fact, when the two work hand-in-hand, we can find ourselves feeling stronger and healthier in more ways than one. It’s precisely why Nike teamed up with Headspace to create the 7-day Mindful Running Program, designed to help people of all running abilities kick off the summer months with a positive mindset.
Nike Head Run Coach Lydia O’Donnell, who created the program, says: “The purpose of this plan is to give you the tools to run with mindfulness, while demonstrating the positive impacts running can have on your mental health.
“Since practising mindful running, I have found that I have been able to connect with myself a lot more regularly. Running has become a tool that allows me to set my intention and stay true to my purpose each time I run.”
Day one begins with an easy, stress-free 25-minute run hosted by the Andy Puddicombe, the co-founder of Headspace and a former Buddhist monk, as well as Nike Head Run Coach Chris Bennett. Together, the two will talk you through taking advantage of positive stresses and how to deal with stress when it arises.
On day two, yoga helps you reach and recharge the body to establish strength and find space in the mind while you focus on the breath. The program continues with a ‘Breaking Through Barriers’ run, deep restorative yoga, a ‘Thank You’ run or rest day, and goal-oriented running. While it may sound like a lot on the offset, the program is designed for all athletes. As Nike always says: “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Housed on the Nike Run Club (NRC) app, O’Donnell has included a series of Audio Guided Runs (AGRs) in the program from the app’s Mindful Running Pack. In total, the collection of AGRs is 27-strong, with each designed to tackle a different topic, from dealing with stress and goal-setting to practising gratitude.
You can explore Nike’s collection of ‘Mindful’ Guided Runs here.