Running, as people like to say, is a “simple” sport. Yes, it used to be that way. But, is it still? Personally, I don’t believe so. OK, I know I’m probably going to sound like the person that used to walk to school in the snow uphill both ways – but, here goes.
There’s a humorous picture of a marathon runner that has so much gear on them and carrying that they look like they are going into a survival weekend in the wild. They have a back pack on, a gear belt on, an arm band with their phone, etc. Do we really need that much stuff to go on a run?
Runners think that they can’t run around the block without carrying the kitchen sink with them and without their phone. I see so many posts on social media where a runner has gone ballistic because their app didn’t work for their whole run. Or the app on the phone didn’t match their watch when they got back from a run. Seriously? In my opinion, we shouldn’t be that super dependent on technology.
And, nutrition. There are SO many products to choose from. Should I use a gel, a bar, electrolyte liquids? There’s a lot of companies out there making tons of money from runners.
Now, here we go.
“Back in the day”, here’s how a run went. We’ve gone out sometime before and we know where our mile markers are by driving over the road in the past. We have on a watch that basically just tells the time we’ve been gone. We run by feel. When we feel good – we speed up. When we don’t – we slow down.
There were no fanny packs, no gels, no cell phones – we just ran. If we got thirsty, we stopped at a park at a water fountain. This is when I started the habit of running with a bit of money. If I got too thirsty, I’d stop at a convenience and gulp down something.
And, here’s the funny part. With no gels, no music while running, no technology – we ran and ran fast. Personally, I ran too many long runs to count this way and also had numerous sub 4 hour marathons – including my PR of 3:37.
I’ll admit – technology can be a good thing. I never leave the house now without my Garmin on my wrist. But, sometimes, I wish we could go back to making running simple again. It was a joy to run unencumbered. I guess that’s why I stay old school as much as I can.