Do you ever run naked?

Has gadgetry turned the simple act of running into something much harder?

When I started running in 2003 I enjoyed the simplicity of pulling on some shoes and heading out the front door. I’m not even sure that back then I had a stopwatch on my watch so I think I occasionally used the one in my phone to measure rough times.

I’d come home from the run and measure out my route in my street directory with a piece of string (sounds really old fashioned hey – hard to believe it was less than 10 years ago) until I discovered the ability to measure my runs online.

When I started doing triathlon I purchased my first heart rate monitor and thought that was so amazing, even been able to send the data to my computer through infrared! Nowadays I have a Garmin 310XT which lets me record every run within an inch of its life. I am self-confessed running data junkie. I analyse runs for speed and distance, although I am getting better and don’t focus so much on heart rate or other variables. I still download my data immediately after each run though, much to my wife’s dismay and amusement.

So that is why an initative by The Naked Runners caught my eye – the Naked November campaign! This is not something that will add to my wife’s dismay or amusement in the way that you might think – it is all about running without technology (but keep your clothing on!).For me it is giving up my Garmin and associated data stream from that, however for others it might be that you can never run without headphones in and music blaring. I consider myself lucky in that I have never ran with headphones and only times I’ve tried at the gym they always fall out or get sweaty so I don’t bother and instead run with my thoughts and focus on breathing, stride or nothing at all.

I had my first naked run on Tuesday and I have to admit it was mentally difficult to not have the data to analyse. I didn’t mind it so much during the run, not having my splits and pace was a little annoying but I was able to just run by feel and keep it comfortable. But afterwards I missed not been able to record the data and look at the splits. I think I’ll try again a few more times in Naked November but I think I just have to admit that I’m data junkie. I would imagine that this might be even harder for those that run with music, but give it a go, enjoy nature and the simple act of running.

Have you tried a naked run? How did you find it?



Filed under Opinion, Technology

2 responses to “Do you ever run naked?

  1. I have found that leaving the Garmin behind on the occasional run to be a great way to get back to the joy of running, as well as to get over those occasional running ruts. I probably average about one Garmin-free run every two weeks. When I feel like I want to skip a run, or don’t feel up to the workout that I had planned, I just go out and run. I find it liberating and it really does allow you to focus more directly on how you feel. It’s a great way to concentrate on form without worrying that you might not be hitting your pace. I probably wouldn’t have thought of this — I, too, love looking back over the data — but I ran across Becoming a Body Whisperer by Loraine Moller in Running Times (November 2010) and she made some good arguments for “running naked.”

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