Nike’s ability to inspire and equip athletes to meet their goals and enhance their performance continues thanks to its expanding partnership with guided meditation and mindfulness app Headspace.
“We believe it’s critical to serve the complete holistic needs of athletes,” says Sean Bruich, VP of Membership Services and Consumer Knowledge. “To do that, we’ve used our influence in the world of sport to partner with companies that are experts in their fields so that together we can offer our members access to exclusive experiences, services and products.”
This partnership also serves to reward athletes throughout their journey — and the more active someone is in the Nike Run Club (NRC) app or Nike Training Club (NTC) app, the more they get rewarded. It’s all part of the exciting new benefits available with a NikePlus membership.
Here are the three biggest ways Nike is bringing this tool to athletes and NikePlus members and how you can take advantage of the relationship to go into your next workout with a calm mind and clear perspective on your goals.
Miles get more focused
How: Audio-guided runs (AGRs), which you can find in the NRC app, provide step-by-step expert coaching from Nike pros and elite athletes to help you improve pacing, speed and endurance, making them a great way to take your running to the next level. “By the end of each of these runs, the hope is the athlete has learned a little more about themselves as a runner,” says Chris Bennett, Global Head Coach of Nike Running.
Now, Nike is adding-audio guided mindful runs — the first of their kind — to NRC’s arsenal of AGRs. The first three are in the app now and feature Coach Bennett, Headspace’s Puddicombe, and Olympic steeplechaser and Nike athlete Colleen Quigley. What sets these apart from Nike’s other guided runs is that in addition to getting effort-based running instruction, you’ll also learn how to unlock strength and peace from within. “The guidance blends technical and motivational components, making it a little more active and upbeat than a sitting meditation,” Puddicombe explains.
Why they work: Each mindful run falls into one of the same three categories every NRC run does (long, speed or recovery), but even though you may run fast during one, running fast won’t be the focus of the session. Instead, you’ll be coached in ways that help you feel like you are in control of your run, your outlook on your running and even your life.
How to apply them: Many runners who’ve tested Nike’s mindful runs said they noticed an instant benefit on their first run. But the great part about mindfulness training is that it’s just like running — you get better with time. “Once you realize that every day is an opportunity to work on both mind and body, you realize that every day is truly a starting line and never a finish line,” says Coach Bennett.
Training sessions get more effective
How: Practicing mindfulness can enhance your time in the gym, too, so you’ll also be able to find additional expert tips and stories throughout the NTC app from Headspace on how to use mindfulness to improve your workout and overall performance, says Rich Pierson, Headspace’s co-founder and CEO.
Why they work: These tips can help you tune out distracting thoughts (“am I doing this right?” and “I’m so tired,” for starters) that can easily get in the way of a good workout by helping you connect mental and physical activity, which, according to Headspace experts, can amplify the process and improve your performance.
These suggestions also hit on topics like how to choose a workout partner who will best set you up for success. Other tips include easy exercises to help you develop new ways of thinking.
How to apply them: At the beginning of every week, check your NTC feed for new Mindfulness Mondays stories from Headspace on things like how to stay motivated even after you hit a training milestone. If you explore the NTC Collection workouts, you’ll see mindfulness tips from Headspace related to that Collection’s particular goal.
You’ll learn alongside Nike’s elites
When you take advantage of this exclusive content from Headspace, you’re joining the ranks of the elite-level athletes who are also learning to help improve their performance through mindfulness training with Headspace.
Incorporating mindfulness into your workouts can help you to become the best athlete you can be during those moments when it matters most.
Try the first three audio guided mindful runs on the NRC app and look out for stories and tips on the NTC app now. New content will continue to roll out on both apps and beyond in the future.
Author: Mariska du Plessis
Mariska is the editor of Fitness Magazine, a writer, photographer, videographer and Wellness Blogger.
Follow her on Instagram: @justmariska_