Review by Kate Dzienis
According to author Dr Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (with Runner’s World writer/runner Philip Latter and professor of psychology Christine Weinkauff Duranso), flow is the specific state of mind in which the activity at hand becomes effortless, self-criticism quiets, and one becomes pleasantly fixated on a task.
Flow moments are usually among the most memorable and fulfilling in a person’s life, and refers to an optimal experience during which the mind and body work harmoniously while honed in on a specific task.
Anyone can experience flow by chance, but cultivating those experiences and benefiting from them requires knowledge and practice.
In Part I of the book, Dr Csikszentmihalyi explains to readers the concept of flow and building on it so they can develop clear goals and enjoy running for its own sake rather than for the promise of external rewards.
Part II takes all the ideas of flow and explains how to apply them, as well as focusing on how flow helps you race faster even as your motivations turn ever more inward.
Although Running Flow is backed by scientific research, flow is a powerfully personal experience. The authors utilise case studies – real life experiences of professional athletes in races and the effects flow had on their performances. Diagrams are used to clarify key concepts, and the book overall is easy on the eyes, making it enjoyable and easy to understand.
Noteworthy sections include the art of staying focused, meditating on the move, personal validation, team flow, positive self-talk, mindful running and effortless attention.
Dr Csikszentmihalyi has written more than 120 journal articles and book chapters, and at times Running Flow does sound a bit like a university journal, however the information and research dispersed far outweighs the style of writing. So whether you’re ultra running competitively or not, Running Flow is a publication worthy of being in your hands and in your possession.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Publisher: Human Kinetics
AURA together with Human Kinetics is giving away a copy of Running Flow to one lucky AURA member. If you would like to be in the running, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading ‘Running Flow’ and in the body of your email include your full name, postal address and phone number.
*Entries must be received by December 31.
*Entrants must be a current AURA member.
AURA members receive 20% discount when purchasing this book.
Just head to www.footprint.com.au and use the code ARC20 at checkout!