Running and thinking are interlinked activities, but they revolve around different logics: at least for me. Often when I go out for a run I have some form of idea of how far, or how fast, and where I will run. Most of the time, I would like to say 95 percent of the time, I run according to my plan. A short run in the nearby forest, or a long run on the countryside, or around town. Sometimes I’ll go for an interval run, but not so often because I don’t like it before I do it but always after; and I seem not to ever learn that it is that way. My running is, so to speak, a planned activity.
I always think when I run. I guess that I always think. But I could never plan my thinking the way I plan my running. Many times a good run can lead to a solution of a problem that has been haunting me for some time. There are certainly good biological explanations to this, like that the pre-frontal and limbic regions of the brain spew out endorphins which make you euphoric, and the body pumps out endocannabinoids which make you calm. http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/how-to-achieve-a-runners-high
Although I have the knowledge and the experience of these effects of running, I can’t plan for a solution to a problem. As a matter of fact, most of the time I can’t, even in advance, decide to indulge and digest a certain particular problem during my daily run. The problem presents themselves when they do, as well as the solutions.
I’ll guess that I’m not alone. Most of us plan our run, distance and stride, and if some clever thoughts announce themselves during the run we see it as a bonus. We might say:
“Oh I had such a good run this morning. You know what we have been talking about last week? I know how we should go about it”
But there are some runners that just go out for a run. Not having decided how far and how long they will run that day. I wonder if such approach to running could create openings for a more planed thinking while running?