What I Think About While I’m Running

While running, it seems that every thought possible has gone through my head. 

From the random, meaningless thoughts to the very important, can’t forget thoughts.  Sadly (or maybe not depending on what the thought was!), with the way that my mind works, within a few minutes I’m thinking about something completely different. 

Research shows that humans have thousands of thoughts per day.  Different studies vary widely in just how many thousands of thoughts a human can have per day, but the standard seems to be somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 thoughts per day.

Sometimes it feels like I can reach thousands on a single run!

So, here are some thoughts that frequently come into my mind during runs:

Running Focus for the Day// This is something that I never really had until a few months ago.  As you might remember I changed my focus a few months ago and developed more of a running plan for my training (If you need a refresher on my shift in focus – look here). 

Since I added more structure to my running a few months ago, I’ve actually had a true focus on 2 or 3 of my runs per week.  A tempo or speedwork run on Tuesday, a time trial on Thursday and a long run on Sunday.  So now, on these days where I have a true focus for the run, I think about what the purpose of that day’s run is – especially during the first few minutes of the run or when things might be getting a little difficult during the run itself. 

Training Plans for the Week// I mentally check on my progress towards my weekly goal of running at least 40 miles every week.  And while this isn’t the most important thing, I think that having the target mileage is a good way for me to stay consistent.  Consistency makes me a stronger runner and helps to increase my confidence that I am doing the right things to work towards my goals. 

Preparation for the Upcoming Races// If I have an upcoming race, I sometimes use my training runs as times to think about my progress towards that race day or what my goal might be for the race itself. 

For instance, I have several races coming up this fall and have been recently thinking a lot about them on my runs.  It’s been so long since doing live races, I think that it has become even more important for me to feel physically and mentally prepared for them. 

How I’m Feeling During This Run// If I am sore from the run the day before, I will be assessing how the soreness or problem feels and if it is just soreness or maybe something more than that.  Then, of course, I will make the necessary adjustments during the run based on how I’m feeling. 

Running Memories// Sometimes, I’m not really sure what triggers a memory of an old race but it just pops into my head.  This usually helps give me a boost because it reminds me what I’m working towards and maybe provides some more motivation to get better.

Fellow Runner/Walker Interaction// This is without a doubt my biggest pet peeve while running.  Maybe it’s just the people in my neighborhood or maybe it’s just me.   I wave, nod or say hi to every person I pass while running – no matter how I am feeling or if they are walking, cycling or running.  To be honest, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t acknowledge someone that you are running or walking past in your neighborhood.  There’s one woman (I hope she’s not reading this) who I see almost every single day walking her dog, who never so much as looks at or acknowledges my existence, but I see her stopping and talking to other people.  Maybe it is just me!

What Did I Eat// Sometimes I think about what I ate and why it’s causing me to feel the way I am.  I don’t think any more details are necessary on this one!

Non-running Plans for the Day// I know it might be surprising that I think about things other than running, but every once in a while I do.  Whether it’s things I need to do for work or other things I need to do at home, I sometimes catch myself thinking about it during my run.

Music// I don’t listen to music every day when I’m running, but if I am and I’m really enjoying that day’s run, you might even hear me singing along to a song or two.  Although I typically try to do this when no one is around!

Of course, there are many other thoughts that I have while running, but these are the ones that I have most frequently.

My guess is that most runners have similar thoughts, but I’d love to know what some of your thoughts are while running!

7 thoughts on “What I Think About While I’m Running

  1. Great points.

    I don’t get the thing with people not acknowledging others either. Living abroad, you’re constantly getting people waving, smiling, and saying ‘hello’ to you. You’re considered kind of rude if you don’t!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Runners’ nod & wave is part of the Runner’s high. I’m the same! Keep doing it even if someone doesn’t respond. For every ONE of them, there are LOTS of others who gladly return the “Heya!” ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

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