The True Test: A Naked Long Run

I first mentioned naked running last week when I decided I would go sans iPod and watch for my 6 mile run. I left my expectations behind and decided that it was all up to my body to decide what it wanted to do. In the end, I had a great run! Going with zero pressure was very freeing. I did just what I wanted to do without guilting myself over not holding a certain pace or not getting a specific finish time. Who really wants to feel bad after they run? Running is to make you feel better, not worse!

Anyway, I decided to put the naked run back into motion yesterday. It was my long run day and I intended on getting 12 miles down. This time, I thought it would be fun to not only ditch the iPod and watch, but to go out without a predetermined course. I would go where my heart told me to go and hope that the run would equal out to about 12 miles or 2 hours total.

I woke up at 6am just to beat the heat and humidity.

I thought it was comical since I can barely get up before 6:30 am to get ready for work.

Anyway, when I first started running, I focused on my internal pace monitor. Simply put, I found a pace that felt good and stuck with it. It may have been a 9:00 minute pace or a 10:00. The point was, I wanted to be comfortable based on the heat index.

I ran north on my road for quite some time and enjoyed the rolling hills, but then I decided to mix it up and hit some side roads off the main stretch I had been on. There was a lot to take in since I did not frequent these roads often.  In fact, I have probably been on them a total of 2 or 3 times in the last 3 years.

Also, early morning runs are gorgeous and the scenery looks fresh & new that early in the day! It really kept me going!

Don't be fooled though. It was hot, but still, I was comfortable. I barely noticed that my iPod was missing.

When I started getting close to my house, I did check my cell phone to make sure that I was still on schedule for a 2 hour run, which ended up nearly perfect. I left my house around 6:20 and arrived to my front door at 8:21. Eggs and potatoes were waiting for me on the table.

I mapped out my run once I got home and wouldn't you believe that I was just at 12 miles? I thought that was nuts how I managed that. The fact that my pace was about 10:00 min/mile was a little disappointing though. Still, I had to give myself credit. I woke up early, didn't have breakfast, it was hot and I was without my watch or iPod.

So I listened to what my imaginary watch told me instead.

I liked that result better.

So what benefits did I gather from running naked?

  • Increase in body awareness - Music and pace can mask what's going on with your body. Instead of listening to your favorite song, listen to your body! It may be telling you your overusing something! This will help prevent injury.
  • Increase in environmental awareness - Don't crank up the music, especially when there are cars around. I live on a busy road and I have witnessed many slide into the shoulder from having their attention elsewhere. Do your part to avoid an accident by keeping your attention to what is going on around you.
  • Less gear = Less stress - Should I stop my watch if I stop to take a breather? Is it going to rain and will my iPod get wet and stop working? Will my battery work this entire time or should I charge it before I go?
  • Breathing habits improve - Music can tune out your respiratory functions. Focusing on your breathing and providing the oxygen your body needs can help decrease muscle fatigue.
I am sure I will discover more benefits as I continue to do this and will share them along the way!

Anyway, today starts week 2 of my 24 week training plan! I haven't started running yet, but will be by the end of the day! As for the rest of you, hope your running schedule goes well this week!

Do you run with music? Why?

If you are a naked runner, what are some benefits you get from it?

What are disadvantages to running naked?

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