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Run-Plugging: Make Running Fun Again

First of all what the heck is run-plugging? I thought run-plugging sounded like some weird exercise practice that involved running on a treadmill to produce the energy needed to charge my I-phone. Despite how tiring (and kind of cool) that would be, run-plugging is actually when you unplug from all your electronic devices and focus on the run itself. People often blast distracting or intense music into their ears to make the workout seem less strenuous. However with run-plugging, one simply listens to the pace rhythm, the body, and the environment.

​    When I first read about run-plugging on SELF’s snap story I thought, “No way! I need my music to keep me motivated. Running would be the WORST if I didn’t have music to distract me.” Turns out I enjoy running A LOT more when I don’t have a podcast or music to distract me. My mood toward running has greatly improved because run-plugging has allowed me to clear my head, have some time to myself, and reflect on my thoughts or the run itself. I look forward to running now because it is the escape that working out should be.

    Focusing on running has helped me improve my times as well. Run-plugging allows me to focus on what my body is doing and how it is feeling. When running a long distance, I like to keep my pace as constant as possible with a little speed kick at the end. However, after I learned about run-plugging I started to realize that I changed my pace in order to match the type of music playing, matched my strides to the beat of the music. My pace would either quicken or slow down depending on the song that came on. When my pace quickened I got tired a lot faster and when I slowed I felt the pain of running all over my body. Run-plugging allows me to focus my pace and work towards the running goals that I have without the variances that the addition of music brings.

    Run-plugging also tunes you into your surroundings. It has allowed me to enjoy the environment around me by hearing the birds, saying hello when I meet a fellow runner on my trail, and being more aware of potential obstacles. Wearing a reflective jacket will help a car see you, but listening to music doesn’t help you hear the car. It is important, especially if you live in an urban area, to be aware of the world around you for both your safety and the safety of others around you. In addition of hearing your surroundings, I found myself looking up at my surroundings a lot more. I noticed the trees turning color, animals preparing for winter, and the buzz of the insects as if to cheer me on.

    Run-plugging has improved my love for running, increased my pace, and helped decrease the stress in my life. I highly recommend that you try it! It took me about 2-3 runs to really get into it, but now I don’t know if I’ll every run with music again. Send me an email if you decided to try it and let me know how it goes!

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