If I forbid you to run without a watch or music in your ears on your next outing, how would you react?
For some, just the thought of it causes a feeling of anxiety with a bunch of questions like: " How will I know how fast to run without my watch? "Or" How am I going to get through my training without getting bored in the absence of music?". This is a perfectly normal reaction, by the way, since, like smart phones, we develop a certain dependence on these various technologies.
If you are part of this group, I challenge you to complete an outing without gadget, that is to say without watch or music. Here are 4 reasons to give it a try:
- Move away from the pressure of self-affliction:
Running with a watch allows, among other things, to compare our passage times at every km. Which leads us to compete against ourselves physically and mentally and this, at all our outings! All of this takes us away, slowly but surely, from the simple pleasure of running.
Rather than feeling guilty about the fact that our passage times are slower than usual, let's get closer to the feeling of pride and gratitude for having taken a little time for oneself, whether the sensations are good or bad. .
2. Develop a better perception of effort
The perception of the effort consists in estimating its running speed according to our feelings and not the information given by our watch. Although time is a stable value, your physical condition is not at all! If you tend to always rely on your watch to manage your running speed, you might have some nasty surprises at one point or another.
Indeed, there are those days when everything is easy and your body is capable of a higher performance than normal. The reverse is also true: you maintain a speed that you have established beforehand to complete your 10 km despite signs of fatigue. Results? You are not able to keep pace, you “bonk” and have to finish the last km by walking.
Small slice of life: during my career on the National Biathlon Team, although the watch is an essential in my daily training, we had, from time to time, to leave it in our sports bag for the instant of a coaching. Why? To develop our perception of effort precisely. Being able to use different measurements, such as the stopwatch and our feelings, is definitely an asset for everyone!
3. Focus on the present moment
If you are used to running with music in your ears, you will be surprised at what discoveries you will make when you leave your iPod behind. Music is undoubtedly a distraction that prevents us from becoming aware of our immediate surroundings. Whether it's the neighbor washing his car, the flower garden around the corner, the sound of your breathing or your footsteps on the ground, you will literally rediscover your surroundings.
When listening to music, the chances of being able to think at the same time are quite low. Indeed, either one is absorbed by the music, or one hums the words.
For my part, running without music allows me to “complete” and “adjust” so much in my head! Whether it's the menu for the week, my "to do list" for the day, my goals for the week, etc.
Sometimes I just try to avoid overloading my brain and try to free my head from all thoughts in order to create white time allowing me to reconnect with myself. This little mental break is always appreciated.
So, will you be up to the challenge? What is a bigger challenge for you: the absence of a watch or music?
Former member of the national biathlon team and world champion in obstacle courses, physical activity has a special place in my daily life.