Friday Five. Five Things Runners 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!