Charlotte’s Guide to Relaxation, Running and Good Mental Health.
I work as a Relax Kids coach and adult meditation teacher. I help adults and
children to feel good! To help them learn strategies to feel calm and tame anxiety
monsters. A lot of these skills can easily be transferred over into running. We
often hear that running is great for our mental health and we all know that it gets
our endorphins flowing.
So how can this help YOU? Here are some practical ways to help you relax your
way to better running.
Mindfulness simply means being in the moment. Just for now putting worries of
the past or future to one side. Think of a dog. When a dog goes for a walk it
doesn’t worry about what is going to happen after the walk. It simply enjoys the
walk and takes in every single moment. As you run try to use your senses to be
mindful. What can you smell/see/hear on your run?
Imagine that your thoughts are like fluffy clouds, if you notice one pop into your
head, just keep on running and let it float on by!
Visualisation is just a posh word for imagining! Think of visualization in running
as a dress rehearsal. Many elite athletes use visualisation to help them succeed.
The more you mentally rehearse your run, the better your performance will be!
Visualise yourself crossing the finish line of your next race, really FEEL that
amazing feeling when you put the medal around your neck and get your T-shirt!
There is also research to show that just watching elite athletes can help us to
improve our own running technique.
To learn more about the brain/body response you could read Dr David
Hamilton’s book “How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body”.
Our bodies are always in one of two states. Fight or Flight mode or Rest and
When we are in fight or flight mode it has a negative impact on our bodies. Our
immune system drops, our muscles become tenser and we lose 60% of our
Capacity to process information. Have you ever been so stressed out you can’t
concentrate? That’s fight or flight.
When we are in Rest and Repair mode our bodies are less tense, our immune and
digestive systems will work better and we will be able to think clearly. All very
important for a great run.
So how can you get into rest and repair mode?
Meditation is a fantastic way to do this. Just allowing your brain to take a holiday
from our daily stresses will induce rest and repair mode. I have recorded some
guided meditations on Sound Cloud. Feel free to listen to mine (I’ll be updating
these regularly over the coming weeks!) or find one you like on YouTube.
Sound cloud link here: https://m.soundcloud.com/user-60260601/relax-mums-
All you need to do is get comfy and listen!
If you find yourself falling into negative thought patterns when you are on a run
use the “gratitude mile” to help you. I found during half marathon training miles
5 and 7 were always a sticky point for me. During these miles I would start to
mentally make a list of all the positives in my life. For example “I am so happy
and grateful the sun is shining on my run today. I am grateful for the lady who
just smiled as I ran past her. I am SO grateful that my legs are strong”. It really
helps to distract those negative thoughts and turn them around.
Look for the positives.
Every run might not be your best. You might not go as far/fast as you wanted to
that day or have done previously. It’s really easy to let negative thought patterns
Make a list of all the positives of your run either mentally or start a journal. It
will really help to focus your brain on the positives, which will in turn have an
effect on your muscles.
Dr Marasutu Emoto, a doctor in pseudo psychology, experimented on how our words and thoughts can affect the particles in water, why not look him up if you want to learn more.
Give these a go! See if they work for you. It’s like everything in life. Some of these
you will love, some not so much. Hopefully you will find one or more of these
If you would like to join me for meditation I am running a free mediation class on
Mondays from 8-9pm on Zoom. All you need is the
Meeting ID: 431 453 371
You can follow my page here:
Or for kids;
Happy running everyone- sending a big hug until we meet again!
Love from Charlotte xxx