Training Tip Tuesday – Unplug

I’m a technological junkie. I admit it. And I’m not ashamed. But I tend to rely on technology way too much, especially when it comes to running.

There are so many gadgets and apps that claim to make you a faster, more efficient runner. And you could own them all, or download them all and yet still struggle with your speed and endurance. After all, these devices, gadgets and apps are just doing one thing. They are telling you what you are doing right now in the moment. They don’t tell you what you need to do to get better.

I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to running technology. I like to track my runs. I like to record them. And I like to share them with others. And that is all well and good. And to be honest, if music gets you through a run, then for heaven sakes, listen to music! If an audio book serves the same purpose, then all the power to you. Do what it takes.

But I have a suggestion.

Unplug yourself.

Unplug yourself.

One day a week, unplug. Turn it off. Run naked.

Well, of course, don’t run unclothed, rather run unplugged. Turn off your music. Turn off the Garmin. Turn off the little voice that tells you how fast you are moving. Flip your GPS watch over so that you can’t read the display. I’m not saying you can’t record your run. Hit start!  But fight the urge to check it as you go.

I have recently begun to do this and it is simply amazing what it has done for me.

First, I have become more aware of my surroundings. This in turns forces me to think more. Which means my mind is way more active. Thoughts drift in and out of my brain as I run. I find this actually makes the run more enjoyable, not to mention that I can solve all the world’s problems in just an hours time. Second, I’m not relying on Runmeter to tell me how fast I’m going. On this day, I don’t care. I’m just going to allow my body to tell me what I can and cannot do. Oh, there’s a hill up ahead! Guess I better slow down. Oh, there is a nice, long straightaway. Maybe I’ll pick up the pace. There is no little voice inside my head saying, “Hmmm. Going a bit fast. Might want to slow down if you want to make the entire run.” or “You are going way too slow and you will be disappointed if you don’t speed it up.” You will be pleasantly surprised at what your body believes you can do, rather than what your running app thinks you should do.

I have personally chosen my Saturday run to unplug. Why? Well, because it is the weekend. And weekends are made for unwinding and “unplugging”. Just getting out there to enjoy the run rather than turn it into a technological tangle of media, paces, strides, miles, what have you, it becomes an hour of pure, mindless, exercise. And for the rest of my day, it is hard to wipe the smile off my face. When you get home, you can see how you did, if you are so inclined. Or if you are really brave, you can choose to not record it at all.

Sometimes, what makes you a better runner is running better. And that means, running unplugged.

So, unplug one day a week. You may find that you’ll want to add a few more unplugged runs into your schedule. And that is perfectly legal.

Do you typically run unplugged, or is there something you must have?

Disclaimer: These training tips are based on my opinion and what has worked for me. I am not a doctor, or a trainer, or a professional athlete. This blog purely represents observations I have made in my 4 years as a runner. Always consult a medical professional before beginning a running or workout program. I am not liable, either expressly or in an implied manner, nor claim any responsibility for any emotional or physical problems that may occur directly or indirectly from reading this blog.

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