Try a IDGAF* Run
*In case you don’t know: I Don’t Give A F*ck
Like many runners, I struggled with the idea of a “good” run.
A run could only be considered good if I was under an 11-minute mile.
I would constantly look at my wrist and beat myself up if I wasn’t under that pace, traffic lights and recovery be damned.
And then, one day I decided I didn’t give a fuck.
So I went out with my watch tracking but with no notifications on.
I decided to listen to 1990s country since that’s one of my favorite genres and eras.
Since I had four miles on the docket, I chose a route I knew would be close to four miles, if not that distance exactly.
Then I went out and DID NOT GIVE A FUCK.
I didn’t give a fuck about stopping for traffic lights, my pace, my watch or what anybody else was doing around me.
I observed my surroundings, I bopped my head to my music and I decided mid-run that I was feeling good and didn’t need any walk breaks.
There were zero goals to that run other than NOT GIVING A FUCK.
When I came back, I stretched and showered before looking at my data.
Before the workout loaded onto my phone, I thought, No matter what this says, I know I had a great run today.
And I had — my run was over my planned miles and my pace was well within the range I was going for. Running entirely by feel had not only made me feel more positive but had gotten better results.
If you look at your watch all the time
or even if not
Try a IDGAF run!
Disable all notifications on whatever you run with — your phone, your watch, everything.
Get rid of all the dings — no emails, no texts, no mile markers.
Make sure your pace won’t be displayed on your watch. (My workaround for this on my Apple Watch is to bring up the home/clock screen.)
Then, go out on a route with a known distance. (The IDGAF run is perfect for short and middle distance runs — essentially any run that’s under 6 miles and classified as “easy” on your schedule.)
While you’re out there, concentrate on maintaining a five or a six on a scale of effort where one is walking around your house casually and 10 is an all-out, puke-when-you’re-done sprint to a finish line.
Think of effort not just as physical — like pace — but mental, too.
Be easy with yourself.
Remember why you run in the first place.
And DGAF about anything else.
When you get home, go through your normal routine.
But don’t look at your data right away.
Give yourself 15 to 20 minutes to reflect on your run.
How did it go?
Did anything feel off? Any muscles tight?
Did you see anything cool?
Was there a moment where you felt better or worse? And if so, why?
Then, once you’ve had a chance to reflect (and maybe even journal about the experience), look at your data.