50,000-59,999 SparkPoints 51,926

A Beginning Runner's Experiment: Naked Running

Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ohhhh yeah...THAT got your attention, didn't it??? Haha.

This past weekend, I was privileged to speak with one of SparkPeople's GREATS in the sport of running - ABSOLUTZER0. I am not gonna lie - one hour on the phone with this guy is probably the equivalent of several books' worth of race prep/running knowledge! What a great gift he gave me! We just geeked out about running and had a wonderful time doing it.

One of the subjects we talked about was "naked running", which is running without music or a Garmin or any other type of gadgetry. Runners vary in their preferences...some absolutely rely on an mp3 player and others don't.

ABSOLUTZER0 is a purist, if you will. He runs to the sound of his own heartbeat and his feet on the pavement - for a couple reasons. First, he enjoys interacting with people - other runners on the course and also the crowd. Second, without music to distract him or drown everything out, he is better able to focus on his body's cues and what is going on inside him and around him while he runs.

In light of a blog I recently read where WONDERWOMAN shared that she went to turn on her ipod at the Green Bay Cellcom Half Marathon this weekend and found that it was dead, I decided to give this naked running a try this morning. Call it a beginning runner's experiment.

Frankly, I LOOOOVE my music. I have determined that I don't necessarily use the beat of my music to pace my run...my pace stays pretty steady...but it does keep me moving and awake and helps me break the run up a bit. So, I really wondered if this would be awful. However, I refused to allow negative self-talk in and to be open-minded and give it everything I had.

The run started off well, but I will admit...I was tired today. My body was just worn out. So, I knew that would affect my overall performance. I had a decent interval at the start of the run, but walked most of the first half after that.

In addition, I had a pretty off day nutritionally yesterday. I definitely learned this morning that it is NOT good for me, personally, to try to run the day after I have had almost no vegetables. I didn't eat crap or anything...I mean, it was just all protein and complex carbs. Still stayed in my calorie range...but no leafy greens. What a lesson!!!

Oh, friends...let's just say this. There is one thing that I said I will NEVER EVER do...but this morning, I had to submit to the fact that I will need to handle this issue as I delve into longer runs. The dreaded and disgusting...port o potty. So disturbing for me! Halway through my run, I faced this fear. And, as any good runner knows, it's best to get these things out of the way during training and not have the first experience with it be during a real race. This is unpleasant, but it is the nature of our sport. At some point, we'll have to visit this dark chamber of putrid death.

I'm pretty sure I gagged for a quarter of a mile after that. BUT...any sadness I felt at a loss of music was FAR outweighed by my joy of running in the fresh, summer morning air.

In all seriousness, this naked running was not a terrible experience at all. I definitely did learn about my breathing patterns, which was interesting. And there were plenty of great sounds from nature itself to keep me entertained the entire 3 miles. I mean...have you heard these BIRDS??? They rock!

Final verdict: I'll probably stick with my tunes and my interval timer, because they give me pleasure but I've also decided to work some naked runs into my training schedule at regular intervals - if only to know how my body feels to not rely on interval times and Lady Gaga at varying distances. I feel versatility in training is important, because you just never know what's going to go down on race day.

On a side note, I had mentioned previously that there was a smiling lady about my age that I keep passing every time I run. We have that little "runners' connection" and are always happy to see each other...although we are always running in opposite directions and we've never met. This morning, before I left the house, I penned a quick note:

"Hey lady,

I don't know your story, but you should know that you're beautiful!
And I'm proud of you for running!

[Insert Leah contact info here]"

Well, as usual, we passed around the same spot that we always do and she said, "Good morning!" And I could actually hear her today because I didn't have my earbuds in! I proclaimed, "I have a note for you!" and passed it to her.

On the way back, we passed again and she introduced herself. Sarah. Yay! A new running friend!!! She said she usually runs alone, but if I wanted to run with her, we could go together sometime.

Which brings me to a future blog:
A Beginning Runner's Experiment: Running With A Partner.

Stay tuned, folks!!!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1848 days ago
    what an awesome idea to meet a new running friend. Way to go
    1993 days ago
  • DOTTY7267
    I love your posts! emoticon
    1996 days ago
  • KIPPER15
    naked running caught my eye, I naked walk and bike and love it.
    2004 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2004 days ago
    Love the term "Naked Running" lol....I love my tunes and have difficulty running with them. However, some races you are not allowed to have music or only one earbud. I am doing a "Tri-A-Triatlhon" on August 4 with one of my nieces we were disheartned to find out no music on the bike part and only one earbud on the run part. We both said if we could breath we could sing all our way to the finish line. Needless to say I have been training without music so I have been naked biking and running !!!!
    2004 days ago
    I'm with you - I like my tunes, especially since I live in the desert; anything to distract me from my hot, dry - sometimes ugly - surroundings. I forgot to charge my mp3 player recently, however, and found myself without tunes. It was eerily quiet, but since I seem to always have noise of some type around me, it was actually a welcome change. I too might consider working in some days without it. Interesting article - I hadn't really given it any thought until I read this.
    2004 days ago
    I emoticon the term naked running! As I still consider myself a beginner runner, I too feared the dreaded "portable toilet" and had to face it race day. However, I did start as a "naked runner". It was what I considered my ME time. Away from the work, husband, daughter, dog, cat, etc.... Then because of my love of music I started using either my pod or my phone for quite awhile, but felt like I would lose my form and be singing more. I live in a remote neighborhood so I don't have the pleasure of bumping into any other runners while I'm out, but my sister and I do quite a bit together. I love that you are sharing you experiences and kudos to you for giving Sarah a new connection too!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2004 days ago
    hahaha... naked running. I haven't referred to it as that. I also run without tunes. I find it refreshing to hear everything around me. I did start running with music to get me going but the last 4 years I run without and enjoy it. I hope you try and it works for you.
    2004 days ago
    Good blog. I've started to do a little jogging on my treadmill. I'll walk for 1 minute then jog for 2 or 3. It's a start.

    Keep up the good work
    2004 days ago
    What an interesting experience, I might have to try it. (I'm pretty dependent on my music and Garmin, too.) Congrats on making a new friend. Sounds awesome!
    2004 days ago
    2004 days ago
    Usually if I'm running in town I like my music but once in a while run without it. If I'm out on the trails around here, which we have a lot of outside of town living on the edge of a forest, I don't like to listen to anything but the sound of nature and peace and quiet around me. I've done some 5k's with music and some without. There are definitely advantages either way. I'm not going to be a purist anytime soon (or ever) but I don't need my music all the time either. There are times when just the sounds around you are enough music.
    2004 days ago
    last summer was my first running experience.. I have 5 children and they run with me (well the little one rides her bike) but because of that I have to run without music to keep an eye on them.. they are pretty good with staying right behind me in our little ducklings line. I would love to try and run with a little music but i'm afraid that I wouldn't hear if one of the kids had to stop.. Congrats on the running and the blogs are great,,Thank you!!
    2004 days ago
    What a great experiment - Congrats!!
    2004 days ago
  • CECE0330
    I ALWAYS used to run with my music, but now I only do for the really long runs (10+ miles). I find I'm still battling myself on those long runs, and music helps when I'm running for such a long time. I can totally relate to the port-a-potty fear....I was DREADING having to stop during my half marathon last Sunday, but fortunately it didn't happen (this time!)

    I hope you like running with a partner as much as I do! I was extremely hesitant at first, but I found almost instantly that I was getting better at pacing myself, breathing (because we were carrying on conversations) and we seem to compliment each other well, when I'm having a bad day, she pulls me through and vice versa.
    2005 days ago
    I have to say that I almost depend on my music each morning. An upbeat tempo is all that keeps my feet moving some days! That being said, I'll have to try naked running. I don't know that I could commit to it for an extended period of time, but I think doing it once a week would probably be a nice break. Great job!
    2005 days ago
  • WILEE323
    The only time I ever listen to music while running is at the gym on the treadmill. I'm always "naked" on my outdoor runs...for several reasons. I like listening to my footsteps, breathing, the birds, wind, etc. It's also a safety thing. But most of all, it frees my brain to flow with thoughts and ideas. I solve many of the worlds' problems while running!!

    Whatever gets and keeps us running is what counts!!
    2005 days ago
    My friends and I call it ZEN running... I make sure to do it at least once every week or two - helps me remember why I enjoy running rather than focusing on pace/goals/pressure.
    2005 days ago
    I have only just started to train for a 5k, but I don't know if I could run without my music. I feel it keeps me going, motivated or whatever. Maybe if I get better, faster and more accustomed to the running I will try it. I am proud of you!

    2005 days ago
  • SHOES17
    I cant seem to run with music. I know the time is coming that I am going to have to try it. A lot of the 5ks I look at require naked running. I will stay tuned as running is one my favorite changes in my life! Amazing blog TYTY emoticon emoticon
    2005 days ago
  • POOH_BEAR_69
    Such a great idea to have the note ready to pass ahead of time. emoticon

    Best wishes on your training and future runs! emoticon emoticon
    2005 days ago
    You are going to LOVE your next experiment. I am hooked...almost too much. It is easy to run naked when you are running with a buddy. It slso forces you to train at an appropriate level, where you can converse, but only in short sentences. Even if there is NO dialog going on, it's awesome just to have someone along "for the ride"!
    2005 days ago
    2005 days ago
    Very cool! I think I would prefer the "naked running" myself.......I love nature and people and it would give me the opportunity to pay more attention to what my body is telling me. However....I haven't started running yet...thought about it, but am a little embarrassed to get get out and do it....I still weigh 240 and even though I've been cleared for exercise by my doc I'm not sure what he'd think of running at my weight and age.(55) I can just imagine running in my senior park where I live with my big butt flopping down the road! Am really not even sure where to start....any suggestions?

    Hugs, Wendy emoticon
    2005 days ago
    What a fantastic experiment! I must admit that I enjoy naked running much more than when I have music for the same reasons as ABSOLUTZERo - I definitely feel more in tune with my body that way. Can't wait to see how your next experiment works out!!
    2005 days ago
  • -CORAL-
    I never run with music. I like the sound of nature. Also for some reason when I run with music, I feel like it's harder to breathe. Like my nose is plugged because my ears are plugged. Totally psychological but that's what it feels like for me.
    2005 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/23/2012 3:02:56 PM
    I love running to my music too. I don't have a Garmin or anything yet, but I like Runkeeper on my android phone. I love the detailed info it gives me after my run. So, maybe I'll try to add a "naked" run in there once in awhile, but like you, I'd have to say my norm will most likely be with my phone & music.
    2005 days ago
  • AMEHHH87
    I've always ran "naked", however, this a great blog! :) Congrats!
    2005 days ago
    I run "naked"! i didn't know that it is better because i never tried running with music. Many times i have thought of adding music but i always felt it would disconnect me from my running.

    2005 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    emoticon Wonderful to see you featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor. You certainly are a inspiration to others. emoticon
    2005 days ago
    2005 days ago
    Great post! You are an inspiration!
    2005 days ago
  • CICELY360
    Good blog.
    2005 days ago
  • BUTTERFLY-1976
    Great blog.

    I'm the same as PASKALINI..if I run without music everything hurts (not in an injuy way) & my brain tells me I'm tired & can't do this.

    2005 days ago
    Now I'm going to have to give naked running/walking a try. The thought does make me feel a little anxious but we shall see...Thank you!
    2005 days ago
    Always enjoy your blogs......especially as I step outside my comfort zone into this "running" world! I've always said this is somthing I'm NOT but we shall see........
    2005 days ago
    What a sweet note! I bet you totally made her day :)

    I have to have my music & c25k interval thingie right now, but the idea of soaking in my surroundings while I'm running is interesting & appealing. Will have to try it when I grow up into a *real* runner :)
    2005 days ago
    I'm a walker, not a runner, but I enjoyed your blog very much! I always walk "naked" on a forested back road in the mountains and the sounds of the wildlife is wonderful. I wanted to try to use some music and intervals but haven't been able to figure out how to load them onto my MP3 player yet~

    I know what you mean about the dungeon of fetid death, but my emergencies have to be attended to behind a tree! As long as it's secluded, I think I prefer the tree!
    2005 days ago
    2005 days ago
  • HEARTS116
    Thanks for sharing! Great blog!
    2005 days ago
    Great blog! I am envious of your hour with ABSOLUTEZER0, that had to be great; he is a wealth of knowledge and experience about running. I started out running with music, but I have found such joy in running "naked" when I'm outside that I rarely bother with it now out there. On the treadmill, of course, it is almost a necessity to distract me, but there is so much to see and hear outside that it's not needed there. And I agree, facing the dreaded porta potty in training rather than a race for the first time is a good thing; they are not fun but I'm glad they are available for those times they are needed!
    2005 days ago
    Really enjoyed this blog - and I'm not a runner...yet!
    2005 days ago
  • NEWMOM20121
    Great blog. I also need the music right now. I hope in the future that I can run without it, but for now I need tunes. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
    2006 days ago
    2006 days ago
    I enjoyed this blog !

    emoticon for sharing !
    I'm glad that you have a running partner, now !
    2006 days ago
    Yep, run with so many gadgets that it would be good to go without once.

    Oh, and I AGREE so whole heartedly with you about the porta potty, they are discusting. We go to a music festival and our group gets a porta potty for our campsite so I know who all goes in it but I just can't. That's why I have an RV with my OWN bathroom.
    2006 days ago
    Good for you! and a new friend as a bonus for your stepping -or should I say running - out of the box.
    2006 days ago
    That's awesome! I hope your running buddy helps push you even more!
    2006 days ago
    this was a great blog thanks for sharing. I have found that somehow running hurts way more when I don't have music. Not in an I'm injured type way more in a I have nothing but my brain to occupy me and my brain says my legs are tired when my legs say we're still ok but my brain wins because my brain isn't bouncing along to the music. I still try to run sans ipod but sometimes I just can't get my "good run" in with out it.
    2006 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment
    Member Comments Page (80 total):  1 2 Next >

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.