Running discipline and the use of reflexive vs. reflective thinking

During todays easy 36 minutes run, I thought about how my thinking had changed over the course of the last year and what made me stick to running nearly every day. What makes this so pleasant now in contrast to the beginning?

When I started, I was over thinking everything! Should I run or not, discussing every single possible excuse with myself. Then the whole internal battle with running slow. What do others think? What does this walker think? What does the dog think? … It was like a bad reflex, which I had no control over, just making me feel a bit bad. I was too slow, too fat, too sweaty … too whatever.


It changed however. This change was mainly due to a shift in thinking. Taking control over my thoughts, my plans and the way I talk to myself. Slowly (no pun intended) my thinking shifted into reflective, constructive thinking during my runs. If someone is faster, well that is probably, because they’ve been doing it for years! I will be like that too if I just stick with it. At that point, what will I think if I see a slower runner? I will probably think back about my own struggles and wish them well and respect them for keeping at it!

You read a lot on the Internet about positive thinking and attitude, but what does that mean? For me it meant taking control over the self talk that goes on inside my head and listen in to what is going on there. Then change my thinking from reflexive to reflective. If I wouldn’t have started to run, believed in myself and a doable plan/structure, reflected over my progress, listened to my body and adjusted things, I’m pretty sure, I’d still be “trying to run 19×3 minutes“.