How Can I Run Faster?
Why You Should Run Gadget-Free
Stop the Watch
"Wearing technology while running intrudes on the mind's attempt to give itself over to the body," says Ben Agger, Ph.D., director of the University of Texas at Arlington Center for Theory and author of Body Problems: Running and Living Long in a Fast-Food Society.
Plus, leaving those devices—and numbers—behind can also free you from preconceived notions of how far and fast you can run, says Jessica Underhill, a New York City-based personal trainer and running coach who writes about running and healthy living at the blog Fit Chick in the City. (Video: Run with perfect technique)
"As much as numbers sometimes motivate us, they sometimes limit us," she says. "We all have this number in our head—we think we can't perform well unless we're at that exact spot, and we limit ourselves to that number." But by blinding yourself to the various digits, you might push past your own barriers and discover another level of running.
Learn Your Inner Clock
How: Don't map it. Don't time it.
Set out on a destination run—maybe to and from a friend's house, or to a bridge you usually drive over but have always wanted to see up close. You can also make this a social activity by doing an actual bagel run: Run to a shop for a bagel and coffee with a friend (who can then, of course, drive you home). Or run your regular route but without your watch. Focus on your form, your breathing, and how your legs feel instead of how fast a timepiece says you're going. It's fine to note what time you leave and what time you finish, but don't carry that watch with you. And when you're ready to race sans technology, remember that many smaller races forgo timers and mile markers. To find one near you, do an Internet search using the words "fun runs" and the name of your town.
Print it! Go Running motivational poster