Naked running….with clothes

This morning, I ran naked. No, not like that – I did keep my clothes on, I just got rid of some of the techie gadgets that normally accompany me on a run, inspired by International day of running naked (check out the Naked Runners page for more inspiration). I will admit that I still had my iPod – I have been known to run without this but find it disturbing to listen to my breathing (or ‘gasping’ as it is more accurately described).

I did, however, run without my Garmin which is a huge thing for me. Normally, my pre-parkrun ritual is all about finding satellites and not letting it go to sleep before the run. I was a bit nervous about this – I like my statistics and like to know how I’m going so I wasn’t really sure how I’d feel without it.

I’m pleased to say I felt fantastic. I hadn’t realised how much it clearly is a distraction for me, constantly checking in on my time or pace and worrying about my finish time. Today, I didn’t care. I just ran. And, if I felt like walking, I walked. And if I felt like going faster, I did. Interestingly enough, my finish time was 1 second faster than last time; a week when I didn’t enjoy the run so much and it felt like a chore. Today I felt quite free and unencumbered.

I can’t say that I’m going to bury the Garmin in the bin but perhaps I have been persuaded to leave it behind sometimes, especially when my running mojo is in short supply and I just need to enjoy it.

keeping track

I’m joining in with the Tuesdays on the run linkup party with April from Run The Great Wide Somewhere, MCM Mama and Patty from My No Guilt Life. Today’s topic – running apps.

I love being out on a run and, for most of the time, am lost in the moment. Thinking of whatever gorgeous place I’m running through, thinking of my breathing or thinking of how good/bad/tired/energized I’m feeling. However, towards the end of a run, I will admit that my thoughts sneak toward that moment I really enjoy – downloading my data from my Garmin to my various trackers of choice.

Garmin connect
This one is a means to an end – I only use it because I have a Garmin and this (along with Garmin Express) is how I get the information off my watch and into a useable form. The upload is temperamental but I can’t give up my Garmin because the watch itself is fabulous. So I persist. But I’ve never actually explored the features of Garmin Connect so can’t really comment on it.

I’m a recent convert to Smashrun, thanks to reading about it on a fellow parkrunner’s fabulous blog. While it has many features that are the same as all the other running tracking tools out there, I just feel like it does it better. And cooler.

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It panders to my inner collector/competitor gene with a range of badges to earn, complete with quirky descriptions and prizes of new backgrounds. It also has all the usual bells and whistles, allowing you to review individual runs, track progress over time and set monthly or annual goals.

I first started using Strava as it was necessary last year to participate in Run Down Under – a program allowing you to track your kilometres on a virtual run around the country.

It’s another one with a slick interface and simple design, yet enough details to track your runs and monitor your progress over time. I am a particular fan of the trophies that it awards you for achieving your best time of defined distances or marked segments (see, I told you I like collecting!).

The only quirk that sometimes annoys me is that it uses your ‘moving time’ rather than your actual time in a run to calculate average pace, etc, which then tends to conflict with official race statistics and every other program I track on.

I downloaded this to my Mac years ago and still like it as my catch all tracker – I tend to log runs, bike rides and swims on this so I can get a more complete picture of my exercise.

It also panders to my inner neat freak who likes things to be beautifully organised and set up (although I don’t always achieve that!) – sessions can be sorted, tagged and generally arranged how you like. Very flexible.

Best of all, it syncs with my Garmin connect account with one click so it’s easy to get the information in there.

What are your favourite apps?

postscript – my flipbelt is awesome!

For those of you who saw my earlier post, I have just got a flipbelt and was waiting for the weather to cooperate (and cool down) so I could go out for a run and test it out. I got my wish this afternoon and took a 7km run around the neighbourhood.

Not only was my run fantastic, the flipbelt did exactly what it was supposed to – it held stuff in place and kept it safe. I couldn’t believe how comfortable it was – I barely felt that it was there and it didn’t move, jiggle or get in my way (the same can’t be said of other random body parts – I swear I look like a tub of jelly when I run!). Most importantly, my phone was secure and didn’t move at all during my run.

So, to sum up, I’m hugely happy with my purchase and will definitely be adding it to my list of favourite running things. To those who are thinking about it, definitely do it – a great accessory 🙂

my new running toy. on a hot day.

I got a new toy in the post today and was so excited, I simply had to go out for a run to try it out. I had wanted a flipbelt for ages and treated myself to one in the lead up to 2 long runs I’ve got coming up later in the year.


A flipbelt is basically a tube of stretchy, non-abrasive fabric with slots at regular intervals to allow you to carry with you whatever you need on a run. The ‘non-abrasive’ bit is the key for me – I’ve tried running with all sorts of other accessories but always end up with sore bits somewhere as a result. Hence why I was so keen to test this out.

So, time to run. Except it was 33C here this afternoon and I was feeling hot and disgusting after a day of general chaos at school – my energy was also in very short supply. So I walked instead. Although I did break into a sprint when I got to a swarm of midges around the back of the lake.

wpid-20141107_193425.jpgThis is the view I have on one of my running routes and it always makes me smile. I feel really lucky to live where I do and have such beautiful places to run. As the sun was setting, the temperature dropped enough for me to no longer feel hot and disgusting – instead I felt happy and contented. Very zen 🙂

So I may have only walked with the flipbelt but, so far, it’s a definite winner. Didn’t even notice I was wearing it and it easily fitted my phone which is the biggest plus. I prefer to carry my phone when running but haven’t found an easy solution for that before now. Once the temperature drops today, I’ll be out for a run and will continue to my testing – will let you know how it goes!

What’s your favourite new running accessory? How do you carry ‘stuff’ when you run?