What a Runner Thinks About During a Run

“And now, deep thoughts.”

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to submit some thoughts for the Runner’s World podcast. The topic: Thoughts runners have while running.

I had to bring my phone with me during a run, then every mile or two, stop to record what I had just been thinking about. As I covered five miles, I recorded four thoughts – what I actually think about when I run.

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Believe it – I think about more than just JJs

Yum, Food
Hands up if you’re surprised by this. Yes, my first thought was about food. However, it was a bit more than just, “Ice cream…yum. Peanut butter cups…mmmm. Oh look, a Jimmy Johns!” I’m sure I think those thoughts often, though.

My exact thought was more detailed and practical. Here it is, summed up:

“I really want mac and cheese with zucchini noodles for dinner tonight. But, I did have a sandwich for lunch so I should probably have something with a little more protein. Eggs. Oh, eggs and waffles. With a small sweet potato for some good carbs. Yeah.”

 
Scheduling
I plan my workouts each week. Although there’s usually not much deviation from my regular schedule, I do like to change up some of my “flex” days for different types of runs, leg/rehab work and lifting. Plus, I do have a life outside of working out that I need to fit in as well.

Especially considering this run-thought took place on a Monday evening, I spent some time on my run planning out the rest of my week. Here it is, summed up:

“I want to get in 2 more runs this week before Saturday’s half. So if I do Wednesday and Thursday, I could do a short one Wednesday morning and my rehab exercises after that. Then be able to do a longer run Thursday night, then have Tuesday for a lift and easy cardio day. And still have Wednesday night open for the movies and rest day Friday.”

 
Going the Distance
How many times have you been out a run, paying attention to your watch and calculating your total distance to make sure you’re going to reach that before you get home?

I do this all the time – and, not surprising, did it on this run. Here it is, summed up:

“Okay, I’m at 3.1 miles now and this last loop should give me two on the nose. If it’s a little short though, I can just run around the block once more…yeah that’ll be good.”

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That’s a big yard out there. Hence, thoughts about a fence.

 

Home Sweet Home
On any given day, I run through a couple neighborhoods and see dozens of houses. I never really thought about it before, but I notice other houses and make mental notes about how I could apply that to my own.

My husband and I have been talking about putting in a fence so, with that fresh in my mind, I’m not surprised this last thought was close to that. Here it is, summed up:

“Oh, I really like that fence. It gives privacy but not full panels to completely block our view. I bet it would be cheaper too. I’ll have to mention that to Chris.”
Nothing I said really shocked me – I know I think about food, work, randomness and even running when I run. But as someone who’s a huge proponent of running without headphones so as to be completely in the zone with thoughts, this was a fun exercise.

Now I challenge you to do the same. Whether you bring your phone to record like I did or just consciously check in on your thoughts every mile or two, try to focus on recalling your thoughts for one run. Then the fun part – tell me what you think about when you run and I’ll include it in a future follow up blog.

When you discover what you think about during a run, post with a comment or tweet me @runlikegirl311. And please share this post on Facebook and Twitter with fellow runners who will have good thoughts too.

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2 Responses to What a Runner Thinks About During a Run

    • lindsaybabb says:

      That’s awesome, Paul! While I didn’t have any pain/discomfort thoughts on this run, when I was recording at least, I know I do. And nice to know I’m not the only one 🙂

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