CONCENTRATION while running…

Spring into Summer series Day 1

Principle: Concentration: remaining present, able to focus on what your teacher is saying, able to focus on your surroundings and most importantly on your body.

In classes I’ve taken, and during trainings for triathlons I’ve heard teachers say, when you feel like giving up, stay focused, keep going… You can do this, don’t give up! And there is power in this, absolutely. But, what I want to share with my students is how Pilates changed the way I run, the way I look and fundamentally understand exercise. Specifically, the difference between pushing yourself beyond false limits that exist only in your mind and causing physical harm to your body by not listening to the messages it is sending you.

Before I began practicing Pilates I would run, without exaggeration, for about 2 hours a day 6 days a week. Looking back, I find it hard to believe how disconnected and stuck in an unhealthy pattern I was. When my right knee started bothering me, I literally thought my world was going to end. Pilates taught me how to love my body, to be present with it, to not “tune out” during my workout, but to very consciously TUNE IN. By concentrating on what you are doing, and how you are doing it, by listening to your body and acknowledging if something doesn’t feel right, you will be able to find the healthiest way for you to get the best out of your run.

It is important to challenge yourself, and not give up when it might be your mind that is suggesting you do… But, the second your incredibly intelligent body sends a signal. LISTEN. I can’t stress this enough.

On your next run, practice concentrating on how your body feels during it. Become aware of how you are distributing your weight across the soles of your feel as they make contact with the earth. Are you placing more weight on one foot than the other? Are your hips even? Is your back arching? Are you jutting your chin forward? Are you shoulders rounded forward? You don’t have to focus on all of these at once, but try to be aware of how your body is moving through space and if there is anything you could change to allow your run to feel better. Your body will thank you! I promise.