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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thinking Mid-stride: What Do Runners Think About?

What do runners think about? Hard to say. There are two general views and methods on this:

  • Associative: when the runner is thinking about running, from form, to breathing, to how his legs feel, to decisions required in foot placement (when running on changing terrain)
  • Disassociative: Anything but running. Laundry lists, budgets, social calendar, you name it.
What do I think about? There are two answers. Then and now.

Back when I would run 8-10 miles a pop, I'd sing songs aloud. I sang a lot of Kinks songs, and plenty of Motown. Some Queen, Rolling Stones. Bob Dylan sometimes, but his work does not work well on a run. I might work through some issue of the day. Occasionally, I would be very in-tune with my form. It was always on my mind, but mostly, for long runs, I was lingering in other lands.

Decision MagazineNow
These days, my long runs are short runs. There is not much time to work through the matters of life. Mulling is part of it, though I barely get into an idea.

Currently on my radar is a poem I'm working on for a magazine, and so I'm rendering themes and phrases as I plod along.

I do plenty of math too. I am constantly breaking my pace into smaller chunks, trying to understand how I am keeping to my goals, and what needs adjusting. Since aside from general running fitness, I am also striving to run a steady pace, it helps to know if even 200 meters is on pace.

Besides pace, I'm trying to stay on top of my form. As I lose weight, my form should change. My center of balance will shift, my stride will be longer, and so my body needs to move accordingly.

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