Friday, May 31, 2024

Close your eyes, I'm running naked

 I'm what they call a "naked runner." You've probably seen me in the police blotter. Actually, I'm more of a "naked jogger" these days as my back finally said my competitive running days were over a few years ago.

Being a naked runner means you run without accessories like watches, FitBits and ear buds. I've tried all, so haven't been purely naked forever. I used a watch to time my runs when I was serious, and even tried listening to music for a short phase. And I had a FitBit, largely to monitor my heart and sleep patterns, but didn't get another one when that crapped out on me.

As for the FitBit or smart watch type things, now I generally run the same trails, so I know the distance and about how many steps it entails. Given my counting OCD previously discussed on this fine blog, I bet I can come with a couple hundred when guessing my steps at the end of the day.

With ear buds or in my case, the cheap iPod Shuffle, I didn't like not being able to hear my surroundings. I like to hear vehicles coming up behind me or the rattle of a snake ahead of me or barking dogs coming at me. Kind of a safety thing. And, frankly, I listen to music most of the day so it's nice to be able to hear the sounds of nature. The other thing is I like to be aware of the sounds I'm making. They aren't always pretty and I prefer not to be making those sounds when meeting some Nike-laden jog bunny on the trail. So vanity plays a part too.

For more, here's a study: Why more athletes are giving up on smartwatches.

We believe that the rejection of these devices may be the result of a deterioration in the quality of the experience of a sport when using them. For some participants, putting numbers on an activity actually leads them to experience it more as forced labour than as free, self-determined leisure.

Along these lines, I can't remember ever reading an article from Vanity Fair, but I am a frequent visitor of the website and they linked to this: Why Is Running All About Speed? An Ode To Slow Running

It's an enjoyable read.

In today’s racing culture, it’s radical to believe that a runner is worthy regardless of their time. Slower paces are often underserved and undervalued in the running community—especially when those mile-times creep into the 18 to 20-minute range.

As the writer says: "In relinquishing the need to be fast, I am free."

Yep, almost like being naked.

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