Going minimal? That seems weird because in general, I love stuff. All kinds of stuff, especially if I am committing myself to something. Snowboarding? Have to have all the gear, the bag, the wrist protection. Cycling? For sure I need all the tech, the aero bottle and the super sexy cycling bib overalls. Running? Of course, there is a ton of stuff for running. You need the running fanny to hold water, electrolytes, gummies, gels and some emergency cash. You have to have the watch, chest strap with running dynamics*, footpod and compression in all the right places. In short, all the stuff. Well there’s been a small change in how I approach sport to try and simplify and it might be useful for you too.
Change of Direction
The prep time to get out the door was starting to be a little prohibitive. By the time I collected all the gear and finally got it on (and adjusted) it could be a half-hour process. That was almost as long as it was taking to Run 5KM. Using from good advice from a former running coach of mine, I started not worrying about all the little things. For a Run shorter than 7KM I skipped the fanny pack, the gels, the water and even the compression. I saw no dip in performance and it was amazing how much lighter I felt. Watch, chest strap and the normal running clothes (shoes, shirt, socks and compression/running underwear). Setup time is down to less than 10 minutes… #winning
When the Miles Get Longer
Now when the distance gets really long (basically over 7KM) OR it gets really hot or humid, then protective measures have to be taken. I will either pack my running belt with some form of liquid (with NUUN or equivalent) or a small profile camelbak. The addition of NUUN provides some electrolytes and a little bit of flavor to make the drinking more enjoyable. If you are using this as a guide, please heed this section. You don’t want to be at the farthest point of your Run and have the wheels come off because of dehydration or cramping. Take water with you! You should also make sure that you are hydrated before you even head out… lecture over.
So what does this mean? Have I gotten faster? Sometimes (but not really). It’s a matter of just getting back to the basics of Running. Getting out there without a rucksack full of equipment. It helps to shorten my preparation time and makes it a little bit easier to squeeze in the work because I get out the door. It’s not a huge change, but it is one that hopefully helps me make better use of my time.
*Running Dynamics is a feature of Garmin HRM-RUN Chest strap and provides all kinds of nerdy data including Ground Contact Time, Balance and Vertical Oscillation. For a full list check this link…