October 29 2015
This running coach shares her top trail tips for runners.
Be honest. The word naked in the title caught your attention, right? Don’t worry – we aren’t going to fill up the page with all of the reasons why you should try running without clothes (though our Women’s Running Editor-In-Chief, Jessie, did win a nude 5K). This article is about a different kind of layer shedding – the kind that involves technology.
While running gadgets have certainly transformed the precision by which we can approach training, they often become a crutch interfering with our ability to self regulate a run. Case in point – if you run with a GPS or any kind of watch, imagine heading out for a run without your wrist candy. Does the mere thought send you into a sweaty panic? If so, you’re not alone. Many runners have become so dependent on tracking technology that the idea of running without it induces sheer terror. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in running faster, longer and stronger that we forget the real reason why we run. Sure, scoring a personal record or running further than ever before is rewarding, but for most the heart of running lies in the feeling we have after a good workout. When you shed the technology, all that remains is pure instinct or the intuition to listen to how your body responds to the run.
-Gradual release. If you run with music, a heart rate monitor and a GPS—start small. Try running without the GPS first, then slowly move to shedding all of the gadgets. Don’t worry- you can still time your run for tracking purposes, just leave the watch somewhere at the start of your run. (If you running with a heart rate monitor based on your doctor’s recommendation, don’t eliminate this piece.)
-Weekly integration. We’re not preaching for you to ditch all of your technology on every run (our gadgets help us fine tune training to reach our goals!). We are suggesting one weekly run without the extras. Choose a recovery run day where you can just enjoy the run and head out without the extra gear.
-Buddy system. Set a weekly run date with your girlfriends and commit to no tracking devices as a group. A good round of girl talk will take your mind off the data and make the run pass even faster!
-Relax. Not every run has to be a speed workout. Easy runs are an integral part of a successful training plan (even professional runners schedule them!). By eliminating the technology, you will be able to focus more on how you feel during a run. This will help you learn to regulate your pace based on how you feel, as opposed to what the numbers say. Allow yourself to really feel the run.