What do you think about whilst running?

So far this year I’ve racked up roughly 500 miles of running, this equates to 3 days 9 hours spent running, that’s a lot of thinking time right there! Asides from the typical ‘what am I doing’, ‘everything hurts’, ‘why am I doing this’ type thoughts what does goes through your head whilst running? As its mental health awareness week and my home/workplace is getting more stressful every day I’ve been thinking a lot about it of late.

There is something to be said for having some alone time to work through your thoughts and running is a great way to eliminate a lot of those relentless unwanted interruptions that life throws at us daily. I love my lunch time runs, it gets me away from my desk and out of the office and helps alieviate the stress that builds up throughout the day. If I wasn’t out running so regularly, with everything that’s going on, I’d have probably have had a full blown melt down by now.

Research dating back to the 1900s has linked exercise and mental wellbeing, with studies showing that physically active people are happier, less anxious, more positive and more stress-resilient than their sedentary counterparts.

I used to run with music all the time, I was one of those “can’t run without my music” people. Music is great, it gives you something to focus on and can, in some situations, help out massively, treadmill springs to mind. Since I unplugged I’ve found that everything has improved, my cadence, my footfall, my breathing, my spatial awareness and by no means least working out issues in my head. Less distractions, more thinking time.

The other week I went out for a three hour run on my own, it was great as I had the day off and had no deadlines or pressures or anywhere to be, I had the whole day to myself. Can I tell you what I was thinking about for those three hours, some bits yeah, but at lot of it no, I honestly can’t remember. That’s great though, I’ve worked through problems and worries in my head and forgotten about them, brilliant!

Asides from working out problems it’s nice to just let random thoughts fly, no restrictions. I often chuckle inwardly about some hairbrained thought that has popped into my head out of left field. Some strange old stuff goes through my head whilst I’m out running, most of it unpublishable, even if I could remember it all!

So, running, not just good for the body but good for the soul.

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