Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Meditations Designed by Runners, for Runners

Running is a form of stress-release for many of us.  The therapeutic rhythm of pounding the pavement and the deep focus on each breath has helped clear my mind through the years, and been a form of meditation.  We’ve been learning more recently about how focusing our minds and energy can also help improve our performance before a race or big run.

We want everyone to reap the benefits of this for race day next week and are excited about working with Cloud9 Online, the Official Meditation Partner of the Eversource Hartford Marathon.  This locally-based company developed Runner’s Corner, a feature on the app designed specifically for participants in next week's events.  They've worked with us to make it available to all participants free-of-charge. The Cloud9 app provides this program of meditations specially designed by runners, for runners.

Learn more from Delanea Davis, avid runner and co-founder of Solstice Strategy Partners, creators of Cloud9 Online.  Running is as integral part of her life as meditating and she’s helping to deliver this specialty experience for Eversource Hartford Marathon participants.

Genesis of “Runner’s Corner” – Before, Day-of and Post-Race Meditations 
As a career-focused on-the-go entrepreneur, I depend on running to keep my mind clear and my stress in check.  Just like my life in businesses, there are some days as a runner when you simply cannot predict how the run will go.  The weather, work and family demands, sleep patterns and even your emotional state can determine whether you have a great run, or you’re “dogging it” as we runners say.  These are variables outside of your control.  However, there is a key variable that you can control: your mind.
If you’re like me, you create a rigorous training plan in preparation for a race and do your best to hit your weekly mileage goal while balancing work life, home life, injury prevention, and if you are lucky, a social life. You may not think about how adopting an 8-week old puppy can throw a monkey wrench into your training plan (true story!). But alas, you’ve made the commitment and you are going to run no matter how your body feels that day.

So here we are, days away from the marathon. I’m excited and looking forward to the race. I’m also a bit anxious wondering how this race will go. How fast will I run? Will I feel as good as I did for the last one? Will I hit my stride easily? Will I be able to finish without injuring myself? All of these thoughts are cycling through my head - exciting, yet also potentially anxiety inducing as I think about my late start to training. It can be tough to sleep – especially on the night prior to the race, and doubly so if you’re traveling to the race.

This is exactly why we’ve designed a three-meditation series called “The Runner’s Corner” so you can better control your mind and get the best possible sleep in preparation for the race.

To begin, check out the Runner’s Corner Meditation #1: Pre-Race Meditation. It’s tailored specifically for runners who want to reach a calm state on the night (or nights) leading up to the race. Sleep is key, and we want to make sure you get it. It will ensure you maximize your rest potential, whether you listen the night prior, or multiple nights before the event. Next, the day-of the event, I start visualizing the race from the moment I open my eyes from sleep. Getting out of bed, brushing my teeth, eating breakfast, driving to race parking while playing something to soothe me in the car… I’m purposeful and serious about visualizing in a way that will give me light feet for the race, lungs that can go forever, and both the heart- and mind-space to make this race flow with ease. I trust that my body knows exactly what to do so I can zone out when the race begins.

This is the genesis of Runner’s Corner Meditation #2: Peak Performance. We’ve created a race-day meditation that focuses your awareness on a visualization that includes all the factors we’ve ever found important, impactful, and inspirational on the day we’re running our hearts out! Listen to it when you first wake up, or on your drive into Hartford.

Finally, after we’ve run your race, we know that the marathon isn’t over until we’ve taken adequate time to warm down and recover, which is how we’ve created the third installment of the Runner’s Corner Meditation #3: Race Recovery. You’ll be guided through a deep and healing recuperative meditation where you’ll focus awareness throughout your body to speed recovery and bring your brain’s ability to heal to bear on those parts of your body that need it most after a marathon. 

Meditation That Works 
We hope you avail yourself of Runner’s Corner on our Cloud9 Meditation app, available on iPhone and Android for your best race in Hartford ever!

We founded Cloud9 because research has proven that meditation provides deep and lasting benefit to the mind and body – and so we work with healthcare organizations like Hartford HealthCare to increase healing impact with self-directed health protocols for patients that effectively manage pain without drugs. In fact, on race-day, you’ll also see us at Hartford HealthCare’s booth because we’re partnering with doctors there to create science-powered, clinically designed meditations that simply make life better for patients. As a runner, you’ve been caring for yourself up to, during, and post-marathon for years. This year, let us help you run your best marathon ever!


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