finding mindful movement during rigid training

Marathon training is funny.

I spend a lot of focus on exploring movement practices that my body craves, yet I’ve jumped into something that has an intense schedule of pinpointing how (and how long) I move each day. It might be a little hypocritical.

Let’s look at last week for example: Missing two of my three training runs and therefore setting myself up for a gruelling week this week is not where I wanted to be. And while I have a million excuses it comes down to the fact that I don’t always want to run for a couple hours. It’s hot, recovery can take time and my knees don’t always love it. And normally this would be totally fine and I simply wouldn’t run that much.

But I have a goal, I’ve signed up, and if I want to feel strong throughout the 42km race in November there’s a lot more commitment needed over here.

But it does make me think: where does mindful movement end and goal crushing begin? Can simply focusing on my end goal be enough to make my body crave longs runs?

So throughout this (less than perfect) training I’m working through, I’ve been trying to steer my focus towards the end goal, the ‘why’, rather than solely on what I feel like doing in the moment. Do you feel me?

We’ve all felt the magical afterglow from pushing ourselves off the couch and out the door to do something - whether it’s a run, a walk, a class or a ride - the afterglow that just feels so good. Which is a testament to the fact that mindful movement is beyond just what you mentally feel like doing in the moment, and instead can include looking into how you’ll feel during and after it. Sometimes we might need the push, even though it’s not what we’re feeling in the moment, to allow ourselves to move forward and become the goal crushers we were born to be.

And I’ve realized that there can still be mindful movement in an intense training schedule. The mindful movement never fully ends because I’m constantly faced with tuning into my body to see where I’m at. How are my energy levels? What did I fuel my body with today? How much sleep did I get? What other kind of movement have I done this week? All these questions, whose answers I find in the really rough runs or days where I recognize I need rest, keep the mindfulness in my movement.

Because training schedule or no training schedule, race or no race, if you don’t tune into what’s up with your body during everything you do, injury and burnout are much more likely.

So find your ‘why’ and use that as a push. Pre marathon training Michelle used the mental boost found through outdoor movement or flowing with community as her why. Right now, however, it’s more strength, endurance and not peeing myself during the race focused. Not bad goals.


Michelle is a teacher at GoodBodyFeel and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuitive eating and self love over dieting, always.

Michelle currently sees clients at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Contact her for more info on her practice or to book an appointment.


// @movewithguts