5 Weird Things I Do On Training Runs (And Maybe You Do Too)

© Dreamstime.com

© Dreamstime.com

1) Passing other runners

I don’t pay much attention to bikers (too fast) or walkers (too slow). However, passing another runner out training is always a dance. If I am creeping up on someone, I tend to slow down and keep their pace for at least a few strides.

The faster they are, the longer I wait to actually pass them. I feel the compulsion to maintain a comfortable distance ahead of them once I pass. I’m sure there is some sort of competitive hard wiring that can explain this feeling, right?

2) Playing GPS watch games

When I first started wearing a GPS watch, I swear I looked at the data every 1/10th of a mile. Too fast? Too slow? My own sense of pacing went completely out the window as my eyes stayed glued to that little screen.

Once the novelty (mostly) wore off, I started playing a different game. Don’t-look-until-X-number-of-miles-have-passed. Part of this is good training for understanding perceived effort, but part of it really is just a game. A little self deprivation knowing how badly I want to look at the data, but forcing myself to exercise restraint.

3) Counting

It might be a larger phenomenon than I thought because I know of a handful of runners who have shared they do the same thing. Counting while running. It can be counting down, counting up, counting in 10’s, counting in 25’s, or counting whatever seems right for the run.

It can be steps, seconds, breaths, etc. My own weirdness is counting 6 seconds for a tenth of a mile until I get bored and start thinking of something else. Maybe it focuses the mind off the task of running? Maybe I’m just weird?

4) Forgetting how to run

Seems a little silly that a runner would forget how to run. Especially after 20-ish years of practice. But it can strike at any given time. I forget where to hold my shoulders. Or I find one hand clamped in a tight fist and one arm waving about like it’s ready to give a high five. Or my breathing sounds like the complete opposite of anything metronomic.

Most days I can just relax and reign it in, but there are times that I am feel reaffirmed in choosing a sport that requires very little hand/eye coordination.

5) Missing running

How exactly does one miss running while they are running? I still haven’t figured it out yet, but it happens often enough that I’m certain it’s not an anomaly. Usually it’s during a beautiful day and I’m far enough into my run that I’m cracked out on runner endorphins.

It’s a strange feeling to both anticipate the joy of finishing and to cringe at the thought of having to stop.

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