Is long distance running in hypnosis possible? I didn’t even know this was possible.  When I first read about it in a running magazine, I then understood that I do pretty much the same thing.  Let me explain…


Not long ago I participated in a charity walk.  It was a 35 km beautiful coastal walk.  Meanwhile, I’m a runner.  What does this mean?  For me, this meant “Oh my goodness, I don’t know how to walk.  I only run”.  So I took on the challenge (and for a good cause).  All those hours of walking placed a little stress on me.  Others love to walk, I love to run. 

Is long distance running in hypnosis possible?

So I did the walk and I definitely didn’t enjoy it.  I was visualising ringing an uber to save me.  35 km took for ever.  My “head” was against me.  But know this, I run 42.2 km marathons with a smile before, during (I don’t really smile during the last 10 km to be quite honest) and after.  I’ve also completed a couple of 50 km ultra marathons.  And yet this long walk made me miserable.


So I would rather run long distance than walk long distance.  It’s not because it takes less clock time to run a marathon as oppose to walking 35 km.  It’s because it takes less psychological conscious /awareness time to run my marathons.  I can run half a marathon and say “oh I didn’t even notice the time go by”.  So what am I doing during this time to make me feel absent?


My friend doesn’t know how I do this.  She asked me how I do this.  So I explained… Each day I know I can run an hour no problem and all I do is listen to music (I don’t think about anything deliberately, although thoughts flow in and out of my mind as they please.  And this doesn’t bother me).  So I’m use to running for an hour.  This is my first advantage.  So during a marathon, after an hour of running I can say to myself “oh thats easy, I just did an hour that I would normally do on any given day anyway”.


On Sundays I like to run for about an hour and a half or just over.  I have a beautiful walking /bike track that runs from the front of my house all the way to a bridge, and its right along the water with uninterrupted views.  This is about 18 Km to and from.  So really it’s not far off a half marathon when you think about it.  This is the happiest run of the week for me because its outdoors and the morning sun energises me and makes me feel great (thats when its sunny….)

Experience has shown me the mornings are quite consistently beautiful.  It’s not till a little later that clouds and wind and non-ideal running conditions set in.  This is my second advantage.  So during a marathon, when I’m half way or nearly at 2 hours, I can say to myself “ok, this is good, this is what I do on Sundays anyway”.  This is the point where I feel fresh, believe it or not.  Mentally I feel I just did half the marathon without even realising.  This seems like long distance running in hypnosis.


Dont worry about the last five minutes and don’t worry about the next five minutes.

One thing that I’m so pleased that I can do is … I run in the moment.  Self awareness may be present, but it has little impact on me how long I have been running, or how much longer I have left to run.  I run in the moment; without  looking back and I don’t look forward.  And when those thoughts sneak in, they also sneak out without any impact.

During my full marathon I realise that I run the first 21 km unconsciously. I then find I reset myself and say “Ok, I just have 21 km left to go, and I’ve done so many of these” and then I find I run with fresh breathing and warmed up legs.  When I finish and look back at the run, I reflect that I didn’t even pay attention to the first 21km.  So in essence, this has shortened the psychological distance for me. 

Is long distance running in hypnosis possible?


Yes, the last 10 km are a little annoying but I’ve also learnt this:  The last 10 km of my 50 km ultra marathon are annoying too (but how come I can run the full 40 km before I start feeling annoyed?  And why is it that when I’m running a half marathon event which is only 21 km, the last 3 km annoy me too?)  So I guess Its all attitude.  I must save a bit of grief for the end.  Just like a long flight, the last bit can annoy you.  I don’t let this bother me.  Though I must say its rather challenging.


So in my head, my long distance running isn’t that long.  I disappear for part of it.  Now I know why I don’t need a running partner.  I’m not even there…..they will be lonely.  You know, when I have run with someone, this makes my run seem much longer.  I just realised this now.  Let me ask you, is long distance running in hypnosis even possible?


My friend has asked me “What about your legs? Aren’t they screaming and crying?”  Funny enough my answer was “But I don’t run with my legs… I run with my head”.  To my amazement I said that.  I remember when I first started running.  I was in my 30’s.  After some research I downloaded and printed a beginners running program and I went to the gym and was following the program.  It was something like, run for 1 min and rest for 30 seconds, or walk for 30 seconds or something like that, and each week it would advance.  Great program for a beginner.  It got you prepared for your first half marathon (which I didn’t complete by the way). 

My first half marathon was a disaster for me.  I only did 10 km, I had blisters and threw my shoes in the first bin that I found and I could tell you more miserable stuff but I won’t. 

on reflection…

When I look back I realise that when I first started running, there was no partnership with my head, my lungs and my legs.  None were cooperating.  Now days, when I start my running, after a few minutes, my lungs and my legs partner up and then I continue running with my head (the rest of me becomes a robot).

So running for me is a time where I zone out and lose time.  Can we call that long distance running in hypnosis? Just like when I do a hypnosis session my client will often say something like “gee that only felt like 10 or 15 minutes”.  And I’ve done some hypnosis sessions that have taken over 40 minutes, and received similar comments.  So is long distance running in hypnosis possible?

Running sets me free, running makes me feel good.  And so does hypnosis. 


My final point I wish to share, when I was running my second 50 km ultra marathon, after the first 21 km I said to my friend “that didn’t happen, I’ll stretch, toilet and have a drink, and start running now.  I’ll pretend I didn’t run this last 21 km”.  There you have it, I had already run nearly half of it without noticing or totally surfacing it to my conscious attention.  So perhaps running in hypnosis is possible? The reality was just a floating thought.  This works for me.  I don’t know how I stumbled across this strategy but I am so grateful that I did.  Or did it find me??

And this is why, walking 35 km in the charity walk took such a toll for me.


I will never underestimate the importance of good nutrition and body care (magnesium salt baths, stretching, etc), not just for preparation but also for recovery.  I’m not there to over-exert myself and need to take time off my usual daily routines for recovery.  I like to be able to get back into training the very next day, but I’m smart about it; I rest what needs resting (I may even just do some upper body weights or jump on a cross trainer to unwind my legs) and I eat well to recover fast.

At times I wonder, is it the power in me?  Or is it the power in running? 

So do you still wonder if long distance running in hypnosis is possible?

I first wrote this blog early 2019.  Its just about 2020 now and I’m still running.  So I polished this blog as I have also polished my skills in running.  I know now, that if the conditions are right, I certainly can run in hypnosis.  The greatest part of my day….most of the time.  I hope you enjoyed reading it.

You decide. 

Amanda Dounis

Positive Thinking Clinic

1/7 Magdalene Terrace

Wolli Creek, 2205

0458 850 850