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NIKKIDICKI SparkPoints: (2,337)
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Posts: 2
3/14/13 3:40 P

I like to focus on keeping my breathing in check; even if I lose momentum to spit or blow a snot rocket I am quickly out of breath, it's tough! I also try and focus on my strides so that I am working on my butt whilst jogging. I always listen to house music which keeps me really pumped. But whenever I get tired or think I should stop, I think about how lucky I am that I have the ability to run. My friends are all smokers and literally cannot jog consistenly for longer than a couple minutes. Reminding myself that it's a gift that I CAN run always keeps me going.

MYOWNHERO Posts: 1,157
3/14/13 3:37 P

Sometimes I like to pretend I am in a different place, like running along a beach in Malibu or running along the streets of Paris. Sometimes I imagine the neighborhood of my childhood.

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
Fitness Minutes: (31,253)
Posts: 867
3/14/13 1:43 P

I almost forgot--I sometimes also think, "I really hope there isn't another zombie ambush coming up in this song!" (I do love my Zombies, Run! app.)

@RenataRuns: Usually I run the same route every time, so the halfway point comes where I'm expecting it and it's fine, but the other day, I ran a brand new route, so it felt like the first loop took *forever* (and then the second loop went much faster because I knew what to expect). :)

3/14/13 1:10 P

work issues. usually get good ideas when running.

CKESNE01 SparkPoints: (8,141)
Fitness Minutes: (2,499)
Posts: 61
3/14/13 12:40 P

I haven't done much running, but I do a lot of intense exercising (at least it feels intense). I try to think about how my body will never be able to do the tougher exercises if I don't put all my effort into it. I also try to pay attention to my breathing. Also, I try to power through it with awesome music that gets me pumped.

CHLOEAGH SparkPoints: (29,002)
Fitness Minutes: (7,311)
Posts: 1,012
3/14/13 11:41 A

I usually just focus on the music and try not to think, "My legs are dying!"

MANDMDAD Posts: 550
3/14/13 10:39 A

I try to focus on music or just let my mind wander a little and daydream.

Unfortunately after the first couple miles I can only think about how much my legs are starting to hurt

KANSASROSE67 Posts: 1,556
3/14/13 10:25 A

I run outside on country roads. I think about the beauty around me, the changing seasons, things I need to do, problems I'm sorting out, what I'm going to wear to work that day...but the most important part of my running time is prayer. I have a policy of "praying up the hills" by spending the time thanking God for every blessing I can think of, starting with the ability to run. Since my dad was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease (he died in July), I hope I will never again take for granted the gift of good health. Just being to able to walk, or even lift a fork to his mouth were taken from my dad, and it opened my eyes to the little things we don't even think about until they're gone. I run for 4-6 miles at a time, but I always run out of miles before I run out of things to be thankful for!

RHYMESWITHBABY SparkPoints: (42,419)
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Posts: 263
3/14/13 10:03 A

Because of my hip, I'm not supposed to run (which is frustrating for me) but I do a lot of walking on the treadmill. I sometimes feel like I want to wear a sign so all the people will know "I would be running, but I'm not allowed, so that is why I am walking really fast and pumping my arms like a maniac instead."

When I am lucky enough to get one hour on the treadmill, there is always the slow but steady part that starts somewhere after the first twenty minutes. Instead of worrying about how low I might have set the pace, I just say to myself, "This is the long bit in the middle where I am waiting to get my second wind." Then I try to guess at what minute value I will feel like increasing the pace again. During this time I am usually watching the numbers: distance, calories, time, etc. I might put my hands on the rail for a bit to check my heart rate.

Occasionally, my mind wanders and negative thoughts start to take hold. But when this happens my subconscious does a neat trick for me. I start to focus on the STOP button on the treadmill. Eventually my conscious mind picks up on the word and I stop thinking the negative thoughts. Then my eyes flick up to the panel where the OK button is, and I "reset" my thoughts. (I guess if I was outdoors I might do the same thing with a stop sign or a red light.)

But for the most part I get through my workout by listening to the music, looking at the numbers, having imaginary conversations with the people around me, or daydreaming.

3/14/13 9:59 A

running is like therapy for me... i think about all of the things that are weighing on me, and i usually sort them out or at least feel less stressed about them

PAMBROWN1010 SparkPoints: (13,585)
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Posts: 101
3/14/13 9:59 A

I listen to podcasts on nutrition and fitness and focus on the good I'm doing for my health and body and mind. I feel so much more positive when I'm active and more energized to take on challenges. emoticon

BUUKWORM14 SparkPoints: (78,747)
Fitness Minutes: (78,046)
Posts: 960
3/14/13 9:57 A

I daydream, usually about exes seeing me looking hot and feeling like idiots. emoticon

CILER11 Posts: 265
3/14/13 9:53 A

I think about everything while I am doing my run/walks. I think about the music I'm listening to, my form, how cool I "think" I look, how strong I feel, and more towards the end "is this almost over?!?" I also look at other people, the animals I see (had to stop and take a picture of a gopher one day), and how nice it is outside. If I'm running inside I tend to count the seconds and sing REALLY loud (and really off key). Our treadmill is in the basement and my hubby can hear me. Once he asked if I was okay. :) I always have the mental image of Rocky in my head when I'm running.


SBURDEN Posts: 11,219
3/14/13 9:50 A

I cover alot of things while I run (thinking that is). I plan out the rest of my day or make lists of things for the week. I dream of things I'd love to do and I sink (in my head).

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,106)
Fitness Minutes: (27,770)
Posts: 1,169
3/14/13 9:40 A

"OH my God I may die before this song is over!!!!!!!!!!" "My butt is going to look soooooo good after all this Zumba" "When I reach my goal weight I am totally buying....!" ( I spend a whole lot of money in my head while I work out......I also spend a lot of time with George Clooney in my head during my workout emoticon )

If I am doing yoga, I really work on being mindful and connected to my exercise, but the rest of the time I am thinking of anything but my workout.

VATRUCKER SparkPoints: (20,629)
Fitness Minutes: (36,922)
Posts: 526
3/14/13 9:20 A

I think about everything but the exercise I am doing because if I think about it then it becomes a bore emoticon emoticon emoticon

JGRAY55555 SparkPoints: (18,085)
Fitness Minutes: (4,854)
Posts: 580
3/14/13 8:47 A

Being a math guy, If I am on the treadmill, I am always calculating. I know that I go .06mi in 1 min at 3.6mph, and .07mi in 1 min at 4.2mph etc. I always have a time and distance goal when I start, and I walk/jog/run in intervals, so the numbers run through my head the entire time. For me it makes it go "faster", but can be maddening at times. I guess this is when my OCD really kicks in!!

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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Posts: 1,379
3/14/13 8:39 A

Mostly my thoughts just wander, very relaxed, all over the place. When I'm working hard or getting tired, though, I tend to think more specifically about what I'm doing (30 seconds left, get to the next lamppost, almost to the top of the hill -- that sort of thing). Occasionally I focus on form, but that tends to wander off into the flow with everything else.

That's if I'm outside. If inside on a treadmill it doesn't seem to work the same way. I'll get bored if I don't have a distraction.

Edit: @NANLYKW -- I laughed at your "am I not even halfway yet". It's funny because running any distance at all is still so new to me (again) that my reactions are always the opposite. "Am I here ALREADY?" I'm still used to walking pace.

Edited by: RENATARUNS at: 3/14/2013 (08:44)
SELHORST19 SparkPoints: (47,021)
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Posts: 279
3/14/13 8:24 A

I first think about work related problems, but after about 20 minutes, I'm usually thinking about when I can stop.

LINEBACKER1968 Posts: 394
3/14/13 1:27 A

The music I'm listening to at the time.

SUSANBEAMON Posts: 11,780
3/14/13 12:59 A

mostly i don't think, i just feel how my body is moving. if i do think, i sing along with the music or i check my form.

3/13/13 11:04 P

All different things-- "just one more mile", how my body's feeling, concentrating on the music. Or maybe how the weather is, if I need to shed another layer, or just enjoying the sunshine. Sometimes I'm planning out a blog entry, or thinking about a book I'm reading, or looking forward to the work day. Or just thinking of the next race I'm going to run. It really depends on the day and the mile, ha!

LOPTR27 SparkPoints: (16,170)
Fitness Minutes: (30,308)
Posts: 67
3/13/13 10:58 P

I usually have motivational music playing and I just focus on the music. It really keeps me going and energizes me. There's one particular song that's great when I'm about halfway through and get bored and tired and just want to quit. Never fails to get me going again.

ERICADAWN1986 SparkPoints: (34,913)
Fitness Minutes: (20,478)
Posts: 1,964
3/13/13 10:28 P

I saw an idea I really liked and I am trying to personalize it in my training. In your mind, you dedicate each mile to someone or something that you care about. That way, when it gets tough, you're working for something outside yourself. You can even set your playlist up with songs that make you think of whatever you're working toward in that mile.

3/13/13 10:07 P

I can't run since my accident 19 years ago. I go to the gym and either use the treadmill, elliptical, or bike. I just started working out last year. I never worked out when I worked cause I had a very active job and would go home exhausted. I am now retired and quite smoking and had gained 30 pounds on top of the 20 extra pounds that I already had. I was working out just to keep in shape. A month ago I started getting serious about my diet and nutrition and exercise. I use my kindle when I exercise and I read the Bible. I get lost in my reading and completely forget about time. Since the beginning of February I have lost 8 pounds. Right now I am on vacation and today I went to Planet Fitness and I had a Salad for supper. Wish me luck!!! :-)

185LYNN SparkPoints: (1,679)
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Posts: 25
3/13/13 9:27 P

I try not to let outside world enter my mind. When I get on the treadmill I know I need to have my mind cleared and stay focus. I look down ocassionally on the treadmill to see where I'm at in terms of distance and time. I focus more on distance and tell myself I can do this! I will push myself. I eventually will put a "fat" photo I really, really hate in front of the treadmill and look at it whenever I want to give up for motivation. emoticon

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
3/13/13 9:27 P

The day ahead or when I'm not particularly motivated, how much longer I have to

SHURNP SparkPoints: (12,008)
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Posts: 222
3/13/13 9:17 P

I'm usually planning my day or thinking about some book I'm reading.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,457
3/13/13 8:57 P

If I need distracting because some negative thoughts are crowding in, I'll normally think about my times and distances at certain identifiable waypoints along my route. By the time I have mentally calculated my speed and target time at that distance, what percentage of my total distance I have covered, etc., it is then a case of "Oh, look, I am at the next waypoint already".

Other times I am happy to let my mind wander whereever it will.


BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
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Posts: 3,415
3/13/13 8:44 P

I pray to God and think about all I have to be thankful for in my life.

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
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Posts: 867
3/13/13 8:40 P

Great question! And interesting to read everyone's answers.

I think about my form and pace periodically throughout my run, especially when I start. Other than that, I think about whatever's around me or I daydream a bit. And of course, there's the occasional, "OMG, am I really not even halfway yet??" :)

Edited by: NANLEYKW at: 3/13/2013 (20:40)
GENTLESIMON SparkPoints: (7)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 2
3/13/13 8:31 P

Can I weigh in and say, even though I don't run and jog, that when I am walking, I am totally with my body, feeling the movement, the rhythm of my hips, shoulders, letting go of any holding of tension. Within ten minutes, my mind goes totally quiet, I feel very 'connected' to nature. I see people running by mostly not with themselves, by the look on their faces, not in -joy.

The mind body enjoyment feels more complete and more important to me than any running or jogging I used to do. The truth is when I did it, it used to feel hard, impactful and harming on my body while I was doing it, even though I got the exercise high and short term relief afterwards. I now love being with me during exercise, rather than 'checking out' into my ipod or into disconnected thoughts. This has lead also to eating less and loosing weight. I found with more vigorous exercise, my body held on to the weight more (sorry a little off track)

LJBRANDOK Posts: 183
3/13/13 8:21 P

I read on my Kindle for cardio, and the time flies. For strength training, I try to always concentrating on doing the exercise correctly, posture, and breathing. I need to always be thinking "strong core!"

AM_MORRIS87 Posts: 1,665
3/13/13 8:21 P

I usually just let my mind wander. I think of things that have happened in the past, things that could happen in the future, current situations, etc. For me I've realized how important my music is though. I downloaded new music to my phone with really intense songs that I love, and it helps keep me going. Not to mention, when a part of a song comes on that I really love, I start running faster. I've actually improved my running speed!

3/13/13 7:36 P

I listen to K-Love Radio online if I'm on the treadmill. If I'm at the High School track, I pretend I'm competing. Or, I watch whichever sport is practicing and remind myself that I will soon be in good enough shape to do that as well :)

PATIENTSAM Posts: 2,317
3/13/13 7:17 P

If I am alone, I spend the time in prayer. If I am with my walking partner, we have plenty to talk about!

82719541 SparkPoints: (75,835)
Fitness Minutes: (129,902)
Posts: 144
3/13/13 6:42 P

I plan what I want to eat for the day, but thats during my warm up. After that I intreval train on the tread mill so I am watching the dash board so I can change the setting every couple minutes. My tread mill is old so I can't program it in. But, it keeps me from getting bored, because lets be truthful about the tread mill your workout feels like your watching paint dry and if your not careful and change things up you may not get back on it.

HILLSLUG98239 SparkPoints: (44,802)
Fitness Minutes: (87,555)
Posts: 1,151
3/13/13 6:14 P

I usually spend part of the time praying (and I assume God isn't offended when I stop to blow a snot rocket during cold weather). I sing a lot when I'm cycling. I have no musical talent, but there's something about the rhythym of pedaling that makes me feel like singing (I used to do this while paddling a kayak, too).

Mostly my mind wanders a lot. I'm a lawyer, and I sometimes practice arguments in my head while I'm exercising. Good thing I don't do them out loud.

When I'm feeling tired but I have to keep going, I do what you did: I remind myself why I'm doing it. My inner coach starts yelling at me, telling me I'm doing great, I'm getting stronger, and I can keep going.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
3/13/13 5:48 P

I don't do cardio, only strength training, so I'm usually so focused on getting through each rep that I can't think about anything else. My mind does wander during my 5 minute cardio warm up though. Nothing in particular, maybe like if I have errands or shopping to do I'll think about that.

VUKELK Posts: 623
3/13/13 5:47 P

I'm half done.

3/13/13 5:43 P

It's usually whatever thoughts just float into my mind. Almost like daydreaming. My aim is usually to lose myself in the exercise (running, elliptical, equivalent cardio) I get frustrated looking at the numbers on the machine, or thinking about how long the 60 minutes are going to be when I am only 10 minutes in...You know how it can be some days! Some days I am really into the cardio and don't mind, but usually I need to find that happy place in my mind where I can forget about the monotony emoticon I listen to music at all times during cardio too. It helps my mind wander! Other exercises, like strength training, require me to focus on form and what I am doing at all times so my thoughts remain on the task! Which is not a bad thing emoticon

Edited by: VANHALENFAN at: 3/13/2013 (17:44)
PAT4PROG Posts: 652
3/13/13 5:39 P

At the beginning of my runs, I'm singing worship songs and praising God for the ability to participate and share my passion of the sport. Then I move into enjoying my surroundings. By the end, I'm asking God to lighten my feet and left them upon a swift wind to allow me to finish. I love my run times and all that is revealed to me during them.

LAURENXX19 Posts: 547
3/13/13 5:39 P

I don't think much when I am running or exercising. When exercising, I usually focus on what I am doing. While running, I just run. Not really much thinking. I just clear my mind.

LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
3/13/13 5:21 P

Aaaaaahhhh, a half marathon! Congrats on your endeavor! I'm still working on a 5k.....I can't do anything for a half marathon except drive my car LOL!

Anyway, the best thing that works for me is to keep my music on and play the most motivating or upbeat tunes to keep me going or to push through when I do have those blah moments. I don't know what I would do to run if I didn't have my music!

HEALTHYME20091 Posts: 204
3/13/13 4:32 P

I don't really mean to, but I usually wind up daydreaming about the future. It's actually kind of motivating.

GRACEMCC45 Posts: 1,134
3/13/13 4:15 P

I am usually about 90% thinking about what I'm doing 10% sidetracked, and this tapers to about 50/50 as the workout progresses

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (199,795)
Fitness Minutes: (195,158)
Posts: 15,862
3/13/13 4:07 P

I always do long runs with friends, and I sometimes think about form, etc for a short period while running, but I generally think of everything besides while running when running.

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 3/13/2013 (16:07)
LVELVETJ SparkPoints: (389)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 78
3/13/13 3:34 P

Interesting. I haven't thought or felt "blah" during a workout in my regimen in several years. Times when I've felt "blah" from a workout or lost inspiration were clues that I needed to ditch that kind of exercising for another. During my workouts, I think of my form so that I don't injure myself, how awesome it is that I can do what I am doing or how I'm improving. Sometimes, I think of how I can't wait for a break between sets or intervals so that I can catch my breath and energy to tackle the next one. I also think of my cats and how they need to get out of my way so that they don't get hit by a weight or stomped on as they like to hang with me during my workouts. I think of the scenery outside as I peer through the windows during my workouts. These are thoughts I have when I exercise.

3/13/13 3:06 P

I think of all the things that frustrate me. That makes me suddenly filled with the urge to move faster. Exercise for me is all about purging the grouchy things out of my mind!

AUSFAM Posts: 115
3/13/13 2:42 P

I'm training for a 1/2 marathon and need some help with mind set while running. Today I was on one of my long runs and I was feeling like there was no end in sight, so I started thinking about what to think about while running. I thought about my daughters and husband and how it's going to feel seeing them at the finish line. It perked me up and I picked up the pace, but it got me wondering what everyone else does during those blah times of running/exercising.

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