9 Things Science Says All Runners Think About When They Run

Whether you’re a one-miler or a marathoner, chances are you’re thinking the exact same thing as the jogger next to you.

How do we know? Science told us.

A recent study required participating runners to verbalize their thoughts, stream-of-consciousness style. A tape recorder strapped to their waist documented their every word, and--boom--we’ve got the inside track on the most ubiquitous thoughts..

How many did you have on today’s jaunt around the neighborhood?

1. Runners are thinking about their pace and distance

And how to crush that damn hill.

2. Then, strategizing about how not to slow down

Two words: pep talk.

3. But if they do, they know how to cut themselves some slack

So you’ve got a knee injury. You’ll get 'em next time.

4. Still, in the beginning of the run, their mind drifts to any pain

Stupid knee injury.

5. They’ve trained their brains to cope

Deep breaths. One foot in front of the other. Because…goals.

6. They spend a lot of time thinking about geography and weather

One mile to go and it’s hot as hell. Awesome.

7. Not to mention the trees and the birds

Hello, beautiful world.

8. They’re brainstorming what to say to fellow runners

Social awkwardness at its finest.

9. Last, but not least, they’re cursing bikers and traffic

The collective dream: an open road.

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