Relaxation and Running
Running has always been an integral part of my life, and I have been lucky enough to be able to turn my passion for running into a career which I look back on with gratitude and huge satisfaction! In the early days on our farm in Cavan, I ran with no real aim other than the joy of moving. Running itself was my reward. I loved the feeling of freedom, strength, quietness and the wind on my face. I also gradually recognized that I had a talent for this, and I became more disciplined and organised myself and trained to become accomplished at it, and to see how far I could take it. I worked hard to perfect my technique over time. I was very disciplined in those competitive years. But even when competing internationally for my country with high stakes, and flashing cameras I never actually lost my joy in running.
Pressure off the track disappeared once I started running on it. And today, I still find the same joy in it as I did when I was a teenager running in the boreens of Cavan. I teach runners now, everything from total beginners to more experienced runners training for an event. It’s really rewarding, and I get a lot of satisfaction in helping people experience the feeling of joy, confidence and well being that running gives. What we most like about running is getting to that point of no thought and a feeling of calmness and quietness in our minds.
I try to instil in my students that it's not all about performance. They need to use running as a relaxation technique, and see it as something to bring joy into their lives - not another obligation or task to get through. As a Chi Runner, My students learn to engage the core, align the posture, relax the limbs, and take light steps when they run, landing midfoot. That sounds a bit technical, and difficult to master - but it makes a huge difference to flow with your body, rather than battle against it - or push it to do something it will not naturally do. By directing your attention to the process of running (the form and the technique), you'll be practising mindfulness, reducing stress on the body, and adopting a running technique which results in fewer injuries, improved speed, and more pleasurable, relaxing runs. That's what it's all about!
I'm on a mission to help everyone find the same joy in running which has brought so much to my life. Discover the joy of running at the Irish Life Health Festival of Running on July 28th 2019 – Full Details are available HERE