There are two types of people in this world: those who can meditate, and those who cannot. I fall into the latter category. As much as I would love to be one of those super zen chicks who eats only organic foods, recycles religiously, and falls into a meditative trance at every savasana--- I’m just not that girl. Instead, when I need to burn off the crazy or center myself, I turn up the music, pound the pavement or pedals, and sweat my way to serenity. So when I recently read about the collaboration between Nike + Run Club and the popular meditation app, Headspace, I was curious: Had someone finally figured out a way to make meditation easier for those of us who have the attention span of a two-year-old? Could I really find stillness while sweating it out? The answer is yes---sort of.
“Run with Headspace,” is described as “the world’s first audio-guided mindful runs.” Narrated by Andy Puddicombe, the Tibetan Buddhist monk who cofounded Headspace, and Nike Head Coach Chris Bennet, the goal of “Run with Headspace” is to “help the runner find inner strength and peace throughout the course of the workout.” Hmmmm….
Skeptical, I downloaded the app, laced up my shoes and hit the road running. The first thing I discovered is that the program is designed for a 30 minute RECOVERY run and you are supposed to go at a leisurely pace—not something I normally do so I was a little disappointed. But then the voice of Puddicombe with his lovely British accent (bonus points for that!) started telling me to focus on the sound of my feet striking the pavement; to be patient and allow my body to transition into the run. I’m not gonna’ lie, beautiful accent aside, I found it a little boring at first—especially during the moments of silence. I wanted to crank up some music and pick up the pace. But after a few minutes, the instructions began to take hold almost without me even realizing it, and I actually had a really enjoyable run and felt more connected to my body and my surroundings.
So what’s the verdict? I wouldn’t do it all the time—but I could see it becoming part of my routine every couple of weeks. I still prefer to run hard, and to music, but this forced me to slow my pace and my brain—and I can honestly say I was a little more chill afterward. Check it out on the Nike + Run Club app and see what you think.