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101 thoughts every new runner has when running


You know the feeling – you have what feels like a million and one thoughts running through your mind when you’re on a run.

  • Am I good enough?
  • Am I running in an awkward way?
  • Are people looking at me?

Every new runner (and not so new runner) has thoughts like these when they run.

If you’ve ever had these types of thoughts, then I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone!

The truth is, every runner experiences moments of self-doubt and crises of confidence on their running journey.

Unsurprisingly, there is a huge correlation between running and mental health.

While you may have feelings of anxiety when out for a run, running actually has many positive benefits for your mental wellbeing.

From boosting your mood to reducing symptoms of depression, loneliness and anxiety, running really is a great activity to improve your mental health, as well as your physical health.

Inclusive organisations like Couch to 5k, Girls on the Run and Parkrun all believe in the power of running to promote your physical and mental wellbeing.

So, if you’re new to running and would like to join a community of runners, consider joining organisations like these.

Here are 101 thoughts every runner has when running.

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thoughts every new runner has

101 thoughts every new runner has when running

  1. “Am I running too fast?”
  2. “Why did I decide to start running today?”
  3. “I hope I don’t get tired too quickly.”
  4. “Do I look awkward running?”
  5. “Should I have stretched more before starting?”
  6. “Am I breathing correctly?”
  7. “I wonder how far I’ve gone.”
  8. “Is that pain normal, or am I doing something wrong?”
  9. “Maybe I should have invested in better running shoes.”
  10. “I hope I don’t trip and fall.”
  11. “Is it normal to feel THIS out of breath?”
  12. “What if people are judging me?”
  13. “I wonder how much weight I’ll lose from this.”
  14. “I should have brought water with me.”
  15. “Do I look as exhausted as I feel?”
  16. “How much longer until I can stop?”
  17. “I hope I’m not overdoing it on the first day.”
  18. “Is that a side stitch or just a cramp?”
  19. “Why do my legs feel so heavy?”
  20. “I wonder if I’m running too slow.”
  21. “Should I have warmed up more?”
  22. “Is it normal for my heart to be pounding like this?”
  23. “I hope I don’t have to use the bathroom mid-run.”
  24. “Am I going to be sore tomorrow?”
  25. “I need a better running playlist.”
  26. “How do people make this look so easy?!”
  27. “Is it bad if I take a walking break?”
  28. “I should have mapped out my route beforehand.”
  29. “What if I encounter a stranger?”
  30. “I wonder if I’ll EVER enjoy this.”
  31. “I hope I don’t get lost.”
  32. “I wonder if I’m running efficiently.”
  33. “I should have worn sunscreen.”
  34. “Am I supposed to swing my arms a certain way?”
  35. “I hope I don’t get shin splints.”
  36. “What if I can’t finish the run?”
  37. “Is there even a proper way to run?”
  38. “Will this get easier over time?”
  39. “Oh, look, she runs like a gazelle.”
  40. “Does my butt look big in these leggings?”
  41. “I hope I don’t get a blister.”
  42. “How much water should I be drinking during my run?”
  43. “Am I running too much too soon?”
  44. “Maybe I should’ve joined a running club.”
  45. “What if people are watching me?”
  46. “Is it okay to stop for a quick selfie?”
  47. “Ouch, I can feel the chafing already.”
  48. “Am I supposed to stretch after running?”
  49. “Why is running so mentally challenging?”
  50. “I should have taken a rest day before attempting this.”
  51. “My crotch feels really itchy.”
  52. “I wonder if I’m drinking enough.”
  53. “Is it weird that I’m excited for a post-run snack?”
  54. “Is my running watch still working?”
  55. “Should I have eaten something before running?”
  56. “I wonder if I’m running too far from home.”
  57. “Is it normal to feel a bit light-headed?”
  58. “What if I meet someone I know while I’m all sweaty and red-faced?”
  59. “I hope my neighbours don’t judge my heavy breathing.”
  60. “Am I ready to run further so soon after pregnancy?”
  61. “I wonder if I’ll get that ‘runner’s high’ everyone talks about.”
  62. “Should I be incorporating speed workouts into my routine?”
  63. “What if I forget the way back?”
  64. “I hope I don’t get sunburned.”
  65. “Am I supposed to smile at other runners I pass by?”
  66. “I wonder if I can overtake that runner…..oh, nope, no I can’t.”
  67. “Am I cut out for running?”
  68. “I hope my shoelaces don’t come undone….again.”
  69. “Is it normal to feel sore in places I didn’t expect?”
  70. “I should have worn some moisture-wicking underwear.”
  71. “I wonder if I’ll ever run a marathon.”
  72. “Why does time seem to move so slowly while running?”
  73. “Why is my hair bouncing around so much?”
  74. “Is it okay to walk uphill instead of running?”
  75. “I wonder if I’m burning enough calories.”
  76. “Should my sports bra feel this tight?”
  77. “I hope I don’t see anyone I know on this run.”
  78. “Is it normal to feel a bit self-conscious?”
  79. “Should I be carrying a safety alarm?”
  80. “What if I get caught in bad weather?”
  81. “I hope I’m not overdoing it with my pace.”
  82. “Am I running using the right running form?”
  83. “I wonder if I’ll ever be a ‘fast’ runner.”
  84. “I hope there are people on this running route.”
  85. “I hope I don’t get period cramps on my run.”
  86. “Is it normal for my muscles to feel tight during a run?”
  87. “I wonder if I should buy a running watch now.”
  88. “Is it weird if I want to wear make-up on my run?”
  89. “I hope my running route is well-lit and safe.”
  90. “I hope this run doesn’t cause my period to start.”
  91. “Where can I find stylish running gear for my next run?”
  92. “I hope I don’t step on any dog poop.”
  93. “Is my running outfit too revealing?”
  94. “I wonder if I’ll ever get used to the sweating.”
  95. “Should I be focusing on my pace or distance today?”
  96. “I hope I don’t encounter any random strangers.”
  97. “Am I drinking enough water?”
  98. “This would be a good running route for running with the kids.”
  99. “Should I cool down after this run?”
  100. “Is it normal to feel a bit proud of myself right now?”
  101. “I wonder if I’ll stick with running for the long term.”

Related: How to stop negative thoughts and run your best race

Caroline Geoghegan