Insight Run Blog

Great confidence in your running

Author: Dan Rosshagen

Mind stretching, the next revolution in running

Mind stretching revolution

Mind stretching revolution

Say John wants to start running. He buys nice pair of shoes and new running outfit. John feel great! His goal is 5 km. John gets dressed, heads out and press start on his watch. He runs for 900 meters and then he stops, exhaling,  thinking maybe he started running little too fast. He walks for 200 meters and starts running again. John stops again with chest pain and continues walking.

When John eventually gets home were he meets his neighbor Smith who runs ultra marathons and buys new running shoes every other month due to tear.

John and Smith look almost the same and weighs around the same. They even eat similar type of food.

How then can Smith run 100 km and John only 900 meter? Surely training has its part and building muscles.  But it’s just an immense difference, 99% longer. In order for Smith to run that long he needs to use less energy. The way to use less energy is to relax. Smith mind and muscles must be relaxed for him to make it. John’s mind gets stressed when his pulse start racing and he don’t even know how to relax while running. John has been taught that running should be exhausting and really hard training.

The big difference in my opinion is in their minds. Smith knows he can run 100 km, he has done it, he has the mental experience. Been there done that. It’s painful for sure but durable. John in the other hand wants to run 5 km and has no idea how far he can actually run. He has lots of mind ghosts about pain and fatigue.

What to do…

John needs to take his mind to a higher level. Stretching his believes about what he is capable of. If Smith can do it, he can do it. But can he actually believe that? That’s a serious stretch.

Mind stretching is like climbing mountain and for most people 10 km is the limit. It’s the common belief that 10 km is hard, it enters our minds like a virus programmed for body shutdown.

10 km in this case is what I call the tree line. It will most certainly be a struggle until John reaches 10 km because he’s not born and raised with native folks that don’t have this mind limit. Once he make it and continues to climb the mountain little further beyond the limit then the world opens up for him. It’s just beautiful, ask any runner for verification. Unfortunately, no one can tell you how it’s like, really. You have to see it for yourself.

If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain

The mountain is your mind and if you cannot believe you must go and climb that mountain. Taking action and finishing 10 km will eventually make you a believer of that distance. Seeing is believing they say but imagine how fast you would achieve long distance running if you allow yourself to stretch your mind while exercising running.

You need to accept the changes your body must go through when starting running. Relax and follow your own gut. Reading might confuse you and distract you from finding your own “running flow”. Let go of your mind, let it float away almost like daydreaming.

I know it’s hard, you just have to see it for yourself.

But once you do….man….indescribable….lost for words!

Fifth pain turnaround program

Fifth pain turnaround program

Fifth pain turnaround program

One of my favorite self-made running programs is the “fifth pain turnaround program”. Last year I called it only the turnaround program but I felt something was missing so I added some pain 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, this program is for anyone and it’s not that painful. The benefit is that you will boost your self-confident by 200 percent. That’s a lot in running!

The program is like this. Free your agenda and start running, you don’t know where or how long. You feel great, what an adventure. Just you, your shoes and nature (if that is where you will run). After a while you will start noticing pain somewhere. Could be your shoulders or anywhere. Tired does not count as pain unfortunately. Okay, you have your first pain. After some time your second pain will appear. Could be tensed hamstring. Good my second pain, three to go. Just continue until you counted your fifth pain, then you stop running. You could wait for a while, a minuet or two then start running home again, the same way back.

Sounds crazy I know but the award is unbeatable. Imagine when you get home, you can say that you ran twice as long as you ever have done. You have been to hell and got back again. Normally you will be home once you reach your fifth pain but now you are the furthest away from home that you have ever been. Now you have to get back home. This is a mind opener. You can’t beat it. It does not matter how you get home as long as you don’t take a cab. You can walk, you can stop as much as you like. It does not matter. The reward is 200 percent. You will have stretched your mind by far. Once you do get home you realize that it was easier than what you have imagined.

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Your running will take a new turn after this and you will get an insight in the mind of a long distance runner. You will feel pain that is a fact, but the joy afterwards is outstanding, all pain aside. You will stretch your mind into new unknown territory. Scary for some, exciting for others. It does not matter which, your spirit and life wants you to stretch.

Listen to your body, run the furthest and collect your reward!

Going astray sometimes

Going astray sometimes

Going astray sometimes

Life teaches you to follow your heart but what happens if you’re going astray sometimes? What does going astray mean exactly? Astray is anything that pulls you away from your heart. This could mean anything in life, big or small. Say you wanted to run one day but you postponed it due to bad weather. Pretty common excuse but nevertheless it’s leading you astray in that sense. There is ridiculously many things leading you astray all the time. Who makes these rules of what you should or shouldn’t do? It’s the same answer as my other blog posts, unfortunately it’s you, but not to blame we are tought to listen and learn from others. We can’t blame others (whoever they might be) but we need to check with our intuition to verify if we should believe what we hear or learn to be true.

I read about Jemma Griffiths that she read in a guide-book one day that said, never look people in their eyes on the subway in New York. She was terrified to even look at people until one day that she realized it wasn’t true. How much damage has not this guide-book caused her and others like her. You want to believe that what you read is the truth. In this case the guide-book was leading her astray.

Who made up all the rules
We follow them like fools
Believe them to be true
Don’t care to think them throughThey – Jem (2004)

When I searched for synonyms of “astray” then I got words like: gone, lost, wandering or wrong. Pretty much all bad things. These are actually the same words that also describe the word sin that is used in religious context for violating God’s will. It’s also the same words that describes satan or the devil, that brings evil and temptation to humanity.

That really means that staying home being lazy and postponing my run would be a sin in religious terms, tempting you to not take action, not following your heart. There is only this short hesitation or leading you astray but not more than that, no hell waiting or nothing like that. What are waiting is a second chance, actually lots and lots of chances. But if you constantly choose to go astray then your life will be a living hell. Not doing what your heart wants hurts, physically. Every person goes astray multiple times per day even the most religious persons, that’s just life. That’s how we learn to listen to our intuition.

How often haven’t you felt something but acted on the opposite just to realized that it was wrong. Then you tell yourself, I KNEW IT! I should have acted on my first thought. Often we feel something at first then we analyze it with what we have learned and change our minds in the last minuet. As we are the captain of our ship then we must start trusting our inner compass called intuition. Last minuet changes might be right sometimes but only if you feel that something is wrong. So going astray, sin or devil actually means that you are not listening to your heart. Working with the wrong profession, not helping a person in need and things like that.

In running this will be your greatest tool and also in life. You have lots of chances to improve yourself. When you start realizing what is leading you astray then you can choose not to act on that. Just choose what you feel is right for you and if that doesn’t work out then make a change. Simple as that. I must agree though, threatening with a burning hell would have gotten me to run faster and more often. But sooner or later I would have realized just as Jemma that it wasn’t true.

Go for a run and trust yourself.

Allegory of the run

Allegory of the run

Allegory of the run

I’m not a fan of labeling things but if we hypothetical labeled runners as junior or senior just to try this allegory of the run. Instinctively you might think that junior runners are young persons between say 16-25 years and senior runners would be around 70+ years. That could be one way of looking at it, most common I would think.

I use the terms junior and senior in a different way. Age has really nothing to do with it, but actually fear does. A young person can speak in front of thousands people without any fear and yet an old person can get really nervous speaking in front of just a small group. In this case I would say that the young person is the senior and vice versa. It really depends on the task, whose junior or senior.

There is a well-known process going from junior to senior. Nearly all religions speak about it. Once senior then you are a person of interest for other juniors. You have managed to transformed fear into wisdom, and that is what life is all about. Turning darkness into light if you may.

When we first start facing the truth, the process may be frightening, and many people run back to their old lives. But if you continue to seek the truth, you will eventually be able to handle it better. In fact, you want more!
The Republic – Plato (427-347 BC)

The junior state is often taught, could be through schooling, parents or other dogmas. The senior state is acquired through action, often learned from ones mistakes. Therefore making mistakes is a very good ting and also not listening to much of what others say is their truth. That is why the process may be frightening, making mistakes and going against what others say. Our comfort zone can easily drag us back to our old habits.

In running there is a barrier to be breached and that is exactly this process. Junior runners often struggle every single time whereas senior runners have the same type of struggle but with a huge difference, they LOVE it! A senior runner mindset has gone beyond whats often taught about running and have started listening from within rather than from without. Becoming your own running expert. Tweeking what feels wrong into something better with a positive feeling. Once acquired that state of mind, you want more and you’ll love it!

Take action and bring your running into the light! In other words, just run…

Tread lightly running

Tread Lightly Running

Tread Lightly Running

There is an enormous difference between ones weight even though your scale shows the same weight. Why is that? Sometimes you just feel heavy and not at all willing to even step outside whereas sometimes you feel light and you perform at your personal best. Same weight but different feelings. The difference is your energy level. Energy is that stuff that makes everything happen. When something or somebody moves, it’s because energy is being transformed.

Your energy level is roughly a mixture of how much nutrition your body can absorb from your current diet and your current state of mind. Energy is produced in the mitochondria located inside every living cell in your body. You might think that there is one to one relation between your diet and your energy level but there are some other factors in play aswell. Your diet of course plays a big part but what that energy is used for is controlled by your epigenetics.

Epigenetic refers to how cells read your genes, with this quite new discovery we can no longer blame our genes on previous generations,  it’s now our own responsibility. Epigenetic is affected by the external environment (diet, drugs, state of mind etc.). You are the captain of your ship. Are you providing your body with low quality food and have stress as your state of mind, that can or will result in diseases like cancer. On the other hand, if you provide high quality food and have positive and free state of mind, that can result in a fantastic healthy life, full of energy.

We need to think about the big picture, in short, skip crappy food and follow your heart, that’s it! Don’t put your energy into poor use, learn to let go and free your mind. So many people workout regularly with little or no progress. Find your problems and deal with them to get peace of mind. You need to take action.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.Henry Ford

This is were running can help you deal with your problems. From the first step on your run you will feel your energy level, low or high. Contemplate about the source for that energy level. Steer your life towards the sources that makes your energy level high. A high energy level is our bodies default state so in order to gain that state you will need to take action on removing the things that sets you in a low energy level.

If you succeed, you will experience tread lightly running and you will be hooked for more. This is the energy level you experienced as a child when you could run for a whole day. If you take action on removing energy thieves you will not only set records, you will also live a healthy life.

Special moment

Special Moment

Ayrton Senna (BRA) – Special Moment

There is a special moment when we manage to break trough the our barrier of fear also known as comfort zone or demon. As a child these barrier does not exist. These barriers are man-made and they tend to stick very easy on a young person who is eager to learn about life. Religion is trying its best to help us break all our barriers but in my eyes they have too much focus on the afterlife and fails to address every day issues.

Say you are brought up in a sing and songwriter family, then you probably won’t have any fears in the singing area, but might have in other areas of life. Societies that have running as a part of life have a natural talent for running because they do not have any fear of running. By fear of running I mean mind limits. Elite runners work their whole career to remove their mind limits. The less limits the better performance.

It’s great to see running trends all over the world, people trying to overcome their own mind limitations. Running is like driving a car, in the beginning you were scared about driving, after a few years you drive without thinking. When learning something new that generally gets stored in your mind as limitations. After a while with practice you transform mind limitations into feelings. That transformation will free your mind and your feelings and sensory takes over.

And I felt God’s presence. I saw God. It was a very special moment for me. An indescribable feeling. It remains engraved in my memory and as a part of me.Ayrton Senna – Formula 1 racing driver

Senna told in his documentary movie that he had felt and seen God. That means that he had been in total contact with his feeling. That he did not drive by logic thinking but completely on feeling sensory. In that special moment he had let go of all his fears.

In running and in any part of life the special moment have the same indescribable feeling. That moment when you completely let go, no thinking, no limitations, just running on feeling sensory.

Remember, the less limits the better performance.

Fast track of the mind

fast track of the mind

Game on

Have you ever heard someone say that this and that takes a long time to master. Not true! There is a fast track of the mind that people seldom use or never even heard of. The problem is that if someone lets you think something will take a long time then it probably will take a long time if you believe that. The key in every part of life is change and if you’re willing to change your state of mind then time is not an issue. Animals adapt to change very fast and so does human children, human grown ups…not so much. Almost everything in our society does not really promote change, we are already used to that things takes a long time. I’m not talking about pregnancy, that will run natures course but things that can be changed but are blocked by rules or fears.

Sometimes my eldest son asks me when driving our car if we are there yet? I often answer by reflex that we are soon there. He is not interested in soon as he asks the question again, are we there yet? Then I wonder why I answered soon. Maybe an attempt to ease his waiting. Soon does not exist in a childs world and probably should not exist in the grown world either. Can you help me with this? Soon. When can we go? Soon. There is something wrong with soon, something holding back and taking a long time. Children are direct and things change very fast. As we get older we tend to forget that, we get lazy.

Talking about running I often hear that it takes a long time to master. I say that it takes the amount of time it takes for your mind to change. Often with beliefs we demand some kind of proof otherwise we tend to doubt. Doubt is a fear (holding us back) that we need to overcome and isn’t it proof enough that thousands and thousands have completed their marathon? The fight is in your head as the lyrics goes.

In your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie
Zombie – Cranberries

If overcome that fear and you believe that you can run a marathon, then your body, your cells and your legs will follow. There is no taking a long time and there is no soon if you use the fast track of the mind.

Creating new energy

creating new energy insight

Energy Boost – Creating New Energy

We all know how to consume energy, but how about creating new energy? I’m not talking about food as such but the type of energy that you can get during a run. Let’s say you are out running and are exhausted then you meet someone who looks at you and smiles, that will give you extra energy. It could also be a cheering crowd during a big race or sometimes your favorite music can make your thoughts drift away and the fatigue you just felt disappeared.

It doesn’t really matter what it is but you will feel an energy boost or extra energy. My insight was that having this kind of extra energy during a whole run regardless of external circumstances. Wouldn’t that be great?! Free supply of energy!

So what does a smile, a cheering crowd or a song have in common that will free that extra energy for you? They will free your mind. They will literally take your mind of something and into something else. The smile touches your soul and in that moment your mind becomes secondary. Same thing goes for the crowd and the song, they reaches past your mind thus freeing the mind or puts the mind on hold.

Depending on what your mind was busy with you can experience different things. I see people keeping their mind busy with their GPS, constantly monitoring their current pace or heart rate. Some are struggling with their pain and stares at the ground with only one thought in their mind, please let this be over soon. Often the more you run you start to let go of these thoughts and free your mind hence creating new energy.

You have to let it all go Neo. Fear, doubt and disbelief. Free your mind.Morpheus – The Matrix

In running there might not be a whole lot of fears but it exists. It could be fear of high pulse, sweat discomfort or fear of starting to walk in other words defeat or embarrassment.  Doubt and disbelief on the other hand can be a real struggle to let go. It’s a very bad feeling when you start to doubt or mistrust yourself, going against your inner desire. It’s like the energy in all your cells just drain out. But on the other hand, what a great feeling it is when you conquer that fear, doubt or disbelief. When you overcome things you did not believe was possible. In running you will sooner or later experience that very clearly and feel it in youre whole body.

Runners who run great know that if they get too concerned about not being bad, they will not free enough energy to be great. They run to win and I hope you do the same.

Weather in Thailand

Weather in Thailand

Koh Lanta – Long Beach, using New Balance Minimus MT00 Trail shoes

The idea of this blog came during a seven month stay in Thailand. It’s like they say about the weather in Thailand, it’s hot here, really hot. Running here is like having someone running next to you with a hairdryer in your face. But on the other hand, try to imagine running along the beach early morning. The sea is almost totally calm and the sun is on the rise. That’s a great feeling!

I get a lot of looks from local Thai people during my morning runs, like they don’t understand why anybody would want to run instead of driving a scooter. Maybe Thai people does not have the need for running? Grown Thai people are still very flexible like children and have seldom backache. Is it because their beds are hard as rocks or from sitting a lot on the ground. During massage you can see many troubled faces of pain on the tourists and masseuses almost find it amusing. Have we westerners missed something here, overweight or well-trained but with very tense bodies?

Our bodies needs to have balance between body, mind and heart. Too much attention to any one of those areas, and we become unbalanced. Most of us these days live in an intellectual world with focus on the mind. When running the mind gets weary, mentally tired. That leads to some rehabilitation between our mind and heart, in other words creating balance between our intellect and emotions.

You will feel it after your run, a feeling of calmness in your body. I usually had a lot of second thoughts or excuses before my runs but I’ve never regretted a single run upon completion. Mostly intellect before my run and mostly emotion after.

The running trend the last years have had exponential growth of applicants to races like marathons. This in my opinion means that we also have had an exponential growth in intellectual focus that causes stress in our minds. In the 90’s there was much focus on weightlifting in the gym but that did not get the job done wearing down the mind. One thing that did work the drugs in the 70’s, perhaps too much weary minds, causing yet another unbalanced behavior. Neither excessive running or taking drugs will create that longterm balance, only changing your behavior will do that. But that’s another topic, training will at least get you in the right direction towards that.

Trouble is the perfect time for training. You are not here, you with your trouble. If you with your trouble when fighting happens, more trouble for you.

Syrio Forel – Game of Thrones

Trouble being the mind in stress and yes then it’s the perfect time for training but you need to let go of your mind in order to generate energy in your body, otherwise you will feel the pain hence more trouble for you.

Insights does not resignate from our minds, the true insight comes from our hearts.

Let go and you will tread lightly full of energy!!!

The runner awakens

The Runner Awakens

The Runner Awakens

Like any other Star Wars fan it’s easy to draw parallels from the movies with our own lifes. What I mean with “the runner awakens” is that there are hidden powers within running that needs to be awaken. Probably you won’t feel it as a beginner but if you can ignore the pain a little bit and listen to small subtile messages during your runs then you will grow as a runner.

No matter if you are a beginner or expert in running, insights will always be there to guide you. The question is if you are alert enough to listen to them. In running and all aspects of life it’s all about feeling! Try skipping your GPS for a couple of runs or even leave your favorite music at home that distracts you from your valuble insights. For example, if you feel your eardrum is pounding little too much then your stride length is probably too long. These small subtile things can guide to fine-tune your running.

When your thought get in the way from your feeling, that’s when you start to loose energy in your body. Your main focus should be positiv. Just like in school, if you like a subject then your motivation will perform better and get higher grade and the opposite if you feal forced into studying something you dislike. Running because you have to will never beat the feeling of running because you love it.

I guess since you are reading this you love running as I do or would like to love it. Speaking of Star Wars and hidden powers led me into this phrase and I can see the direct link to running and setting your goals. Not just setting your goals but believing in them too.

Rey: Is that even possible?
Han Solo: I never ask that question until after I’ve done it!

Whatever your goals might be, the answer will always be: Yes it’s possible! Sometimes ignorence is bliss, just set a goal, do it and then reflect on your achievement. No dwellings, no maybes, no it’s not possible.

So go out there, live BIG and love the run…is that even possible? Yes!

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