I don’t run with headphones. I’ve never found ones that fit comfortably plus they seem like a safety hazard: I want to hear the oncoming vehicles.
On my long runs I have a lot of time to think. And think I do solving all the problems of the world every time I go out. Of course when training for a race, the focus shifts entirely to very specific goals. But I’ve always wondered what other long-time runners think about on their long runs so recently I asked a number of them. Here are their top 7 responses:
#7: When is this run going to end? It seems even long-time runners think about that. It’s not a surprise really. Runners lead busy work, family and social lives. Fitting in those long runs eats into time. Most get up super early or run after work at night. It’s hard not to think about what you are not doing while indulging in a long run.
#6: Remind me why I’m running again? This is related to #7 and for long-time runners it’s easy to forget what motivated them to start running and to keep at it. The common answers are health-related: to lose weight, reduce stress. Most runners find that getting back to the basic reason they started running in the first place keeps them going.
#5: “It’s my quiet time”. Almost everyone who responded feels this is the only time they have for themselves with no interruptions from their BlackBerry or iPhone.
#4: I solve problems. This one came up frequently. Some runners solve work-related problems, others personal issues. All know that once settled into the groove, the repetitive running motion frees their minds.
#3: I think about my Personal Best. For some the PB was a distant memory while for others it is something to look forward to. Either way it’s the positive thoughts that enhance the endorphins released while running.
#2: I plan my race strategy. When to eat and drink; when to pick up the pace or slow down; pace time.
#1: I see myself crossing the finish line arms up in triumph. This was the number one thing runners think about. It didn’t matter the distance or the event, from ultras, marathons, ½ marathons, or 10 K’s…the achievement of a personal goal is the most important reason runners run. The finish line picture is a strong image for all runners.
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy
NOTE: Featured image courtesy of Errol Anderson