For all the runners out there, how often do you hit the pavement with absolutely NO technology? Think about it. At the very least, you probably carry at least one gadget, most likely more. We have phones with apps that quantify and qualify each run. GPS watches that not only tell us our pace every second, but can actually serve as training partners. Not to mention iPods that allow us to blissfully tune out the world around us.
I’m not saying these gadgets aren’t useful or essential; I rarely go without them. But what will happen if we leave behind all the technology that is supposed to help our training? Will it totally derail us?
Not at all. In fact, running “naked” (i.e., sans gadgets) can help us regain perspective and remind us what we love about running in the first place. While I don’t do it often, here’s what happens when I leave the tech behind:
- I enjoy, you know, nature. Nature and I typically don’t get along. (My idea of camping required indoor plumbing and heating.) That said, having nothing to pay attention to besides your surroundings can be invigorating every once in a while. It makes me remember what I enjoy about running in the first place.
- Forget about the metrics. After every run, I usually spend several minutes poring over data. I analyze pace vs. elevation. How my performance on a certain route compares to previous runs. Every so often, it’s nice to run for the enjoyment and feel of it – without any goal in mind.
- You know, talk to people. Usually, I’m not a chatting runner. I like running alongside a group with common goals, but I prefer doing it while tuning out to Lady Gaga. It helps me stay in my element and keep a steady rhythm. Every so often, though, it’s nice to shoot the breeze with a friend during the run. I find that I have some of the best and most interesting conversations during a run. You can learn things about other people that you’d never find out otherwise.
- Am nowhere to be found. In today’s interconnected world, it’s unusual to be completely unreachable. Leaving my phone behind allows me that one hour of time on my own where I don’t have to think about work or personal commitments. I can think about me. That’s not selfish. It’s survival.
For any serious runner, it’s unrealistic to think that every run will be a “naked” one. But consider it, even once a month, to help you remember why you pound that payment to begin with.