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20 August 2019 - 10:00pm


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What Do You Think About

What do you think about when you run? What do you focus on?

Today I had the opportunity to ask these questions of an ultra-runner, who just happens to be my kids running coach and running buddy’s husband.

What he focuses on during a long run is a variety of different things but it is more where he is going, what is coming up next and keeping his rhythm. (of course the rhythm changes for hills). It’s watching the course, knowing what is coming up, getting a focal point and, most of all, not loosing focus on where he is heading.

Knowing  the course beforehand always helps because you can set up a map in your head, knowing how far, where you are going, what is coming up and always keep an eye out for changes in the track/trail. It gives you a point at which to aim, especially if you know that just around the corner is the next aid station, or the finishing line.

It can give you hope.

Loosing focus on what you are doing, where you are going and how you are getting there can slow you down, leave you distracted and give an open invitation to tripping and hurting yourself (or worse, taking the wrong path).

I remember the very first trail run I did (30km) and how I watched the watch, keeping track of the km’s we did. When we reached the halfway mark I started counting down. It also helped that we were trailed by another group of women, who were training for a longer race, and we wanted to keep in front of them.

When I run now, I like to run to my watch, the timer on it. It gives me something to focus on, and if that doesn’t work, just counting to myself, timing my breathing with the counting, helps as well. With that said, I must admit to still having the creeping doubts enter my head. the ones which say “I can’t do this”, or "I just want to walk”.

I know it is all in my head, I know I can go further and faster, it is just a matter of convincing myself that I can do it.

So, what do you do, or think about, when you go for a run? How does your mind work?

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