Thinking is usually a good thing of course.  I would certainly never advocate succumbing to stupidity.  To think or not to think while running is a different story.  Is running a good time to mull over problems?  Is it a meditative time to clear your head?  And does the equation change when you are racing?

I don’t know what most runners feel about this.  I’m not yet sure what the best stance on this is for me either.  I tend to think a lot.  Overthink, overanalyze.  In this early stage of my running experience, I’m noticing that running is a relief from thinking.  I get out of my head and into the experience.  Especially now that I’m trying to increase my speed and distance, I focus on that.  Occasionally an unrelated-to-running thought creeps in, but I can push it away if I want.  If I had known that training could clear my mind, I would have done this years ago 🙂

Besides focusing on the mechanics of running better, I also concentrate on the music I’m listening to.  I love music in general and can’t imagine running without the headphones on.  Listening to the lyrics may be a form of thinking, or a distraction.  Either way, it’s one of the best ways to lose the best way.  Not sure how wise or common this is during a race though.  But how could I someday survive a marathon without music??

Most likely those who think or brainstorm or solve problems while running end up clearing their minds too.  The endorphins kick in for everyone eventually.  And maybe my experience may change as my training evolves.  Either way, I’m amazed to discover that running is my meditation.  After a draining day at work, running clears all the crap away!  How’s that for a slogan on a bumper sticker or t-shirt?! 🙂

Just have to remember my slogan for the countless times when I’m feeling too lazy to get on the treadmill…