The Case For Going Gadget-Free On Your Runs

Why leaving your watch and headphones home could be the best thing for your training.

Beep. “One mile down.”

Beep. “Two miles down, am I on pace?”

Beep. “Just four miles to go.”

Beep. “You’re going to slow, pick up the pace.”

How often do you find yourself thinking those thoughts every time your GPS watch sounds off? Or when you’re feeling exhausted mid-way through your tempo run, not simply because of the pace?

Today’s high-tech GPS watches are fantastic tools that can help you improve your speed or make you slow down when you’ve gone out too fast. But have you noticed how often you glance down or fail to enjoy the scenery?

That’s because tech, including running with music, is a constant distraction. Taking the watch out of the equation every so often frees you from the relentless voice in your head that’s perpetually evaluating your run—from your distance to time to pace. You miss a lot in nature when you’re focused on your wrist or blasting your favorite song. When you unplug, you’ll suddenly notice the sounds of birds chirping, the animals emerging in the woods, the crunch of leaves under your feet and the breeze on your face.

Any worry you had about hitting a certain pace goes out the window. You can simply enjoy the run. Suddenly you have the freedom to hit pause, without actually hitting pause on a watch. That means you can stop to take a photo or simply take a breath and enjoy the scenery. It also means you can check in with your head. Running is such a great stress reliever. Taking advantage of some miles where you just work through the problems is going to make your week go all that much better.

Plus, forgoing a watch is a great way to catch up with your running buddy instead of worrying about what pace you’re at or when you’ll hit the next mile. In fact, you may forget you’re even running during your chat session!

So next time you go on a run – really go on a run. Just leave with the shoes on your feet…and some clothes of course. Those are important, too.

Related: 2017 Summer Road Shoe Review