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No Brain, No Pain

no brain

Over time running gets easier.

Our heart, lungs and muscles get conditioned. We can go farther without stopping. And hopefully some of the jiggling of fat goes away which makes things a lot easier!

But it also stays difficult.

There’s the breathing. Heavy. Sometimes there’s the tired tree trunks, I mean legs. And then there is the ever challenging mental struggle of staying focused, not quitting, and gently pushing ourselves to do a little bit better.

But at the end of every run is the sweet satisfaction that makes it all worth it. So can we make the running part easier? Sometimes we can. This is what I’ve noticed.

Running in a Day Dream

Did you ever notice that when you are running, sometimes you will have gone a certain distance and then you “wake up” from a daydream to the fact that you are running? Now this is not to say that you completely forgot that you were running, but your brain was busy thinking about something else.

The neat thing about this is that the discomfort or difficulty of running is diminished or negated during such reverie. The brain was not focused on the running. No brain, no pain!

So how can we do this more often? Well you certainly can‘t try to forget that you are running. That’s like trying to not think of a pink elephant if I say “Don’t think of a pink elephant.” But what we can do it set our mind to focus on something other than running.

So what should you think about? Here are some suggestions. With each of these, really go as deep as you can with the power of your mind, memory and imagination. Of course, don’t go so deep that you lose track of vehicles and pedestrians around you! Here are things you can focus on other than your heavy breathing:

  • Happy, positive daydreams.
  • Juicy fantasies.
  • Future events that you plan to do that will be fun.
  • Planning for creative projects.
  • Remembering good memories. Music can be a great start-off point for this.
  • Challenges  for which you want to find solutions.

Here’s what you shouldn’t think about if you can avoid it:

I find that thinking of heavy problems, emotional challenges, and the like tends to really drain my energy. When I’m running this is the last thing that I need. I can actually feel myself get more tired. (Interesting point to think about with regards to the rest of our day. Negative thoughts probably drain our energy then too, but it’s a little harder to notice.)

Please Share

What do you think? We want to hear from you!! Does this work for you? Do you have other tricks that you use to make your run more enjoyable. Please share in the comments and also please share with your friends via your favorite social media or email. Thank you!

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4 Comments

  1. Ann May 11, 2012
    • admin June 6, 2012
  2. Pingback: Smile Power | Running Zen May 16, 2012
  3. Kim Spencer June 13, 2012
    • Kris June 13, 2012

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  1. […] Why be serious? Why not have some fun with your workout. It truly did make the rest of my workout measurably easier!! Seriously! (I should have known this as it is a direct offshoot of my recent post on No Brain, No Pain – how to lessen the pain and discomfort of running!) […]