Back when I started to run I would lace up my Asics. I think the model was 1-2-3. I am not sure if they were good, but the price fit with the shoe. I was a college student at the time. I believe I even got an employee discount as I knew somebody who worked at the shoe store. Wearing cross-trainers for my whole entire life, this was my first real pair of running shoes. I was ready to run.
Do you remember when you used to run for the fun of it? I would mark out a route with my bike odometer giving me a desired distance to run. Weekly, I would run this route – Organically! What do I mean about Organic? With no watch, no music and no gps! That’s almost unheard of today. Back then, we had watches with stopwatch and lap functions. I had a Timex Ironman watch. If I wanted to listen to music, I had to bring my walkman or a discman. The discman didn’t work so well as it skipped a lot. GPS didn’t exist back then… for personal use.
Now, in a ‘bottom line’ era, stats are everything. You have to monitor your progress and make sure you are making gains. You do this through gps gadgets, gps apps or, rarely, with a watch. Then you upload all this information on your computer and blog about it. I’ve come across some of these blogs. In fact, I have some posted on dailymile.com.
Organic running entails no electronic devices that measure performance. The goal of Organic Running is to enjoy the run, listen to your thoughts and take in the surroundings. No stats. No music to motivate you. No distractions. It is you, your mind and your feet.
Eventually, you get to dream in your runs. You know, where you all of a sudden gain consciousness and wonder where the last few kilometers went. You were ‘dreaming’ and lost in thought. I love those moments. Organic Running is great for this.
You may not want to Organic run all the time, especially if you are targeting a time for a distance or a certain pace. And some days you really want your music.
Organic Running is just for the fun of it. Enjoying the run, yet thinking along the way… figuring out problems, releasing stress, planning or looking forward to something.
Since I have started Organic Running, I have looked forward to the run. When I had the gps, I was unconsciously (and sometimes consciously) stress. I felt I had to better my time every time I went out for a run. As a result, I was getting injuries, dreading going for a run and not enjoying the run when I was running.
For you gps and ‘timing’ runners, take a ‘day-off’ and enjoy your run, Organically. Occasionally.