Ever wonder what you should be thinking about when you’re running? If there are any tricks that help distract you from how difficult your runs can be? Or maybe you’re looking to find out what the pros like to invest their thoughts into. Well here are 15 things to think about when running to help you stay motivated and distracted to make sure that run goes by quickly and you end it feeling happier than ever.
1. Think about your breathing
Pay attention to how you’re inhaling and exhaling and make note of how much your diaphragm is expanding. Try to take deeper breaths. By putting your focus on deep breathing while you’re also running, this will help you distract yourself from the aches of the run!
Read our article on how to breathe properly when running so you’re not out of breath to figure out what exactly to look out for.
2. Think about your form
Your form is another great thing to award your focus to. Having the proper form requires so many different aspects of your body to be engaged. So it is important to consciously make sure your form is correct throughout your run. This is an especially helpful thing to think about if you’re a beginner runner. As you advance on, having the correct form will come naturally to you. But until them, it pays to pay attention to these things.
Read our article on how to have a proper running form to ensure you have an injury-free run.
3. Think about your next meal
So what are you gonna reward yourself with for finishing this run? What are you craving exactly? What about that recipe you saw a couple of days ago online that made your mouth water, isn’t it about time you make that? For all you foodies out there, use your love for food to your advantage when you’re trying to stay distracted on your run!
4. Make a mental to-do list
Are you someone organized who enjoys efficiency and productivity? Use this time to make a checklist in your head of all the things you have to do. What things do you have to get done after this run is over? Are there any plans you need to commit to? How will you manage them in your schedule so your time is used effectively?
5. Think about the scenery
If you’re a trail runner or an outdoor runner, this is the perfect thing to use your brain for. Sometimes the best parts of life are to simply be. Be present and be in the moment. Enjoy the scenery around you. Appreciate the nature and the plants and the sky and the weather. You’ll thank yourself for giving yourself a brief period of peace in your busy life.
6. Play out a fantasy in your head
If you’re someone with a wild imagination, running is the perfect time to unleash your imagination and let it run free. Maybe you’re saving the world from an alien invasion. Perhaps you have superpowers that you have to hide from the world. Or maybe you live in a world of dragons and mythical creatures. Play it all out in your head. Because in your head, you’re always the main character. And running is just another word for show time.
7. Pretend you’re running a marathon
As the saying goes: “Run every run like its your last.” Or maybe you can just run every run like its a marathon. Maybe you’re running a marathon in a foreign country somewhere. Or perhaps you’re gonna get into “marathon mode” and really focus on running for the longest distance this time.
8. Act like you’re a professional runner
You’ve made it. You’re officially a world famous professional runner. Now act like it. Pretend you’re giving someone running lessons. What are you teaching them? What tips would you give them? Or maybe you’re on an interview show sharing your experience as a runner. Perhaps you’re making a youtube channel about your journey as a runner. The sky’s the limit!
9. Cheer yourself on
Make it your mission in life to be your own #1 fan. So cheer yourself on! Give yourself a mental pat on the back everytime you complete a certain milestone for the target of your run. Maybe after every 5 minutes or every mile.
Repeat reassuring and supporting phrases to yourself. Remind yourself that you’ve got this and you can do this and you’re amazing and capable. Not only is this a great way to motivate yourself but who doesn’t need a little session of some well deserved self love?
10. Remind yourself of your goals
Why are you running? Do you have a weight goal? Are you trying to get a specific body? Maybe you’re trying to build muscle. Or perhaps you’re doing it for the other countless benefits that come with running. Whatever it is, it is important to remind yourself of your reasons. Picture that goal body or that goal weight in your head. Think of yourself 10 years ahead and fitter than you’ve ever been all because of the commitments you made today.
Read our article on 17 benefits of running that will make you want to run forever to see what you’re in for!
11. Plan your zombie apolyctic strategy
It’s happened. The world has broken into complete chaos and the apocalypse is looming above us all. Now’s your moment! Whats your survival plan? How are you gonna get ahead at the time of the end of the world? Where are you headed, what resources do you need to find? Another great way to pass the time for all you imaginative storyloving folks out there.
12. Appreciate the things around you
Another great one if you’re a trail or outdoor runner. Take the time to appreciate the things around you. Pay attention and notice the small details of your town’s streets that you might have missed out before.
How pretty are those flowers on the side of the road? Maybe the grass is looking an extra beautiful green colour today. Or those houses with that marvellous architechtal design. Learn to look for and appreciate the beauty around you – you’ll be happier for it.
13. Listen to your body
Maybe its finally time to check in with your body and how it’s doing. Are you aching anywhere? Do you have any cramps in certain areas? Is the strain on your feet manageable? How is your breathing? Listen to your body and consider adjusting your run accordingly. Maybe its time for a break or to slow down or even to talk briskly for the remaining distance.
14. Create an alter ego for yourself
I’m a big advocate for creating alter egos for the sake of bettering yourself. Maybe there are certain goals you want to achieve or traits you want to possess. Find out exactly how to do that by reading our article on 3 easy steps to transform yourself with an alter ego.
But you don’t have to do this for the sake of bettering yourself. You can simply enjoy creating scenarios in your head where you’re a completely different person with a completely different personality. How would you act? What would you say? Would your friend group change? What would your life look like?
15. Enjoy your music
Finally, sometimes the best way to pass the time is to simply think of nothing. Let your head empty itself of its thoughts and just enjoy your music. Make sure you have a killer running playlist beforehand so you can just appreciate the beat and let the entirety of your run go by in a breeze.