We live in a dystopian-like world where our actions are governed by technology, and the running world is no exception. There are tonnes of tracking apps, each of which can inform us how fast and how far we are running. There are also numerous portable heart rate monitors, letting us know how hard we are pushing ourselves and running watches to remind us that we have not gone for our planned run yet in a given day.
Intuitive running, which at times is associated with mindful running, eliminates all of that. It builds on the idea that you should tune in to your body and determine how far, how fast and how frequent you run.
While many people may believe this seems like an excuse to cut short your runs or take a rest day when you should not, others find it liberating and have incorporated this type of training in their lives to revive their love for the sport.
Do not believe it? Here are all the reasons you need why you may give it a shot.
It Lowers Your Risk Of Sustaining Running-Related Injuries
Many of us, especially those who have just started to incorporate running into the training routine, get injured when they overexert themselves. We neglect the signs our muscles and joints are presenting to us for the sake of sustaining a certain pace, adhering to our training schedule or covering the planned distance.
When you practice intuitive running, you are more inclined to focus when you have not rested adequately or have a slight ache or discomfort, and you are more apt to provide your body with the rest it deserves.
It May Boosts Your Running Performance
Your running watch may let you know that your pace decreases as you tackle the hills or that your last few kilometres are constantly your slowest. However, it cannot and will never explain to you the reason(s) behind them. Intuitive running pushes you to focus more on what is unfolding inside your body and may inform you of aspects that need refinements to solve these mysteries.
For instance, maybe as you are tackling a steep hill, you observed that your form goes completely out of the window, meaning you have to work more on strengthening your core. Or maybe you sense that your quads are feeling overworked during a run, and you need to pay a visit to your local physiotherapy centre to determine why. Addressing these problems will eventually improve your running profile.
The mental health benefits of running are well established, but focusing too much on your weekly running volume, pace, or any other pieces of running information can be a source of stress in your life. Frankly, no one wants to adds additional stress to their lives.
By leaving your running tech at home, you can enjoy your run without obsessing over your running stats and connect with your surroundings.
It Grants You A Chance To Socialise With Others
Have you ever declined an invitation to run with a friend simply because it does not align well with your training schedule, or you are afraid that they leave you alone while they run at a higher pace than yours?
With nothing to monitor your stats, this is not a problem any longer. Your friend wants to run a shorter distance and slower than you? That is not an issue; there are plenty of opportunities in the future for you to run longer or faster.
This newfound freedom enables you to develop more personal connections with your running buddies that previously would have been impossible.
Your Love With Running, Reignited
If you have been training for back-to-back races or consistently for an extended period of time to break your current 10K PB, you may feel slightly burnt out or like you have lost the passion you once felt for the sport.
Sure, if you have a goal race, you would definitely need a training plan to ensure that goal is met. However, if you have lost your sense of love for running, intuitive running may be what you need to help you regain it. Races and training programs will always be there for you when you need them, but in the meantime, enjoying the run for what it is might be just the thing you need.
Running To Conclusion
Intuitive running is likened to an offshoot of mindful running. That means leaving behind all of the tools you typically use to monitor your running stats (think fitness trackers, training schedules, pace goals, running coaches) and run at your own pleasure. Do you feel like running 3K today or 10K? Are you in the mood to run slower today or faster?
Once you tried intuitive running, you would be astonished by what the body craves. Intuitive running is not about being lazy; it is about listening to your body’s requirements, so you recognise when to tone down the intensity of your run and when to grind hard — but both can occur in an intuitive runner’s training. Again, it is about running on instinct and enjoying running for what it is.