One of the most asked questions I get from people who don’t run is –
What do you think about while you run?
I don’t listen to music. I don’t listen to podcasts. I mostly run solo.
After months and months of not being able to do a long run, I’ve had to re-learn how to occupy myself while out for a long time. It’s funny that a year ago, 12 miles didn’t seem that long. It was a short run. But now, it seems like the never ending run.
What do I think about while I run? I daydream. I ponder the worlds problems. I think about what I’m going to eat after my run. Most recently, I went through the ABC’s. I’m not talking about the Sesame Street version. I’m talking about the ABC’s of running.
A – Absent minded. A long run is the perfect place to let my mind get lost on anything and everything.
B – BQ. Something the majority of long distance runners lust after at least once in their running life.
C – Chafing. There’s nothing quite like the scream heard around the world after you step into the shower after a super sweaty run. Yowzers. The worst chafing I ever saw was on multiple men during the Baystate Marathon in 2014. It was a little
nipply chilly. And the guys wearing singlets (albeit WHITE singlets) had some gruesome bloody nipples. Ouch!
D – Dynamic warm up. The best way to warm up the body prior to a run to activate the muscles you’ll be using. Here’s a good list of some to do.
E – Easy runs. Be sure your easy runs are just that – easy.
F – Fuel. As a runner, you not only have to think about mid run fuel options but also night before fuel, pre-run fuel and post run fuel. Runner’s need a lot of fuel!
G – Glutes. A question I ask myself a lot on a run – Are my glutes firing or are they asleep?
H – Hungry. First name Hungry. Last name Always. That’s what happens when the miles start piling up.
I – Ice bath. I’m not a fan but they sure do help. Although I won’t do them unless it’s after a hot, humid summer run. There’s no way I’m doing that after a frigid run!
J – Jogger. Let’s get this straight – I am not jogging and I am not a jogger.
K – KT Tape. If you have an ailment, this is pure magic. And it gives you a little bad ass look too.
L – Long Run. What do you consider a long run? I think anything over 10 miles. Although when in marathon training, the definition of a long run changes. 16 miles becomes an “easy” week.
M – Miles or minutes. What do you run in? I prefer miles but after returning to running after my injury, I stuck with minutes of running for a solid 3 months before I wore a GPS. I think it really help to NOT see pace. But now, I’m back to running for miles.
N – Never. Never ever say NEVER will I…in running. Because most likely, you will.
O – Oxygen. As silly as it sounds, remember to breathe. You are not swimming, so there’s not need to hold your breath. Take in oxygen to feed your hard working muscles as you power up a hill.
P – Poop. We know that everybody poops. With runners, it’s something we talk about A LOT. And learn to pee and poop in places that you never imagined you would before.
Q – Quality time. Running is a great way to find quality time with yourself, with friends, with nature or whatever you choose. It’s time that refreshes and reboots your soul.
R – Running Buddies. Some of the best friends you’ll ever have. Who else will pull you up a hill when you feel like you can’t take one more step?
S – Shoes. It’s an essential part of a runners wardrobe. We love our running shoes. And don’t you dare make changes or discontinue our favorite style!
T – Track. I never thought I’d love to run around in an oval. It seemed so b-o-r-i-n-g. But when I learned to love it, my running confidence soared.
U – Ultra marathon. Should I run one? It’s not that much farther than a marathon, right?
V – Variety. A runner can not survive on running alone. Be sure to vary your terrain, cross train, and strength train to help ward off over use injuries.
W – Water. The big debate of long run – What to do about hydration? Do you use a handheld, wear a pack, stash water bottles or plan your route where there’s drinking fountains?
X – X-Ray. Unfortunately, you’ll probably need one of these at one point in your running lifetime.
Y – Yoga. The best compliment to running, especially when you bring yoga to running.
Z – Zero Dark Thirty runs. The best way to start the day is with chasing a sunrise and listening to nothing but the music of my footfalls and the birds singing.
Pick a letter or two and play along with your own ABC’s of Running!