What do you think about when you swim / run?

(63 Posts)
BuiltForComfort Thu 07-Feb-13 12:30:11

Have started trying to get fit - bit of swimming, should get into running too.. But I struggle with my thoughts - 30-40 mins of lane swimming either gets very dull or I can't switch off with thinking about a few difficult things that have happened to me in recent years. I don't want to dwell on it all, it makes the swim into a negative experience. How do you occupy your mind?

To preempt the most obvious answer on running - music would be the easy answer but I don't get on well with earphones and spend all my time readjusting them or getting tangled with the wires. And I don't like cutting myself off from whats going on around me IYKWIM.

Cycling is my favourite as you have to concentrate on the roads / route and there is lots to look at as you whizz along. But have hurt hand and can't brake so that's off for a while. Running is embarrassingly slow - not so much variety to look at!

thenightsky Thu 07-Feb-13 12:33:11

Running is best done with a partner you can gossip with.

Swimming.. I don't know. I go about 3 times a week and get terribly bored by looking at blue tiles go by on the bottom of the pool. I count lengths and think about politics at work, kids, worries etc. This can put me off going really as I end up with negative thoughts.

daisydoodoo Thu 07-Feb-13 12:33:50

nothing thats the beauty of it. I try and run most days and those 10km are the stress free part of my day. I run around a local set of lakes so can vary my route quite a bit so as not to get bored. I do have my ipod on and some music via earphones. it was a case of finding the right earphones for me, after buying many pairs the best pair have been JVC ear buds. they mold well to my inner ear and are light.

Swimming i can't relax into as much, perhaps becasue im not s comfiortable in water. I Can swim but i have this huge fear or drowning, so never fully at ease.

daisydoodoo Thu 07-Feb-13 12:34:30

and if you can talk while running your not pushing yourself enough! wink

EssieW Thu 07-Feb-13 12:35:56

I count in sets of 8 and vary it by mixing strokes, or doing sprints for a set of 8. I find it more absorbing than swimming for a length of time and it's definitely improved my swimming. I'm generally trying to remember what I'm doing next when swimming. I do just let my mind wander though sometimes but mostly on trivial stuff like what's for dinner. I think I also focus on what I'm doing n each stroke eg talking myself through it in my head or working out when I'm going to breathe.

stargirl1701 Thu 07-Feb-13 12:36:10

Swimming can depend on my mood. If I'm grumpy then a swim will work me up into fury grin

thenightsky Thu 07-Feb-13 12:36:11

ahahha... i knew someone would turn up and tell me that if I could talk I wasn't working hard enough grin

We gossip on the slower recovery bits actually wink

CoteDAzur Thu 07-Feb-13 12:36:25

Push yourself hard enough in any endurance sport, and you will see that you don't think of anything at all. That is partly the joy of it, as daisy said - for once, you live in the moment with no baggage from the past nor worries about the future smile

MirandaWest Thu 07-Feb-13 12:37:59

I listen to music when I run but also just think. Never quite sure what about afterwards but sometimes get stuff sorted out in my head. Or I listen to a running podcast. My bf listens to ordinary podcasts I think.

CoteDAzur Thu 07-Feb-13 12:38:59

daisy - Actually, if the goal is to burn fat, you should be able to talk while "running" (well, jogging, really).

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 13:09:13

Nothing! It's half an hour a day when I can just switch off. It's also the only time I get to myself so I would hate to share with a running partner or club. I run through the countryside though so there's always plenty to look at. I can see that a treadmill or swimming pool would be very boring.

BuiltForComfort Thu 07-Feb-13 13:16:58

I wish I could think about nothing, it's quite a skill to empty your mind and just enjoy the sensation of what you're doing. I probably need to push myself harder then, that does actually make sense. Will check out the earphones,mi could probably run with a podcast. Will still find it hard to manage the wires though!

TheFallenNinja Thu 07-Feb-13 13:18:39

I just think of getting to the next milestone as quickly as I can smile

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 13:18:47

How about taking up outdoor swimming or trail running?

MirandaWest Thu 07-Feb-13 13:19:00

I think you can get some sort if wireless ones (am a little clueless blush)

CurlsRUs Thu 07-Feb-13 13:20:45

While running I either try to solve work problems - usually very successfully, and it stops me worrying about things in the middle of the night - or I take a nosy at all the houses and gardens I pass by, to get design inspiration. My favourite time to run is at dusk, when people have their lights on but haven't shut their curtains blush

mercury7 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:21:37

I find it hard to follow long or complex thoughts while running or swimming, I tend to count alot and pay attention to my stride or stroke
I try and tune in to how I'm feeling...if I really push myself today will I have enough in the tank to run and lift weights tomorrow.

There's often an undercurrent of 'oh no this is really hard I dont think I can go the distance' or rarely 'whoa I'm in the zone I feel all tingly and things are flowing'

I listen to podcasts when running but can only really concentrate if it's comedy, mostly I listen to music, that and the effort of running takes up most of my concentration

If I'm not listening to music, I find it hard to switch off too. Sometimes I do a sort of mental 'body scan' while I'm running though. A bit like some people do in yoga or meditation. It's quite good because it occupies but relaxes the mind and also flags up any areas of tension or awkward posture etc, so it can help with your running style too. Not that the word 'style' can really be used about my running grin.

mercury7 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:39:06

I seem to spend most of my time flicking through tracks trying to find the 'right' music to make the running easy, the 'right' music is very elusive, what works one day is ineffective the nextsad

daisydoodoo Thu 07-Feb-13 14:27:42

I run in stints, so run for x minutes then jog, then run again. my ipod tells me when to run, when to jog when to walk etc. Interval training? Could be wrong.

I invested in some personal training sessions to begin with, he said i should be able to still say yes no, hello, excuse me etc but not a conversation? its a new thing for me, just over a year now. I never thought i would be the type of person who would enjoy running or exercise in any shape or form, but i don't like to go more than a day without some kind of exercise now.

RedPencils Thu 07-Feb-13 14:39:20

Listen to music when running and just think about stuff.
Simeone suggested to me that listening to audio books when running is a good way to make the time go faster because you have to really concentrate but it didn't work for me because I like to think about stuff bothering me.

I find swimming much harder, I stop way too many times to have a look at what is going on because I get bored with it.

mercury7 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:58:35

how many miles are most of you clocking up per week?
I'd like to increase mine a bit but i suspect it's best to increase very slowly to avoid injuries..also past a certain point i'm not sure if the benefits to body composition are really worth the stress to the immune system

or am i just being a wussgrin

RedPencils Thu 07-Feb-13 16:12:50

I do two 5kms a week at the moment. In summer when I can go out after work I do a third. Hate running in the cold and dark. I find it really hard to do anything further than 5/6km, my knees start to ache and I get a bit bored.
I've thought about signing up for a a marathon a few times but get put off by how many hours you need to put in. A half is bad enough.

happystory Thu 07-Feb-13 16:19:29

Interesting question! I don't swim that energetically, more to stretch and relax but lately have found that the minute i start swimming all my worries disappear and i think about all the nice places i have swum, holidays etc. Tis v soothing

Dahlen Thu 07-Feb-13 16:24:08

I tend to use running in different ways, depending on my mood/situation at the time. Sometimes I zone out and just live in the moment, but other times I like to use it to think exclusively about whatever is bothering me and transfer the angst into physical effort - it's a way of letting it go.

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