What do runners think when they run long distance? Running is hard, running is boring, running is a lonely sport, running can cause you injuries and empty pockets but running is fun, running can keep you away from vices and depressions. 

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Running is a mind game and can help you overcome addiction. Running, in general, can lift up your mood and be good for your health.

I ask fellow runners what they think when they run especially the long-distance or out there training for their next race. If you are a newbie runner or beginner you may not have thought about it or not yet feeling the boredom especially when you have your headphones in your ears listening to music.

But what if you decide you already want to run more than 10k and ready to tackle running half and full marathon or even an ultra. 

If you are new to running check out my article about 10 Good Reasons To Run.

Once you embrace long-distance running there will be so many random thoughts that you can think of while running. Talking to yourself is the real deal, keeping your phone in your hydration backpack or belt bag is necessary.

Imagine being on the road for two hours or more just out there running developing something good for your mind and body. Not everyone can do it because it takes a lot of discipline and dedication to be out there.

It is a mental game, while you already train your body to adapt to running you have to train your mind as well. Instead of thinking of still being in bed on a Saturday morning maybe you should already be out by 6 am and start running.

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Long distance running can help give you a clear mind, answers to questions, problems, or even equations, just kidding! Well, it’s true some runners can think of math and solve problems. 

what do runners think when they run long distance
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What do runners think when they run long distance?


Runners do think about the food they are about to enjoy after running a long distance, especially after race day. Some people also run so that they can enjoy and eat all the food they want and then run again to burn all of it.

In running you can never go back only forward so always look forward to the next meal you want to eat and your next carbo-loading.

Think about rewarding yourself from a long run and finally enjoy a Burrito or a big bowl of pasta and how about that mouth-watering chocolate cake you wanted to try.

For some runners, running for beers is on their list as well. Especially since there are runs that also involve drinking and let’s not forget Oktoberfest.

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Going for a long distance run can help you to reflect on your life and talk to yourself especially when you are facing decision-making tasks. It gives you a clearer view of weighing your decision without the influence of anyone.

Long distance running is your alone time to focus on your goal whether it is just to accomplish the long distance run itself or reflect on something that is bothering you.

Sometimes when you have a bad day try to lace up those running shoes of yours and go for a run to clear your mind and let go of that bad experience, shake it off through running. I read somewhere if you went for a run and never get the answer you have to run again until you get it.

With so many things happening around us, doing a long distance run can keep you focused on what is important and learn something new about yourself. Long distance running is a gift and talent.

Long distance running is also a good way to talk to God.

If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon. If you want to talk to God run an ultra. – Dean Karnazes


Sometimes runners really don’t think of anything but just want to enjoy the beauty of nature, running can feel like torture but when you have a spectacular view it’s all worth it.

It’s like a magical moment to be thankful for the gift of running and just enjoy the moment and scenery. The gift of running itself is a blessing being able to do it, experience the fun, and doing something good for your body. 

Like what the old saying being with nature is therapy and add running into it that’s double the fun.

When doing a long run in the mountains be sure to inform your family about it or better have a running body. Ensure safety and proper hydration at all times.


Our family is important to us and some runners keep in mind their families while running, wife, kids, husband, parents all play an important role.

One runner said that he asks for strength from his mom who passed away. While another runner said he thinks of his wife and children.

In Summary

There are many things runners think when they run long distance and it’s all about self-discovery and reflection. It is a humbling experience and in general, long distance running is a test of the human heart and mind.

In the first half just go slowly and listen to your breathing, don’t start too fast so you won’t be exhausted too soon.

Don’t be scared trying to go the distance, remember you don’t have to go fast and far at the same time. You’ll slowly get there once your body has adapted and embraced the pain.

If you have questions about running or looking for motivation let me know your thoughts in the comment section below and join our Facebook group here, Running and Plantbased lifestyle.

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  1. I am not a runner but I do walk several miles. Yes, I think of the food I am going to eat when I get home. But for long-distance runners it is interesting what they are thinking and feeling for that time span.

  2. Wow what a great read!! I have always admired runners, mostly because I just can’t do it!! This is such a fun read and I have to say, I would be thinking about FOOD as well! LOL. But this is similar to my life–being on the back of a motorcycle and all the things I think about, and yes, food is one of them!

  3. I love running long distances! I started running when the pandemic started and have since ran a half marathon race and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. One reason I love running long distances is because I get to see so much! I plan all my routes based around scenic parks.

    1. that is great Mak! Having good views to run helps a lot and interchanging routes too. Happy Running and Thank you

  4. I’m not a runner but when I walked on my treadmill my mind definitely would wander. I haven’t used in a while but really need to get back to it. Most times I would listen to music or videos to avoid boredom. But sometimes I just like to focus on my thoughts to pass the time.

  5. Definitely spend a lot of time enjoying my surroundings and reminding myself to smile and be happy my body is out there moving like it is!

    1. totally agree Cindy! being with nature is one of the best way to free our mind and with some exercise. thanks!

  6. I was never the sporty type precisely because I get how much perseverance, dedication and discipline it takes – but I admire all athletes who can commit to such a great lifestyle! And you are absolutely right that it helps in so many ways, especially mentally, not just physically! I take long hikes through the forests when I need to clear my mind, or I bike a few miles with my family instead – lazy lifestyle for me:)))

  7. I started to run last year and I found my favourite podcasts helped me to focus for a while but I still struggle with rhat

  8. While I am not a runner, I can relate to what you described, as I think about these same things when I go for a walk. I find walking outdoors so much more rewarding and productive than walking on a treadmill, as I can focus on my mind instead of focusing on the display of numbers on a treadmill.

    1. thanks Maureen, Im also having a hard time when Im on the treadmill, outdoors are better refreshing and sometimes you get more ideas outside.

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