Organic Runner Mom

Five Things to Think About When Running

Friday Five. Five Things Runners Think About When Running.

5 Things to Think About When Running

5 Things to Think About When Running

I don’t train with music when I run outside.


I never run with headphones and music when I head outdoors. People often ask doesn’t that get boring to run as far as you do with no music or podcasts to listen to? The answer is no.

When I was in college our rowing coach Mark wouldn’t allow us to listen to music when we were training on the Ergs (rowing machines) and of course we never listened to music when we were on the water. The goal was to always have strong mental focus on your form and on your strength and during the quiet to find the rhythm of the strokes and as the blades pulled through the water.

For me running is the same way. The intense quiet allows you to listen to your breathing and your foot strikes and to find the beat of your heart pumping. By tuning into your breathing you are able to become familiar with what your breathing sounds like at different paces and you can strongly feel when your pace has picked up. Running long miles with no music can become meditative and contemplative. It is a moment when you can practice race strategy or have an inner dialogue with your self about how to work harder. Sometimes when I run my mind is quiet but sometimes it is filled with busy thoughts about life and processing stressors or thinking about successes.

5 things to think about when you run:

  • Inspirational Mantras. Sometimes I will spend a portion of my run trying to think of all of my favorite mantras and inspirational quotes. Sometimes I keep coming back to the same one like, “Run the mile you are in.”
  • Running Form. I will often pick something that I want to work on such as keeping my shoulders relaxed or keeping my pelvis tucked in. It is great to have a specific form goal to think about. You can act as your own coach during the run.
  • Let Your Mind Wander. Running can be a good time to just let your mind wander and let thoughts flow. Sometimes the miles tick off and you feel almost as if you were running with your mind in a daydream state.
  • Mini-Goals. If a run is tedious or feeling long you can set mini-goals for yourself–”I’m going to run to the next mailbox, tree, etc.” Think about the run as smaller parts and focus on a half mile at a time.
  • Songs and music. I am a music lover so even though I don’t listen to music when I run I often “sing” my favorite song to myself in my head or have my own “mini-playlist”

What do you think about when you run? Please share your thoughts!

Organic Runner Mom

This Friday I am linking up with the DC Trifecta for the Friday Five linkup with You Signed Up for What?!, Mar on the Run, and Eat Pray Run, DC. This weeks theme “Free Friday.”


22 responses

22 responses

  1. I am the same – never listen to music while running outside. What do I think about? Everything from appreciating the beautiful song of a bird to meal planning, to race strategy. I have a lot more time to think on easy/recovery runs. Hard/tempo runs I am dialed into thinking about the run.
    I have been listening to music on the rare treadmill runs and discovered I like it! Definitely makes the time go faster on a treadmill. Great post! 🙂
    Natalie recently posted…The Boston Marathon 2016: My Race RecapMy Profile

  2. Same for me – never listen to music while running outside. I did for years before kids but post kids, I don’t need distractions. I tune into myself. I think about every single thing possible – life, home renovations, food, nature, people in cars – whatever comes to mind! But I also think I do my fair share of not thinking. It’s a moving meditation.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…High Five FridayMy Profile

  3. I’ve never run with music on my runs either. I usually run in the evenings after school. After teaching first grade all day, I’m ready for some peace and quiet! I tend to think about my day, particular students, motherhood stuff, but some days just clear my mind.
    Kara recently posted…Friday Five: Five Ways Running Has Shaped MeMy Profile

  4. I usually workout with music, even when I’m outside unless I’m biking outside, then I never wear headphones so I can pay attention to traffic. I need to run more without music, but it helps me get into a groove. I’m so used to working out with music since I teach group fitness classes that I’m not sure how well I would do without it! We are going to be doing a trail race in June and I don’t think we’re allowed to have music on the trail so I really need to train without it

  5. I have found I actually prefer no music on my long runs, but I do enjoy music or podcasts on my shorter runs. Regarsless, my mind has a chance to think without interruption, and often plan new recipes or just my next meal, I think through any issues I may be dealing with, and sometimes I just use the quiet time to enjoy my surroundings and the fact that my body is amazing for carrying me so many miles. Thanks for this post!
    Christina recently posted…Chipotle-Pumpkin Vegan QuesadillasMy Profile

  6. I’m not a runner and on the rare occasions I get into a groove to run the music is what energizes me. But i can relate to this b/c i spend a lot of time in my car now that I live in the suburbs and often i just need to turn the radio off so i can think and tune into myself.

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