The Peaceful Runner
Running on data is important in most training programs and routines, it is valuable to have a measurable representation of your physical efforts as well as knowing how you are tracking towards your goals. I get it, I really do! But I like to look at the flip side of this training according to data and wonder if following technology as your training partner is all together realistic. After all we all have very different personal lifestyles, body mechanics and circumstances, which may not be accounted for by a device
I feel that too much concentration on the data often causes ‘paralysis from analysis’, which could play with us mentally, make us feel burnt out and start losing the joy of running
I am an advocate on ‘running on feel’ – Organic running, detoxed from the technology and the sometime obsessive checking and comparing of numbers and simply relax for a while into the mindful running space.
Yes, being a slave to data, keeping pace with your Garmin can take your body away from it’s internal data as opposed to running your own race at a comfortable pace – whatever that pace may be
I say that *focusing on the outcome – running a certain distance at a certain time – is often the wrong way to go about your running routine. I strongly believe that unless you are an elite athlete competing for top stakes, a better way of tackling your program is to have faith in the outcome and run the race that you want to run and don’t allow data to dictate your pace and cloud your intuitive judgement on your own unique ability
Data can often be inaccurate causing you to run faster than you should just to keep up as opposed to running on how you feel internally. Your body works better on effort than pace. By relying on perceived effort for your run, you avoid training at the wrong pace for your body. Running at a pace based on effort as opposed to concentrating on pace alone will prevent you from overtraining and will save you from injury
It is best practice to slow down or speed up based on how your body is communicating with you through your breathing patterns or your muscle fatigue.
Run your own race. Stay in tune with your body. How well do you recover from a run? Try to incorporate more FEEL into run and less comparison by technology
Following the 3C’s of running:
Comfort – if you are unable to comfortably sustain a certain pace for at least 30 minutes, then you are unlikely to be able to sustain this pace for the duration of your run. Comfort should be the mainstay of your runs, remain in control of your breathing. –
Conversation can you have a conversation with a running partner whilst you run (or at least one sentence!) Get to this stage BEFORE you start upping the tempo and pace
Control – stay in control of your running. Measure your pace with time and tolerance. A pace that you can sustain for only 30 to 40 minutes is considered a moderately harder effort. A 15 – 20 minute pace is a hard pace to maintain and could result in injury if you are not comfortable at this level.
I am not saying ditch the gadgets entirely, I am encouraging a periodical technology detox and a mindful check in to return to the Joy of Running