Well, for me yes. I definitely use mindfulness whilst running and I used the 3 step breathing practice to motivate me to run back in the day.
If anyone had said I would be running on a regular basis a few years ago, I think I would have laughed loudly till I coughed probably. Running was one of those activities I had abolsutely no interest in.
At that time I was working for the forensic services and we had to attend prevention and management of aggression training. I had attended this regularly over the years however on this occasion I noticed that my breathing felt laboured and I wasn’t as physically able as I had been the years before. I understand how vital a healthy heart is and cardio exercise was not on my radar. Unlike yoga and walking.
What do I do about this? If anything.
Fortunately I had my mindfulness practice and decided to put this into action with this particular question.
I began walk/run whilst dog walking. This lead onto a short run without the dogs. I introduced the 3 step once I had finished the run.
For those of you not familiar with the 3 Step practice it is one of the accessible any time any place practices.
So with this practice I noticed my body sensations without judgement, with a more objective perspective.
Sensations of tingling in my fingers and feet, a heaviness in my legs, tightness in my stomach, buzzing all over, throbbing in the back of my head, body heat, moisture ….ok sweating big time…trickling down my face.
Feelings of satisfaction, aliveness, invigoration, energised. I felt good.
My thoughts were focused on my body and feelings, interjected with I’m knackered, will I be able to walk home, OMG why I’m I even thinking about doing this!!! However, I soon realised that these thoughts were just thoughts not directly linked with my sensory experience of which I described. I noticed that my mind was taking me into an auto-pilot mode of pre-determined belief around running.
So I moved onto the breath and the breath and body breathing as one and by that time I was settling back into my natural way of breathing.
It was a revelation to truly experience a run and be great with it. That was the beginning of my running practice.