Research

Research in collaboration with leading scientists at the University of Westminster

Tom's practice of using mindful running to unlock super focus, get into the flow and hold it comfortably throughout the day to achieve peak performance in the workplace and everyday life, caught the attention of leading scientists at the University of Westminster, who are conducting a 3-year research.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Investigating the psychobiological responses of health and well-being during a 36,000 kilometres ultra-endurance challenge completed using a mindful running technique; and its impact on unlocking super focus, getting into the flow and achieving peak performance in the workplace and everyday life.

SCOPE OF PROJECT


The scope of this project is twofold;

(1) to conduct research to investigate the impact of mindful running practices on psychobiological markers of health, well-being and ‘flow state’.


The aim of this research is to investigate the impact of mindful running practices, the presence of a flow state when running and reducing distractions from external influences on psychobiological markers of health, well-being and achieving peak performance in sport, workplace and everyday life.


This aim is split into the following objectives: 


  • Monitor daily and weekly changes in fatigue, mood, life satisfaction and wellbeing throughout the ultra-endurance challenge.
  • Monitor presence of flow states when running and evaluate the factors that influence/ contribute to the feeling of ‘flow state’ throughout the ultra-endurance challenges. 
  • Monitor and evaluate psychological and biological stress during the ultra-endurance challenge using subjective and biological markers. 
  • Conduct novel analysis of the gut microbiome to gain some insights into the gut-brain axis, to understand how the health of the brain and gut are interlinked during the ultra-running challenge.
  • Monitor and evaluate physiological and metabolic health and the physiological responses to running during the ultra-running challenge.


(2) to provide personalised sports science and performance nutrition advice based on the latest scientific evidence to support the athlete to complete the ultra-running challenge.


High-performance sports science and performance nutrition support will be provided by a highly qualified practitioner in sport and exercise science/nutrition who has experience in supporting elite athletes to achieve optimal performance. 


Personalised strategies based on the latest scientific evidence will be designed to support the athlete reach his peak performance, whilst also working to support his health and well-being. 


Types of strategies that we will focus on include: 


  • Determine nutritional requirements and provide solutions to meet these demands in the different locations throughout the challenge. 
  • Develop a personalised hydration strategy for each stage of the challenge before, during and after running to reduce the risk of dehydration. 
  • Develop practical recovery strategies, to accelerate physical and mental recovery between daily running events. 
  • Develop strategies to support the athlete’s immune system to maintain overall health and reduce the risk of illness during the challenge. 
  • Develop strategies that can support the athletes’ gut health and reduce the risk of developing gut issues during the challenge. 


These strategies will continually be monitored and evaluated to ensure that they are effective for the athlete. As such, the challenge can be approached with confidence as the sports science and nutritional needs are being optimally managed. 


The outcomes of the project will be written up for the project funder. The scientific team will submit aspects of this project for publication in a scientific journal to share new insights with the scientific community.