Meditation and mindfulness aren’t just buzzwords – they’re the key to improving your recovery and unlocking your true performance potential
Meditation is no gimmick – just ask the two-time winner and record holder of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, Timothy Olson. He practises mindfulness on a daily basis and uses trail running as a way of connecting with both nature and himself. Vedic meditation – the kind practised by our expert, Will Williams – is the most simple way of receiving some absurdly powerful benefits. Research from Harvard University found that it is 250% more effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety than any other technique, and only requires 20min of your time twice a day. By inducing physiological relaxation and forcing you to concentrate on your breathing, you’ll enhance your recovery.
So what is Vedic meditation? This unique practice involves repeating a personalised sound in your mind – it will be something that allows you to experience a meditative state with ease and comfort, and resonates with your nervous system. You don’t need to sit cross-legged or on a clifftop – you just need to rest and relax while concentrating on repeating your sound silently. To discover more and book yourself onto a guided course, visit www.willwilliamsmeditation.co.uk.
The benefits of Vedic meditation include:
Cortisol and glucocorticoids are hormones that are generated by stressful events, like a tough training session. An imbalance of these can damage your cardiovascular system and lead to impaired muscular performance; meditation corrects the balance of hormones in your system.
Research from the British Journal of Sports Medicine examined Olympic-level athletes and observed increases in performance with a few days of practicing meditation, including lower PBs and greater coordination.
Reduced sporting side-effects
As healthy for you as regular exercise is, it has been observed to induce osteoporosis and infertility in supremely active people, due to an imbalance in hormones. Meditation corrects that imbalance and allows you to enjoy the benefits of exercise without worrying about any damage done.
Meditation increases oxygen flow in the body, with its focus on breathing technique, and allows you to enjoy a more rested sleep. This improved efficiency not only speeds up recovery but will help you feel better rested and energised throughout your day.
For competitive runners, race day can induce a surge of dread and trepidation, leading to a dip in performance when it matters most. Meditation is clearly proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety, allowing you to concentrate on the performance at hand and enjoy the sensation of competing.