The argument for running naked

Scandalous, I know. But running naked may be the change you need to enhance your running routine. I’m not talking about ditching your shorts and t-shirt, but taking out the earbuds, leaving the phone at home and taking your eyes off of the television. Running without technology can help you get in touch with yourself as a runner and teach you to focus solely on your run.

Since I started my running routine, I always wore headphones and listened to music. Mostly because I was using an app on my phone to train but also because I thought I’d get bored just running with nothing else to do. The other day I forgot my headphones when I went to the gym. I wasn’t going to not run because of this so I ran naked (without tech). I felt that I had a much easier time focusing on my breathing and pace and was actually able to PR. I couldn’t believe what a difference it made in my stride!

A recent article in Runner’s World quoted Ben Agger, Ph.D., director of the University of Texas at Arlington Center for Theory, saying, “Wearing technology while running intrudes on the mind’s attempt to give itself over to the body.”

In essence, constantly checking your watch to monitor your pace, distance and calorie count actually takes away from your run rather than improve it. Being focused on the numbers means you’re losing focus of the actual run. Also, we all have a set number in our mind, whether it be a PR time or distance, and focusing too much on that can actually limit you in your ability to get to that goal. Numbers can be motivational but they can also put a lot of stress on your runs.

When it comes down to it, it’s all about personal preference. I asked some of my fellow members of the sub-30 Club on Facebook and the responses were about 50/50. Some people said they like to run with tech so they can know if they are improving in their training. Others said they switch it up and run with tech indoors and without tech outdoors. But a slightly larger portion of the responders said they enjoy running naked because they can get in tune with their running body.

For me, I enjoyed running naked. I was able to focus on my pace, form, breathing and what my body was telling me, instead of what the numbers read on my phone. Running is supposed to be fun, so savior the experience!

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