Run towards your true self: Embracing authenticity while chasing your goals

What do heart rate training and yoga have in common?

If you have ever tried heart rate training, you may know that it is the most humbling, ego-less type of run training there is. It can be extremely mental.

If you haven’t, let me put it into perspective. My PR for a 5K is about 25 minutes. That was a recent PR and I could still likely run that if I got out there and pushed. Prior heart rate training, my long training runs were at around a 10:30 min/mi. Not anything speedy, but I usually wasn’t the last one out there (nor was I the first).

A couple years ago, I read a life changing book, “The Big Book of Endurance Running” by Dr. Phil Maffetone. He argues that running are over-carbed, over-trained, and run in the anaerobic zone rather then the aerobic zone. This leads to countless health problems such as over-training, injuries, carbohydrate intolerance, insulin resistance. His theory makes sense and has some real science behind it, but lets save that for another post.

After committing to The Maffetone Method training and calculating my MAF, I was ready to go. My max aerobic heart rate according to the MAF formula has me between 134-144 BPM. This had put my pace at about 12:40 min/mile and if I have had a stressful day, I wasn’t even able to run.

When I first began the Maffetone Method, my typical run sent me into frequent walk breaks as I built my aerobic base. Some days I wanted to throw a paper bag over head while running, at what I felt like was a snail’s pace.

One day, while on a training run, I had an epiphany and realized, THIS IS YOGA. After all, Yoga is defined as “…a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines …”. 


Why had I been beating myself up over doing something which I love? It doesn’t matter how fast or slow, it was my attachment to a pace which was causing the discomfort.

If I learned to let go of the attachment to outcome or expectations, I would be more content and happy right where I am.


I continue to practice heart rate training in running. It is much easier these days to maintain the slower pace once I recognized it was yoga of the mind.

On occasion, I feel the need to run faster as a car goes by or someone sees me, but I recognize that the urge is my ego. Once I acknowledge the ego, it’s much easier to let it go.

” The life of yoga extends well off the mat into the world each and every day”

Mark Stephens

Until next time….Be the Change.


Categories: Blog, mindful living, Mindful Running, yoga

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