“…a running camp with a side of mindset and mindfulness,” is how WhatASesh founder, mindset guru, and established ultra trail runner Josh Lynott explains last weekend for a group of almost twenty RunAsOne runners. Located on the beach front at Carrickalinga, the weekend provided the perfect opportunity for a group of runners to reflect on the year just gone, but to also plan for the year to come. With Josh’s guidance for mindset and mindfulness, paired with Izzi and Riley’s coaching expertise, I think everyone involved has returned home better for the experience, and perhaps refreshed and ready to take on what is a traditionally “full” time of year!
While most of Australia closed their laptops for the weekend and headed to the pub to celebrate, Friday night kick started the RunAsOne X WhatASesh camp program. For this team of runners, the business attire quickly became tracksuits, and the drinks were replaced by journals as the group met just after 5pm for an introduction session on a reasonably calm Carrickalinga beach night. Immediately following Josh’s ice breaker activity, it was straight out for a return trip along the beachfront towards Normanville in the brand new kits provided by 2XU! From the balcony of the main property, you could see the group of runners bunched closely together in social interaction right up until they swerved around a headland in front of the sunset. With the kitchen now alive and humming, and the group now visible once again on their return trip, there was a definite change in pace triggered by the enticing smells of the feast being prepared! Around the first dinner table, the group continued some introductory conversations and shared some battle stories about memorable runs and races gone by. The scene was now set for what was sure to be an insightful weekend for both mind and body.
“The sun rises at 5:55 but we might get an extra 5 mins by the beach,” were Josh’s famous last words as we negotiated a 5 minute sleep in for day 1. Despite a few sighs still ringing in our ears from the night before, each and every member found a space in the upstairs living room overlooking the calm ocean to start the day with a brief guided meditation. After not long, a visibly more mentally prepared group of runners began their final preparations for the trip out to Myponga Reservoir, and the one scheduled interval session for the weekend. Just before 7, we pulled up to an empty reservoir with trails running further than the eyes could see; a runner’s paradise! As the group chatted and took in the scenery on a 2-3km warm up route, the 300m, 400m, and 500m distances were marked out along a flat trail by the lake to cater for a range of paces all taking off on a 2.5 minute cycle. The daunting challenge was set for 10-12 efforts from each runner, but the usual RunAsOne energy and enthusiasm meant the session was complete before we knew it, and we were soon enjoying an endorphin fuelled chat on some more picturesque trails in the cool down! It was soon time for the second feast, and breakfast put it’s hand up to challenge for highlight of an already incredible morning. Paired with the spread, everyone also enjoyed a complimentary PREPD Recovery drink before some made their way to the water for some added recovery to cap off a successful morning for all.
Mindset and Mindfulness workshops 1 and 2 then took place on Saturday afternoon around a lunch break. Josh started with an activity that had us all laughing, and in turn proved the benefits of humour for creating a headspace ready to tackle some more serious conversations after lunch. Upon returning from lunch, the journals were out and we were guided through a session focussed on support. This insightful session provided us with a sense of gratitude, but also perhaps some calls to action for some who perhaps left this session encouraged to make some long overdue changes for the better. These sessions highlighted the high calibre of people that make up the RunAsOne team, and the variety and breadth of experience and subsequent perspectives that are on offer with just a simple conversation starter on an otherwise standard Tuesday and Friday morning training session. At the conclusion of the workshops, it was back to the easy coastal run and dinner feast combination that was once again a welcome end to a great day. Before bed, the team were subject to some long run inspiration by Lucy Bartholomew’s “Running Out” documentary that covered her incredible 250km journey along the Northern Territory’s Larapinta trail. Combining this viewing with a Pillar Performance triple magnesium drink, I don’t think anyone in that room had ever felt more ready to tackle an early morning Sunday Long Run before.
We were a little more successful with our Sunday sleep in negotiations, and this time we met at 7am for our pre run preparations. In a slightly unusual convoy of vehicles for the time and place, the team made their way out to the local farmland trails around Normanville. Starting on Hay Flat road, the course completed a leaf like structure on our Strava uploads, and provided some amazing views and wildlife company. The conversations continued on the run, and the time passed so quickly it was almost disappointing to see the cars that marked the usually inviting sight of the finish line. As we stood around reflecting on another successful outing, the only decision that came to mind was whether we were going to feast or beach recover first; it’s a nice state of existence! As we stood around temporarily, yet blissfully purposeless, Josh’s timing was once again perfect as he called us in for workshop number 3: Values. It was another incredible workshop that elicited some very insightful conversation. Additionally, we left equipped with some tools for prioritising that will no doubt come in handy for most of us in the near future. Unfortunately, the end of the session did mark the end of the camp and a return home to prepare for work. However, it wasn’t a sombre mood around the lunch table, and you could sense a definite motivated energy being projected with each individual conversation happening around you. Before leaving, we each had the opportunity to write a note to one another wishing our team mates well on their journey ahead, and perhaps encouraging them to make the necessary changes discussed over the weekend. This was a nice way to finish, and a nice way to commemorate the weekend in the weeks and months to come!
Until next time, we will make the most of the opportunities presented to us in both running and our outside lives, and hope to return to Josh’s workshops in the future with even more purpose for an even greater experience. I encourage anyone to get involved with these sessions when next offered, because they are a great way to get to know our team mates more, but also get to know ourselves a little better!