Running in the Alpha State of Mind

August 2016--
The Peaceful Runner Newsletter #71

Dear Friend, 

We hope you enjoy this month's newsletter -- Running in the Alpha State of Mind. If you find it helpful, please be kind and share it with your running friends!


Running in the Alpha State of Mind


What is the alpha state of mind and why would we want to run in this state? The alpha mind state is a very relaxed but also a totally aware state of mind. The mind and body are calm and alert and mental processes are improved. It is in this state that runners experience the zone or runners high.

Alpha brain waves, which can be detected using an EEG, are present in the alpha mind state. The brain waves are synchronous and coherent. This state is often achieved during meditation when the mind is quiet. It can also be achieved with deep, slow breathing. 

Alpha state of mind


Running While in the Alpha State of Mind

If we could achieve the alpha state of mind every time we ran, we would experience runner's high on every run. We would experience a highly coordinated flow between mind and body, running would become effortless and we would feel rejuvenated after running rather than exhausted. 

This is not how most of us feel during or after running using conventional techniques so we need to find a better and easier way to run. 

According to Dr. John Douillard, author of Body, Mind, and Sport, it is possible to experience the zone on every run. 

In his book, he suggests various techniques to help train the body to handle the stress of running without going into stress mode. The key is to discover the point where your body shifts from comfort and balance to a state of fatigue and exhaustion. When you learn to recognize this state (which is very subtle initially), you can train your body not to go beyond it and stay in an alpha state throughout your entire run. 

Running in the alpha state of mind would not only help improve our running performances but it would also help prevent the 80 percent of diseases that are caused by stress and the free radicals it produces!

Also, as we improve how we run and stay more calm, the body begins to burn fats rather than sugar and carbs which are considered emergency fuel when the body is under stress. 

"If you want to conquer the anxiety of life,
live in the moment,
live in the breath."

-- Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation


Slow, deep nasal breathing is essential in learning to run in the alpha state of mind. I have learned how to nasal breathe while running, but I have not yet mastered a slow breath rate or low heart rate that are needed. I am working on slowing down my breathing while running at the moment but I must admit, it is not easy. 

A quick way of determining if you are training too hard is to watch your breathing pattern. There should be a slight pause between the exhale and the inhale. Try to ensure that this pause exists even while you are running hard. It will help bring awareness and slow down your breathing and it is an indication that you are more relaxed.

In the meantime, I am going to continue to try to slow my breath rate to less than 20 breaths per minute as suggested in the book. I will provide an update on my progress next month. Until then, happy, healthy running!

Check out the update here: Running in the Alpha State of Mind Update

With love and peace,

Jackie

Read more about nasal breathing in the following articles:

The Buteyko Breathing Method and Running

Improve Your Breathing While Running

How You Breathe While Running Could Be Causing Injuries


Back to Top


Have you enjoyed this month's issue of our newsletter?  If you would like to have each new issue delivered directly to your Inbox, subscribe here.

You can also:  

Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

Previous Issues of The Peaceful Runner Newsletter




FTC Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying  purchases.
Learn more.

NEW FEATURE - DISQUS COMMENTS!

Be the first to comment.
Login using Facebook, Twitter, Google or Disqus.

Loading Comments
#disqus_thread { min-height: 200px; }

Recent Articles

  1. Are you tired of bulky and uncomfortable phone carriers while running?

    May 04, 24 01:41 PM

    Best Phone Carrier for Running

    The #PRPocket is the solution you've been seeking. It’s the most comfortable, discreet and secure way to carry your phone while running.

    Read More

  2. Our Cells are Listening to Our Thoughts

    Apr 30, 24 07:11 AM

    Our cells have ears

    This concept isn't far-fetched; it is indeed based on science. Research has proven that our nervous system takes cues from our thoughts, emotions, and mental states, which impacts our physiological c…

    Read More

  3. How to Prevent Black Toenails from Running

    Apr 09, 24 01:41 PM

    How to Prevent Black Toenails

    What causes black toenails while running? Learn how to prevent them and treat them when they are painful.

    Read More

  4. 9 Tips to Prevent Running Injuries

    Mar 28, 24 02:07 PM

    9 Tips to Prevent Running Injuries

    Use these 9 tips to maintain injury-free running, and make it to the finish line every time!

    Read More

  5. Make Running Easier with this Simple Trick

    Mar 20, 24 01:35 PM

    Make Running Easier with this Simple Trick

    Make running easier with this simple trick! It will make you feel more relaxed, happier, healthier, stress free and looking younger!

    Read More

  6. 7 Amazing Advantages of Toe Socks for Running

    Mar 06, 24 11:25 AM

    Toe Socks for Running

    When you discover all the advantages of how these unusual, but brilliant, socks benefit all runners, they may become the only socks you'll ever wear while running.

    Read More

  7. Running in Beautiful Thailand

    Feb 02, 24 05:45 AM

    Running in Beautiful Thailand

    I loved running in Koh Tao, Hua Hin and Cha-Am and each place offered its own unique running experience. I enjoyed having the opportunity to experience tasty food, beautiful scenery and the warm clim…

    Read More

  8. Josh Kerr's World Champion Success Secrets

    Dec 20, 23 11:48 AM

    Josh Kerr World Champion Success

    Josh Kerr was considered the underdog going into the 2023 World Athletics Championship, so after his win, millions were left wondering how he did it. What is the secret to his success?

    Read More

  9. Stunning Running in Dubai

    Dec 04, 23 01:55 PM

    Running in Dubai

    Despite its dry climate, there are unique, spectacular places to run in Dubai! Whenever travelling to this exciting place, whether for business or pleasure, be sure to pack your running shoes.

    Read More

  10. Improve your posture instantly!

    Oct 27, 23 07:01 AM

    Improve our posture instantly

    Maintaining a proper running form is a crucial element that can significantly affect our running economy, our ability to avoid injuries, how we feel while running, and our overall health. Without goo…

    Read More