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Relax Already!

Posted by Heather J.

Before, during, and after a run, it's important to relax. Before a run or race, a few minutes of silence and deep breathing can help calm race jitters. During, our relaxed selves will run more efficiently, and ideally, swiftly, because we don't have our shoulders tensed up to our ears or our face contorted, both of which just waste energy. After, a period of R&R reduces tension, which increases blood flow to the muscles. It also allows for a deeper stretch post-run. You are stretching, right? Good. To effectively chill out, consider restoration yoga, meditation, biofeedback, or progressive muscle relaxation, which means tensing and relaxing various muscle groups, all the while enhancing body awareness. Studies prove that relaxation techniques; i.e., meditation, helps reduce stress in our day-to-day lives. Traffic and long lines, to cite one of many examples, don't bother us as much when we know how to stay present and focus on our breathing. Take a few minutes about three times a day to just be present: do some deep belly breathing during a break at work, sit quiet for about ten minutes before you go to bed and/or upon waking. The practice could not only help your running, but every other area of your life, as well.
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