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Runners – Keep the Joy of Running

Don’t Forget Why You’re Out There

Hello R2P Runners,

As a runner, run coach, and physical therapist who treats a lot of runners, I know how driven and meticulous you are. Many of you, like myself, are Type A personalities who thrive on setting personal bests and constantly evaluating the data from each run, always seeking ways to improve. This relentless pursuit of excellence is what makes us great runners. However, it’s also important to recognize that there will be times when our training stalls or we face stretches of inconsistency, particularly after an injury.

GPS Free

During these times of stagnation or recovery, it’s essential to remember the core reason why we run. This brings us to a simple yet powerful piece of advice: leave your GPS at home.

Yes, you heard that right. Whether you use Strava, Garmin, Apple Watch, or any other device to track your runs, sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to run without focusing on the data. Here’s why.

When you’re always connected to the metrics, it can be easy to lose sight of the pure joy of running. We start to associate our worth and success with numbers – pace, distance, heart rate – rather than the sheer pleasure of the activity itself. This obsession with data can be especially discouraging during times when we’re not performing at our peak, such as during recovery from an injury or when life’s demands temporarily derail our training schedules.

Running is not just about hitting PRs or logging miles; it’s also about the freedom, the solitude, and the sheer physicality of moving through space. It’s about connecting with your body, the environment, and the simple joy of putting one foot in front of the other.

Take the break

So, the next time you feel stuck or demotivated, I encourage you to take a break from the data. Head out for a run without your usual tech. Instead, tune into the environment around you. Listen to the rhythmic sound of your feet hitting the ground, the rustle of the leaves, the chirping of the birds. Notice the colors of the sunrise or the tranquility of a late evening run. Feel the wind on your face, the sun on your skin, and the strength in your legs. These sensory experiences can be incredibly grounding and remind you why you fell in love with running in the first place.

Give yourself the grace to enjoy running for what it is – a personal and liberating experience. Allow yourself to run without the pressure of pace or distance. Just run because you can, because it makes you feel alive and healthy. 

String together a few of these mindful, tech-free runs and you’ll likely find that you reconnect with your passion for running. You’ll return to your training with a renewed sense of purpose and joy, which can lead to better performance in the long run.

The Finish line

In summary, when you hit those inevitable rough patches, remember to leave the GPS at home occasionally. Focus on the simple act of running and the environment around you. This shift in perspective can be incredibly refreshing and beneficial for both your mental and physical well-being.

Feel free to share your tech-free running experiences with us on social media using the hashtag #RunR2P. We’d love to hear how you reconnect with the joy of running!

Happy running, Dr. Greg

If you need any further guidance or support along the way please feel free to reach out to me directly at, hopefully we see you at an upcoming R2P Run Club – get the details HERE

running physical therapist

Dr. Greg Ellis PT, DPT, CSCS

Performance Physical Therapist 

Follow Greg on Instagram (HERE) for more content and to see his running progress!

Runners – Check out our R2P+ Digital Program, and see if it is right for you.

Fitness Focused Physical Therapy

Runners – injuries holding you back? Rehab 2 Perform specializes in preventing risk to re-injury and empowering you with the tools to stay active. We serve the AnnapolisBethesdaColumbiaFrederickGambrillsGermantown , Mt. Airy, and Owings Mills areas in Maryland, and now in Leesburg, and the Tysons Corner Business District in Virginia. Contact us today at 1(301) 798- 4838 or schedule an appointment by visiting us here today. 

We accept all major insurances, including Tricare, VA Community Care, and the Johns Hopkins Healthcare Network!

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