Categorized | Primary, Ultra Running Races

Staying in the Moment vs. Letting the Mind Wandering on The Run

Posted on 27 September 2012

As we all spend endless hours training for enjoyment or targeting a specific race there is always a fine balance of “Where the Mind Is”.     It’s a balance between the fine tuned, razor sharp focus for a specific targeted workout vs. just letting the mind wander and allowing the run come to you (just like traveling to a new location, sometimes better to let the location and experience come to you vs. planning every minute with a detailed agenda of everything you want to see and do.)

Many times friends ask me what do you think about during you’re run workouts, short and long?   I am sure you have heard similar questions in addition to the normal, Why do you run, That’s crazy, It makes no sense, Why do you like the pain?   You have all heard these I am sure.   I thought it might be interesting to find out what you think about during your run training.    Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Intervals or hard workouts – It’s tough not to be focused as these extremely difficult and normally it’s pretty easy to “stay in the present”.   The number one focus is just to get through it and it’s just watching others, the blur of the trees and the environment fly by your eyes.
  2. Trail Run – If it’s a moderate pace over hilly terrain, let the mind stay clear and just focus on listening to the sounds of nature and the feet lightly tapping the dirt.   Remember keep your heels up and check in with your body every 15 minutes or so.   How do you legs, neck, back, ankles, abdominals feel?
  3. Long/Over Distance Run – This is when the mind can focus on the present with a goal of a negative split but for many this is the time to think about everything in life.   Great time to think creatively for personal or business ideas.   This is the time to click on the “right” brain.   How many business ideas have started from a long run?
  4. Running on traffic free country roads in the rain on a warm day – Good time to focus on looking up on occasion and the memories of your childhood. Yes open your mouth and take in some rainwater and of course laugh at yourself.   Nothing like running in the rain on a nice warm summer day.   Of course notice the amazing smell of the rain and listen to the rain pellets as they ricochet off the street and splash a bit of road grit on your legs.

Remember to mix up the run workouts and tomorrow consider running without a watch.   You will be surprised how great you will feel without the little technology device (of course no headphones allowed as well).    Enjoy your run!

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