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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!

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 16:24:20

I am/was (on the injury bench temporarily) doing just under 5k three times a week. I've almost finished C25K. I'm planning on doing a 10K in the summer, I wouldn't have the time to train for a marathon or half at the moment! I've read that you're not supposed to increase your time or distance by more than 10% a week.

holmessweetholmes Thu 07-Feb-13 17:07:05

Mercury7 - I'm not sure how many miles a week, but I'm training for my first half. I'm doing 3 x 30 mins runs a week and one longer one which gets gradually longer each week - 90 mins this week.

drjohnsonscat Thu 07-Feb-13 17:14:40

I listen to desert island discs sometimes. Or I look at all the houses and decide which one I'd like to live in. Or I spend my imaginary lottery winnings. I definitely need more distraction when running because I find it harder and am more on the verge of stopping with every second that passes.

Swimming is easier for me and more meditative so I just think about my stroke or how I feel as I'm moving through the water. I still can't do a tumble turn but I like pushing off from the side and seeing how far I can go underwater and then looking up to see the light and enjoying that movement (I would say glide but I'm not sure I do anything as elegant as glide). If I'm struggling a bit I'll recite poetry from o'level.

WifeofPie Thu 07-Feb-13 17:14:50

When I run I sort things out in my head...often things that have been bothering me come to a head and I kind of luxuriate in dwelling on them for a bit and then they seem to dissolve away, iyswim. I always run in the morning so often think about my do-list for the rest of the day or what Gigantic lunch I'm going to eat later or what I'm going to make for dinner. Sometimes I I aging I'm being chased by coyotes (lots near where I run) and that I have to sprint to get away from them <total weirdo>.

Whatever I end up thinking about I always feel that the exercise, endorphins and fresh air have cleared away the mental cobwebs.

WifeofPie Thu 07-Feb-13 17:16:21

I imagine, not I aging. FFS.

BsshBossh Thu 07-Feb-13 19:59:05

With swimming I focus entirely on my movement through the water and how hard my heart and lungs are working. I can't seem to think about anything under these conditions.

mercury7 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:35:32

when I'm walking I tend to think quite intensely about the various things that are going on in my life, run through scenarios, conversations I've had or would like to have, come up with various theories about why she/he said/did this that and the other.

When I'm running it's all I can do to make myself keep doing it, there's no room for much stream of consciousness!

tulip27 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:44:20

When running I listen to music , count reps , make up stories in my head , plan the shopping list, watch the wildlife.
I run about 40-50 miles per week with my longest run taking 2-3 hours. I find varying route between public places and beautiful nature filled places helps. Variation in speed , adding hills etc keeps me from getting bored.

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

wow thats alot, you must be super super fit Tulipgrin

BuiltForComfort Thu 07-Feb-13 22:31:01

Thanks for all the ideas - and inspiration, I can barely run for 5 mins at the moment. But I can swim for a lot longer!

sybilfaulty Thu 07-Feb-13 22:34:58

Why not listen to music while you swim? I have a speedo aquabeat and regularly swim for an hour whilst plugged into some energising music. Has revolutionised my swimming and wouldn't be without it now.

bonkersLFDT20 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:42:41

I either run with a friend at happy, chatty pace (daisy I see your smiley, but just want to say that not all runs should be done at a pace too fast to talk - there is lots of benefit to the steady run (endurance and stamina), fast runs build speed and strength), or I run with The Archers, Woman's Hour or Friday Nighy Comedy (or sometimes all of them if it's a very long run!).

Music puts me off my pace. Or I think about nothing or everything. Any worries always feel better after a run - either because I've put them into perspective, or I've got a kick ass plan of action!

I don't enjoy swimming, but when I couldn't run due to injury I swam to keep my fitness up. I thought about 1) how many lengths I'd done and 2) Monster Munch.

JoyceDivision Thu 07-Feb-13 22:45:14

Our pool has music on fpr length swims. Admittedly, I could recount the full track listing of disc one of Now! 83... but better than silence!

I think about random daft stuff.. then realise I am grinning like a loon grin

Always keep a tally of lengths though!

I've switched from running to swimming lately due to injury. I used to listen to music while running sometimes (I used an app to track my runs that spoke to you at intervals to tell you how you were doing which you could combine with a playlist). Other times I used to just go and run a route I had picked with no timings, no measurements, no music and just think about whatever, but try not to think about anything that required too much attention, just kept it vague. A lot of the time I just liked looking at the gardens and houses. Other times I listened to Radio 4 podcasts, which I also do at work to stop getting bored (on my own in a office much of the time).

In the pool, I used to try and do a set number of lengths or swim for a set time and really struggled to do either though boredom/thinking of all the other things that needed doing that day. I am now following a programme of mixed strokes to improve my swimming technique/stamina and keeping track of what I need to do and really concentrating on technique is all I need to do, I used to be ready to get out after about 15 mins, bored stiff, but now the time goes by much more quickly, also I count strokes. Our pool has music on at the weekend family sessions but not for lane swimming, which I'm glad about, I hate having other people's choice of music foisted on me, that's a problem with gyms too.

Oh and I can't run with other people, I need to be able to set my own pace and would prefer not to chat.

Anifrangapani Thu 07-Feb-13 22:58:25

I write investment pspers

thenightsky Thu 07-Feb-13 22:59:11

sybilfaulty does the aquabeat not hurt your ears or fall out? I really fancy one, but I struggle with normal earbud type speakers as they hurt like hell after about 10 mins of use.

RedPencils Fri 08-Feb-13 13:17:00

Wow I never knew anything like aqua beat had been invented. That's going straight to the top of my birthday list.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 08-Feb-13 16:07:03

I swim a mile every weekday morning.
I watch the birds and the clouds and the trees
and write all my emails and work reports in my head ready to put down on paper when I get home.

bigbadbarry Fri 08-Feb-13 16:14:34

I listen to the archers when I run smile I have also struggled to find comfy headphones (I have freakishly small ears, it seems) but I found some bluetooth ones that are good because they are not attached to the ipod so don't pull, they just clip to my collar.

LillethTheCat Fri 08-Feb-13 20:18:58

I have imaginary conversations with people blush Dont know why, the thoughts just come in my head. Sometimes they are real people who just happen not to be next to me or Im talking to myself or some imaginary part of me.

I wish I could just turn off thinking, but I never can.

JollyRedGiant Fri 08-Feb-13 20:35:02

I am not a runner. My knees don't cope well and I sort of don't see the point.

I love swimming though and have recently started going again after a few years of not really bothering.

I do 40 lengths (1km) and count lengths. I also think about what I'm going to do for the next length - stroke/speed. If I'm going fast I just think about swimming.

Last night I mixed it up by counting DOWN for the last 10 lengths. <living on the edge>

bonkersLFDT20 Sat 09-Feb-13 07:30:25

bigbadbarry I also have small ear holes and struggled with ear phones for running. The ones I settled on are these
They're great because they sort of rest in your ear so you're not worried about them falling out and the over-ear fit means there's nothing on your head.

bonkersLFDT20 Sat 09-Feb-13 07:31:14

Jolly LOL at not seeing the point of running! What's the point of swimming then? ;-)

JollyRedGiant Sat 09-Feb-13 08:20:24

Hah, I know, bonkers it's a bit mad of me, but I just can't work up the enthusiasm.

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