Those of you who have been following this blog for a while will know that my current goal is to run the Brighton Half Marathon in February non stop. I’m not too concerned about time, faster than last year would be nice, but the thing that really matters to me is to run the whole way.
Having trained to run the London Marathon run/walk it’s been more challenging to get back into running non stop than I imagined it would be. And when I think about it most of that challenge has been mental rather than physical. I had trained myself to expect a walking break at least every 10mins and it’s been hard to get my brain out of that mode and into consistent running mode.
Following my Chi Running coaching sessions I’d been steadily increasing the non stop mileage and last weekend I finally cracked the 10K non stop run that I’d set myself as a pre Christmas target. This morning I got up and ran 8 miles without stopping to walk. I’m not going to say either were ‘easy’ but something has changed, something has clicked.
Part of the change is certainly due to the Chi Running focusses – thinking about my form has stopped me from thinking about the fact that I’m ‘due a walking break’ and has helped to keep me going. But I’ve also discovered a secret weapon which has really helped to make a difference. Hypnogogo.
Claire Benson is a hypnotherapist and runner and the brains behind and voice of Hypnogogo. Claire has developed a range of downloads each of which is a moving meditation designed to make running more fun and powerful. I have been running with a tracked called Abundance – the longest track in the range at just over an hour. This is how Abundance is described on the Hypnogogo website
“It’s a incredibly positive meditation that asks you to focus on what you really want from your life and what skills, strengths and inner resources you already have to make what you want a reality.”
For the length of the track Claire talks over the top of music which is specifically recorded to by hypnotic and uplifting. She encourages you to relax and think about your running form – this is a great complement to Chi Running as it reminds me to focus on my posture at various points during my run. Claire has a soothing and relaxing voice that is easy to listen to while you run.
During the run Claire gets you to focus on what you want from your life, what you want to achieve and how you can use your strengths and skills to help you achieve those goals. I found that having something for my mind to concentrate on, other than the fact that I’m running, really distracted me and helped me to run smoothly and easily. At times in my run when it felt a bit tough I would focus in on what Claire was saying and try to relax my body which always helped to keep me going.
I was slightly concerned that maybe I’d get ‘tranced out’ on the run and not be aware of my surroundings, which would be dangerous – but I didn’t experience that at all. I was completely aware of where I was and what I was doing but more focussed mentally on my run, in a relaxed way if that makes any sense!
While running with Abundance I decided to focus on my career and finding a new job in 2013. Now I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence, or whether there’s some other sort of magic at work but in the past week I have been contacted by a couple of agencies and have also seen a couple of jobs advertised which look perfect for me. I think it’s probably a case of seeing more or being more aware of what you are focussed on – I don’t really mind how it works, it just seems to!
I’m excited that I’ve found Hypnogogo – I think it’s going to help me achieve my non-stop half marathon goal and also help me get into the right frame of mind for my job search.
There are 4 other downloads available in the range which focus on fat burning, confidence, success and weight loss and all are available to download on iTunes for £10.99. There’s also a new track coming in the New Year which I’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak preview of and it’s just as brilliant as Abundance.
If you’d like to hear Claire’s voice and experience one of her tracks she’s recorded a special Christmas relaxation track for the Zero Calorie Advent Calendar which you can download for free . That track is definitely not one to run to though!!