Ultra-runner Devon Edwards Brings Mindfulness to the Miles

Ultra-runner Devon Edwards guides us in bringing mindfulness to our miles.

Devon Edwards
Photo courtesy of Devon Edwards.

Meet Devon. This is a rare opportunity to see his face because most of the time, you will be eating his dust. He routinely runs 50-mile ultras and leads men’s mental health fishing retreats; he is versed in Ayurvedic medicine principles and Buddhist philosophy; and he works as a counselor for young men and boys. After stepping away from his athletic career as a Division 1 football player at the University of Albany, he has found solace in running and mindfulness. Here, he gives us mere joggers thoughtful tips on how to make the most out of our miles.

Warm up & cool down: “For a warmup, meditate. Practice some self-reflection, and express gratitude for the run you are about to have. Then, you will be cool, calm, and collected. Stretch, too. Partner stretching is great if you have a running buddy. After a run, I cold plunge, Theragun, relax, and treat myself.”

Better with a buddy: “Running with other people is better. My running buddy pushes me to do things I didn’t know I could do until we do it together. I also run with a brotherhood called Black Men Run, and they have been great about building community.”

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Rock your run: “I’m jamming to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ And, man when the Black Eyed Peas come on with that ‘Boom Boom Pow,’ I’m in the zone.”

Eat salt: “This sounds counterintuitive because your hydration is key in running. But electrolytes are just as important. Before my runs, I’ll pop a salt tablet, drink a Tailwind, or eat goo or a bean and cheese burrito.”

Take rest days: “Listen to your body and rest when you need to. Don’t let your inner voice sound like a nagging father. I like to do yoga on my rest days.”

Solid Footing

These Colorado-made running shoes offer everything from maximum padding to minimal support—and yes, this is something runners might actually want.

Xero Shoes
Photo courtesy of Xero Shoes.

Xero Shoes takes a new-age approach to running shoes. Designed with a wide toe box and zero-drop heel, these shoes mimic the feeling of barefoot walking while providing a thin, flexible protective barrier. The minimalist approach encourages the foot to strengthen naturally, bolstering muscles in key areas such as the arches and ankles. Running in these shoes significantly reduced my runner’s knee symptoms, and Edwards made it over 20 miles in these running through the canyons of Mexico.

Altra Running Shoes
Photo courtesy of Altra Running Shoes.

Altra Running Shoes redefine comfort for long-distance runners with their maximum padding, which effectively reduces fatigue during extended runs. “I love Altras—they feel like running on pillows,” says Edwards. “During a recent ultramarathon, I switched to Altras at mile 22, and they were game-changers, providing sweet relief when needed most.” Additionally, Altra shoes excel in cold weather conditions. Regular runs around Sloan’s Lake, even on snowy days, are more manageable as these shoes easily accommodate spikes or chains, eliminating common discomforts of winter running.