10 Ways to Run Simple
Try Running Without a Watch
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Focus your runs so that every one isn't a measured race against time. Sometimes this means leaving the GPS watch at home—especially on your recovery days when you want to take it easy and not push yourself.
Learn How to Feel Your Goal Pace
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Practice memorizing your goal pace. Your body actually has a pretty decent internal clock. Learn to know what your goal pace "feels" like during a run, so you don't have to obsess over exact splits or feel compelled to consult a GPS watch for precise measurements.
Simplify Your Wardrobe
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Run in cheap or free clothes. This sport isn't a fashion show. Wear shirts that you get on race day, and find winter gear like gloves and knit hats at the dollar store instead of spending your hard-earned money on overpriced "tech" gear.
Put Your Running Into Perspective
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Cut yourself a break. Not every race or run is going to be perfect. You are inevitably going to have good days and bad days out there on the roads, trails and tracks. Don't let the bad workouts compound worry. Write them off and accept them as anomalies.
Mix It Up
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Combat running boredom by seeking new routes. If you are finding that your running is no longer fun, then change up where you run. This can mean heading out to nature like a preserve or park on some quiet trails or just going out "exploring" on a run. A fun way to mix things up is to run one of your standard routes in reverse.
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Use one of your weekly runs to give back to the community. This can mean doing something like volunteering for a running charity like Back on My Feet, or bringing a trash bag with you on the run and spending a few miles picking up roadside trash. The feeling that you are doing something for others adds to that "runner's high".
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Try incorporating more natural foods into your diet. Instead of eating an energy gel to get a pick-up during a long run, swallow a packet of honey instead. Opt for a glass of chocolate milk after your run is complete instead of an energy drink.
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Leave the MP3 player at home. Music can be incredibly motivating, but running with headphones can be dangerous and distracting. The time you spend listening to music on the run is time you aren't focusing on your body. On your music-free run, you can instead listen to the birds in the trees and the pounding of your own feet as they strike the Earth.
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On race day, resist the urge to wear a watch or a GPS device. Most races have clocks out there on the course. The time and energy you spend constantly consulting your watch during the race could better be spent focusing on maintaining your pace and paying attention to your surroundings.
Kids Know This: Running Is Fun!
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Never forget that this sport should be fun! Many times, devices and gadgets take the fun out of the sport, compounding worry and creating external dependencies. You only need three things to run well: strong legs, lungs and a healthy, positive attitude.