Proud of It!
It’s no secret that I love my gadgets. You won’t find me running naked (aka no GPS watch). Some runners can’t be bothered to check their stats on the run. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with running naked — or using your watch to guide you through a run. It’s all good. You do you.
Why I enjoy my stats
Some runners can just run, never thinking about their mileage or pace, and it all works out for them. Other runners have a tendency to push their bodies too hard, for one reason or another.
A GPS Watch can help you check yourself before you wreck yourself:
- I have definitely enjoyed being able to keep my eye on my heart rate (HR) while I run. It’s really easy to run easy runs too hard — and then wonder why you’re not hitting paces — or not feeling recovered (for those who don’t care about pace).
- I have also found that running by HR, I need to start out slower than I really think I do — even for easy runs, not just speedwork or races! — to make sure I’m not burning up all my fuel right out of the gate. It’s so easy to just run fast at the start of a run. Keeping my HR lower than I want it to at the beginning can mean the difference between feeling good at the end of the run or feeling like I’m dying.
- Totally unrelated to pace, I like to know my distance. I rarely have a route in mind when I go out for a run, and while I have loops I do all the time, they’re varied and I don’t really know their distance.
- Hand in hand with knowing the distance I’ve run, is knowing when it’s time to turn around. Although I’ve been guilty of poor runner math many times and had to walk way longer to cool down than I planned on — in the cold, in the heat, in the rain.
Why it’s good to run naked
I admire the people who love to run “naked”. I’m good at not paying attention to pace at times, but I like my stats, so the watch is always running. There’s still something to be said for ditching the watch:
- Your body is pretty smart. Running without checking your pace allows you to check in with your body more, and lets you learn what a pace actually feels like (if pace is important to you).
- Again, your body is smart. You may have speedwork on your plan, and your body might be telling you no way, jose. Running naked (by feel) is a good way to honor your body.
- Sometimes it’s a bummer when we’re trying to run a certain pace, and we come up short. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
- It can be more fun to do whatever the heck you (or your body) feels like doing. Feel like your burning out? Ditch the watch. Just run. Enjoy.
- When you’re not looking at your watch, you’re much more likely to take in the scenery around you. That can make you happier — and make a hard run feel easier.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with running with a watch — or without it. Can’t we all just get along? If you’re happy, I’m happy, and let’s not try to convince each other that our way is the best way. — Chocolaterunsjudy
I won’t be joining the naked running brigade any time soon. I’ll probably continue to keep an eye on my HR during easy runs. That’s the only thing I check during easy runs, though, just to make sure I’m actually taking it easy.
I do feel as though I’ve become much more aware (most of the time, anyway) of what my body wants this year. It probably helped that I haven’t been training for any big goals in a long time. There was enough pressure in my life. That is one of the most important things about running naked: getting back in tune with your body. Yoga can help with that, too, of course, and there has been lots of Yoga this year as well.
I am not going to try to convince you that data is important. Please don’t try to convince me that running by feel is the be all, end all of running. There’s room for all of us in running.
Are you #teamgadget or #teamnaked?
Do you enjoy your runs more when you’re unaware of pace? Since starting to train by HR (loosely), I’m rarely aware of pace on most runs. I don’t think it makes a difference to me mentally. I do think it helps me to keep things easy when they should be easy.
What’s your favorite running gadget?
This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.