A Marathoner’s Morning Run (with a Side of Zen)

A Marathoner’s Morning Run (with a Side of Zen)

By Andrew Rickards

A Marathoner’s Morning Run (with a Side of Zen)

I grew up playing sports, but I hated running. I used to hide behind the bleachers whenever they asked us to do even a mile in PE class. But one day, during a 5K walk/run with coworkers, I got a little bored walking, and I started looking around at the runners. They all seemed like they were having a lot more fun. So, I joined them. I didn't know what I was doing, but by the end I felt great—the kinds of endorphins my body released when running made my whole system feel like it was at a big party. So, I joined a running group, made friends who ran, and signed up for big goals: 10K’s led to half marathons, which led not only to races like the New York Marathon (I’ve run it five times), but also to a whole new way of life.

Now, every morning before I go to work, I get up and run. And since I started this ritual over ten years ago, I noticed how much better my days are—less stress, better mood, more focused. The key is to start small. Begin with 10-15 minutes a day, build up to 20-30 mins, and so on. The energy and clear mind you get actually leads to more productivity and better focus—which leads to more time. Nothing gets me more happy, productive, focused, and aligned with my best self than a morning run.

Here’s how my run routine goes:

I’ll start the day drinking a glass of clean, fluoride-free water with fresh lemon for extra hydration. I also add a tulsi and ashwagandha tincture in it, which changed my life almost as much as the smartphone did. If I’m feeling low-energy, I’ll also have a cup of caffeine-free Chaga Chai tea (I get that, and my ashwagandha from Ravencrest Botanicals) with maca and sometimes a little coconut oil and/or hemp milk for extra yum.

Then, I go outside for a 25-55 minute run. We’re so often encouraged to find things to listen to when we’re running, but the best advice I can possibly give is to leave your headphones at home and treat your run like a meditation. Listen only to your breath. Observe your surroundings. Smile at other runners. And find 10-20 things to be grateful for during the run—your legs, your breath, your comfy running capris, the birds singing, the sunrise, the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. Really take in and acknowledge the bright shining sun for sustaining our life on earth, and for giving you an energizing dose of vitamin D. When you get home, do a brain dump of all your thoughts—from what you want to accomplish that day to how you’re feeling about specific things—on a page or two of paper. Finally, give yourself a few minutes (I do 20, but even five or three has benefits) to, again, listen to your breath, hear sounds around you, observe your thoughts, and let those thoughts pass. End it with metta -- sending love, thanks and happiness to yourself, all beings, and all the universe. Now, get to that shower, and go have the best day of your life!

Beth Weinstein

Beth Weinstein spent over 12 years in the fashion industry bringing great products to life for big brands and designers like Rebecca Taylor, Gap and more. But when she needed to get away from the fashion madness, she was running. Without even realizing it, her life became more and more about running until one day, she decided to combine her love for running with her life in fashion to bring a well-designed, high-quality, NYC-based running brand to life— OnlyAtoms. The brand is sold online and across New York, and has been covered in publications such as Thrillist, Runner’s World, Shape, Racked, Time Out, and The Huffington Post.