With the rise of ‘slow food’ and digital detoxes is it time you tried ‘slow running’? I am not talking about altering your running speed, but instead ditching the GPS and being fully immersed in your run. Feeling every step as the slow food protagonists would encourage you to taste every mouthful.
I stopped wearing my GPS watch a few years ago and immediately felt relief from the tyranny of checking my pace. The pursuit of PBs had made running a chore and resulted in a string of niggling injuries and aches. Once freed from ‘time’ running became something done purely for enjoyment. Fartlek (“speed play” in Swedish) really does become play when you stop using your timer and its irritating beep, instead skipping and running between trees and landmarks on a whim. When something becomes play we are more likely to enjoy it, and do it again.
It is with this philosophy I have run for the last few years and during that time I have been injury free. I slow down when my body needs to and I even stop to take in the view. Often stopping many times to take pictures which I share on these blog posts. Recently I took this to an extreme, stopping not only to take a few pictures, but to sketch the landscape.
The cold wind made it a quick sketch as I didn’t want to cool down too much, but the extra time taken to engage with the landscape was well worth it. I used water-soluble crayons as they are light and don’t break like pencils, combined with a waterbrush which made for a very lightweight sketching kit.
While I don’t expect people to take an approach quite as ‘slow’ as mine, I do hope this blog post has made you think about how you can savor your next run. Enjoy the Cornish Trails!