Is running a spiritual experience for some?

When I run I find my mind is clear. I get a sence of freedom and liberation while viewing the surroundings out in the country.

I also find if I don't focus on my running or breath I can run easier and longer.

Who else in here has similar experiences? I've been running since March of this year and used to hate it. But after a while I look forward to it and enjoy it.

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Comments

  • Running has always been something pure for me, something beyond just putting one foot in front of the other. I am not sure how much i see of the world around me when i run, except when i get up early and like to feel the world, before it wakes up.

    I try not to focus on my running or breathing, rather let my body tell me what it wants to do.

    I have been running now for two years, and for me, it is just a feeling of release, and focus.

  • Totally agree. Running for me is about how it makes me feel. I always feel its almost meditation on the move due to the calm relaxed frame of mind it puts me in.
  • I'm curious - are those feelings compatible with following any sort of training programme? Or do they evaporate as soon as you have to start thinking about speeds and times and distances and so on? 

  • CambridgeMinor wrote (see)

    I'm curious - are those feelings compatible with following any sort of training programme? Or do they evaporate as soon as you have to start thinking about speeds and times and distances and so on? 

    Any "structured" training programme worth its salt will have room for plenty of easy paced running where it's best not to be too prescriptive about pace.  So yes, those feelings are entirely compatible as far as I'm concerned.

  • Mmm, so not necessarily compatable on the same run, but certainly within your overall running. And I guess the more you do the structured training, and the fitter and stronger you get, the more likely you are to achieve that relaxed, meditative, feel-good state on the non-structured runs. Something for me to aim for!

  • Some people read Born to Run after running five minutes and think they are the Dali Lama of running. They run in a pair of minimal sandals and talk about being one with the ground. They are full of shit.



    Other people just go for a nice run in the country and enjoy the feeling of being there and feeling good. No need for the sermons.
  • Spiritual...absolutely not, I wouldn't recognise an endorphin if it bit me on the bum. However I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing it well.



    Sussex Runner: "Some people...Dali Lama...full of shit"....great post.
  • I don't feel spiritual but I feel closer to something when i'm out there alone. For me, it's a special feeling to be running through the woods all on your own, feeling the leaves and branches crackle underneath your foot and feeling part of something greater.

    Saying that my aunt who's in her mid 80's and prays 5 times a day says that you don't need to be in a church to be close to god. He's in every breathe, every step and every sight you see that day. I don't agree with her stance on god but I believe in something.

  • I think there is a certain speed - when you get in that cruise, which is at threshold but feels effortless, where everything just flows and you can relax and ride the momentum. I get it about 4 miles into a threshold run or session, and I find that quite a medatative phase, as you can just let go of everything. I'm not sure spiritual is the word I would use, but I can see why you used it.

  • Emmy_bug wrote (see)

    I don't feel spiritual but I feel closer to something when i'm out there alone. For me, it's a special feeling to be running through the woods all on your own, feeling the leaves and branches crackle underneath your foot and feeling part of something greater.

    Saying that my aunt who's in her mid 80's and prays 5 times a day says that you don't need to be in a church to be close to god. He's in every breathe, every step and every sight you see that day. I don't agree with her stance on god but I believe in something.

    A good track session will take you closer to vomiting.

  • WiB wrote (see)
    Emmy_bug wrote (see)
    I don't feel spiritual but I feel closer to something when i'm out there alone. For me, it's a special feeling to be running through the woods all on your own, feeling the leaves and branches crackle underneath your foot and feeling part of something greater. Saying that my aunt who's in her mid 80's and prays 5 times a day says that you don't need to be in a church to be close to god. He's in every breathe, every step and every sight you see that day. I don't agree with her stance on god but I believe in something.

    A good track session will take you closer to vomiting.

    I've had a few threshold runs that have brought me close to that!

  • Not sure if this was spiritual or not but an hour and a half into a LSR I was running downhill at a fairly fast pace and some young kid started to run alongside me,not long after I  heard " Bollocks to that !" in which he stopped running  as I sprinted away, I  felt like some sort of Running GOD ! imageimage

  • image

    With regard to the original question, I don't think it is spiritual, I think its just good fun.

  • Emmy Bug,

    Apologies if I come across preachy. Yes Church isn't needed to be close to God. I positively push the idea of God is everywhere. If I had it my way 'Sunday' Church would be taken outside and not stuck in the 4 walls of a building. St Francis was very much for 'God is everywhere in nature' and even spoke to the animals image Crazy fool image

    So running for me is an extreme form of prayer. It beats hands down sitting in Church or going on retreat or saying compline before bed. Running is the ultimate prayer time for me. A few weeks back I was running along the Swanage coast just before dawn and as the sun came up over the horizon it was amazing. That's God, that's spiritual. I felt closer to God that very moment than I have at any point throughout my life bar a few moments. So I think running tunes you into your surroundings and if you happen to be somebody with a spiritual persuasion you will tune into it and feel it image

  • Running through the fields and woods at sunrise does have a certain something. Not sure I would call it spiritual but it is quite specialimage

  • TheVicar wrote (see)

    Emmy Bug,

    Apologies if I come across preachy. Yes Church isn't needed to be close to God. I positively push the idea of God is everywhere. If I had it my way 'Sunday' Church would be taken outside and not stuck in the 4 walls of a building. St Francis was very much for 'God is everywhere in nature' and even spoke to the animals image Crazy fool image So running for me is an extreme form of prayer. It beats hands down sitting in Church or going on retreat or saying compline before bed. Running is the ultimate prayer time for me. A few weeks back I was running along the Swanage coast just before dawn and as the sun came up over the horizon it was amazing. That's God, that's spiritual. I felt closer to God that very moment than I have at any point throughout my life bar a few moments. So I think running tunes you into your surroundings and if you happen to be somebody with a spiritual persuasion you will tune into it and feel it image

    So you think there's a god, yet you also think someone talking to animals is crazy?

    Irony much?! pmsl

     

    As for the op its endorphins.

  • "I believe that God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure"...Oh wait, hang on a minute, He didn't make me particularly fast!
    I personally wouldn't describe running as spiritual. Enjoyable, yes, peaceful and relaxing, sometimes, but maybe "spiritual" is putting it a bit strongly.

  • I'm weary of the word spiritual as, when people use it, I don't understand what they're actually trying to get at. Neither I suspect do they.

    Running makes me happy because it gives me peaceful time alone that is doing my body good. I also get to see beautiful things when I'm running such as wildllife, the landscape and sunrises/sunsets.

    Some see that as somehow linked to a God, I just see it as the beauty of nature and a reminder of how lucky we are.

  • “I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings” - Albert Einstein.

    image

  • I think running will be a spiritual experience for those who are looking for places to stick the label "spiritual".

  • MattDA wrote (see)

    Some see that as somehow linked to a God, I just see it as the beauty of nature and a reminder of how lucky we are.

    What's lucky about being stuck on a lump of mud planet, being born to spend your days wanting things you can't attain, and then dying soon to be forgotten and become worm food, for the chain to begin again?.

  • Lardarse, I'm not going to get into any arguments. I believe, you don't and no matter what I say that will never change image

    As for spirituality it doesn't have to involve a God at all. Buddhism is very well know as a spiritual religion. However they do not believe in a God.

    Sprituality is feeling connected to yourself. Being switched on and in tune with yourself. As runners I believe this is the case. You feel the road under your feet you feel your breathing you know when to have a drink or eat. You switch on and listen to your body, the niggles the aches etc Its very spiritual

  • have you ever loved somebody or felt loved lardarse. Thats worth being on this planet for. Their are some amazing things around us trust me. My daughter. To see her happy thats worth being here for isn't it?

  • lardarse wrote (see)
     

    What's lucky about being stuck on a lump of mud planet, being born to spend your days wanting things you can't attain, and then dying soon to be forgotten and become worm food, for the chain to begin again?.

    Well it'll keep the worms happy!

  • Does the mud planet have oceans?.................Can't bear oceans
  • Depending on what you believe Oceans were made on the first day but separated from the sky on the second dayimage

  • TheVicar wrote (see)

    Lardarse, I'm not going to get into any arguments. I believe, you don't and no matter what I say that will never change image

    As for spirituality it doesn't have to involve a God at all. Buddhism is very well know as a spiritual religion. However they do not believe in a God. Sprituality is feeling connected to yourself. Being switched on and in tune with yourself. As runners I believe this is the case. You feel the road under your feet you feel your breathing you know when to have a drink or eat. You switch on and listen to your body, the niggles the aches etc Its very spiritual

    Being connected to myself is about being connected to myself. Not about spirituality.
    Being switched on and in tune, is about being switched on and in tune. Not about spirituality.

    We have words to describe 'connected', 'switched on', 'in tune'. Those words are 'connected', 'switched on', 'in tune'. No need for "spirituality" to attempt to establish squatters' rights over those terms. (Especially now the Tories have made squatting more difficult).

    Trying to attach spituality to those terms is nothing more than a taxonomic land grab.

  • On the other hand, for me, running often does involves some experience of spit-uality.

  • thats just nothing more than a taxonomic land grab though
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