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Running by feel

Running by feel is a lost art.

Monitoring my runs makes me feel stressed. I constantly check to see how I am performing. I beat myself up if I am slow because I should be running faster. Consequently, I finish my run in a demoralised state and annoyed that I did not do well.

Another area of concern is these devices may not capable of surviving a long race. The battery dies before the end. So what happens then? Panic? Collapse and not finish the race?

So what do I do?

When I run with no Garmin or Strava recording my every movement, life is great. My run is good and I feel so much better when I have finished. I am on top of the world.

Running by feel is so good, because you are thinking about how you are actually feeling and not what your device tells you. You are listening to your breathing, your feet landing, how your body is moving and you have to be responsive to the feedback. From this feedback you understand how hard you are working and you can monitor accordingly.

I coach my clients to run by feel. I encourage running by effort and how hard they are working. I teach them to run by listening to their breathing, monitoring their body through a body scan and how hard they feel they are working. I empower them to run in the “here and now”. Listening and working out what is going on with their body and how everything is “managing”. It is a bit of a touchy, feely way to run and it will take time to master. But once learnt, the feeling is awesome! And the freedom is unbelievable!

However, monitoring distance can be helpful when training for big races. Logging distance is a useful way to track kilometres and keep overall milage consistent with a training plan.

So what do you use and why? I would be very interested to hear your comments. Do you run by feel? Or are you glued to your device?

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