The Zen Mind

I have been in the fitness and running world training people of all ages for more than two
decades. I have supported people through getting stronger, losing weight, and reaching their
goals in their next race. What I know is that the physical side of training is usually the easy stuff
to work on, and it’s our mindset that can be the most challenging and can get in the way of
reaching our goals.

As you are adding on distance, I am sure more than one of you has had that little negative voice
of self-doubt speak up. “I am not going to be able to do this! I must be crazy. What happens if I
fail? I am just not fast enough.” First, know that you are not alone. We all bump up against
self-doubt sometimes. But, there are things you can do that will quiet that not-so-supportive
voice and will help you to feel more peace during your training and on race day. I call this
stepping into a zen mind. A zen mind is a state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of
body and mind. So instead of wasting needed energy on your disempowering thoughts (which
affects you physically), you can gain energy by focusing on what you are inspired by and what
empowers you. When you are in a positive mindset with running, your physical body will feel
stronger and more powerful.

Here are a few ways you can get into the zen mind when training:

1. Vision: Take yourself through your training and your race. I want you to see all the
positive outcomes of you committing to HFM. Are you feeling stronger, more connected
to others, inspired by what you have already achieved? What do you want to gain from
this experience? Create a picture of your end results. Whether you write it down, or just
create it in your mind, come back to the inspiring vision or picture often during your

2. Be in the moment: I don’t want you to worry about your long run distance 4 weeks from
now! I want you to be in the moment with each and every run. Stay present with where
you are in your training and trust the process as the schedule unfolds.

3. Meditation: Take time to breathe before, during, and/or after your runs. This also will help
you de-stress and release any anxiety you may be carrying. Focus on taking deep
cleansing breaths which will create more peace, physically and mentally, bringing your
body and mind together.

4. Intention: set an intention for how you want to feel on your run. Maybe it’s powerful or
maybe it’s strong. You can just fill in the blank. “On today’s run, I want to experience
____________.” You can set different intentions for each mile or hour you run. (I love
doing this on race day!)

5. Gratitude: Please, please acknowledge yourself and all of the hard work you are doing!
You have made an amazing commitment to yourself, so thank yourself and be excited
about this process.

So, let’s let go of the unpleasant, self- doubting voice. Try putting these strategies into practice
you will begin to step into your zen mind and experience the benefits of training with

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