No, I don’t mean run in minimal shoes. I mean, run without all the mumbo jumbo that running magazine advertisements make you think you need – ditch the iPod, the watch, the heart monitor, the Nike Plus gadget, the cellphone, and anything else you believe you can’t get out the door with. The beauty of running is that none of these things are necessary. You don’t even need shoes (though it may be a good idea to take it easy if you go barefoot).
Once I believed I needed my iPod to run but was constantly taking my earbuds in and out to talk to people, taking it out of my pocket to change the song or the volume, and wasting time before runs to change up my playlist. When I stopped taking the iPod, getting out the door became so much easier. Think about how simple it would be if your pre-run routine was to just slip on your shoes. After a run, do you ever think to yourself, gee that hill was made so much greater by listening to that song? No. You think, finally, I beat the hill. It had nothing to do with your music, the brand of your clothes, or who texted you.
The more complex or complicated you make something, the less likely you are to do it. But do it the way you enjoy. If you enjoy the music, take it. If you enjoy knowing your distance, heart rate, whatever, record it. If you feel safer with your phone, take it. Just ask yourself how necessary these items are to your enjoyment of running and whether or not they are enhancing your experience or impeding it. Try a couple of days without those items. You might be surprised when you stop missing them.