Running without a watch and how it helped me…
There came a time when I wasn’t enjoying running, it was feeling like a chore that I needed to take a break from. Rather than take a break, I looked to try a different option and that was running without my Garmin. I know some of you might be utterly horrified by the idea of running with no idea about time, distance or pace but it was honestly the best thing I could have done.
It’s easy to become obsessed by numbers, allowing them to dictate our emotions towards running. That isn’t what running should be about….
The first week of running without a Garmin felt a little strange, I only had a vague idea of how far I’d been and long it took me, I found myself trying instinctively guess my pace. As I progressed with the challenge it completely changed how I felt about running, I felt content, in control and I ran for the simple reason of just wanting to run.
At the same time, I stopped wearing my Polar watch and after years of tracking calories, steps and my heart rate – I WAS FREE! My body would continue to cover my daily distance, my heart would continue to beat and calories are just a measure of energy. The issue with fitness trackers is they are not 100% accurate and whilst they are close, it’s easy for them to control our habits. In a strange way, something that’s meant to aid us in following a healthier lifestyle can quickly make us unhealthy and unbalanced.
When I stopped wearing my Garmin whilst running, I also stopped sharing my running time and distance on social media. It had gotten to the point where I’d avoid sharing a run because I felt embarrassed about the pace or lack of distance in comparison to my peers. We all know that comparison is the thief of joy, so I let go of comparison and found my joy.
You might wonder if not tracking my run’s had an impact on my time and pace? Well, in all honestly my pace is significantly slower this year but I know if I was to train at a pace focused basis I could change that quickly. So, in a long-winded way not really, because there were days I pushed myself more and others when I just went out for a social plod.
I now split my run’s between 50% with my watch and 50% without and that works perfectly for me.
Have you ever spent time running without your watch?