The Zen Runners

If you have ever seen The Spirit of the Marathon (and if you haven’t, go watch it NOW), you probably remember the clip about the “zen runners.” (sadly, no clip on Youtube – unforgivable!) These are the runners that run without a garmin. They just go out and enjoy the run.


Well…Saturday I did the “zen running” thing on my long run. It was actually on accident, though. I forgot my garmin. Who does that? Who forgets their garmin?! Then, I though, “Oh, don’t worry, just use your phone.” Well, my phone has been acting crazy, and I just found out the GPS is broken! (No worries, still under warranty and getting a new one!) The universe wanted me to do some serious “zen running.”


Real scene from my run!

I had a route mapped out, (which included an awesome nature observatory park),so I knew I would get my twelve miles in. So, I just took off. I ran 12 miles with no clue what my pace was. I mean I know the approximate time it took me to complete the entire run, but I actually didn’t want to think about it or estimate my pace. 


A picture from a day I actually remembered my Garmin.

I love my Garmin dearly, but sometimes I get a little obsessed with pace. It’s my type “A” personality. It feeds on that sort of thing. I think I am going to try and go without it more often, though. Sometimes it is good to just go by feel. I always say I am going to do that, and then I find myself staring at the Garmin. It’s time to let loose!

Do you ever run without a watch or your phone tracking?


15 thoughts on “The Zen Runners

  1. This is too funny because my post tomorrow is going to be about running without a garmin! And Im not sure if you read but her post today was about the same thing…I think we are all getting sick of the garmins or something!

  2. I really only ever have a mileage goal when I head out so I don’t get too obsessed if I hit certain times. That being said though, I absolutely need some sort of tracking device otherwise I’d never knew how far I went lol.

  3. Very nice! Maybe you should be the one to put the clips on youtube? I do wear a gps watch, but I try to never ever look at it while running. It’s easier to do the more you practice ignoring it. Enjoy your zen!

  4. Awesome! I forgot my Garmin at a 10k once and almost died! It threw me off so much. But then I remembered that knowing my pace sometimes causes me to mentally give up in races, so I decided it was going to be a good thing. I ended up with a PR! I think zen running is a great thing every once in a while, but I definitely need to know how far I’ve run so I need something that tracks my distance during long runs!

  5. Pingback: Lessons From A Garmin-Free Run | Running Out Of Wine

  6. Sounds like the universe really did want you to go for a zen run. lol. I always have my garmin on me but I don’t always pay attention to it. On easy run days I don’t even look at it and just use it to record the run. I agree that a zen run is needed once and a while to help keep running fun.

  7. I actually really love to run this way. Near the end of my marathon training, I did all my runs not paying attention to my pace and just going totally by my feels. I still wear a Garmin because I like to upload my info, but it’s really rare that I ever look at it anymore while I’m out there. I wish I had a nature observatory to run through though! That sounds very zen!

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