5 Benefits of Running Naked

If you came to this post thinking you’d see pictures of naked runners, you’re going to be disappointed. Now that we have that out of the way, what are the benefits of running naked?

Credit: lgh75

In a recent discussion on a Google+ running community, I started with the question if anyone runs occasionally unplugged. By that I mean, no technology (mobile apps, GPS watches, etc.).

Free Shipping + 90 Day Test Run at Road Runner Sports!

Comments came in and everyone had a different interpretation of unplugged. Some call it:

  • Going Amish –no technology at all, just run.
  • Going off the grid – no devices that transmit data, maybe a wrist watch
  • Going stupid – use a mobile app but disable any voiceovers or call outs that indicate performance
  • And finally Going Naked – Similar to going Amish, no technology just shirt, shorts, and shoes (maybe music)

Whatever you call it, running without technology does have benefits. As someone who evangelizes the quantified self and how technology can empower, I find it refreshing running without it once in a while.

Here are five benefits of running naked:

  1. Recovering from an injury. I’ve found it helpful to disregard any measurement so that I can rebuild my running stamina. The flow data on your running can be a real distraction and also push you too fast too soon resulting in re-injury or another.
  2. Enjoy your run. If you’re not always looking straight ahead and monitoring your running performance, you might just enjoy the scenery on your next run.
  3. Surprise yourself. Maybe don’t run with a mobile app or a GPS watch, but just time yourself and then review your data. Delaying the constant feedback might help tone down the distractions.
  4. Focus on form. Multi-tasking while running looks like it would be easy but how effective is it. If you’re concerned about your form, leave the devices behind. This is an opportunity to focus on proper mechanics without toggling a device.
  5. Great for tapering. With a big race coming up, tapering is helpful. What’s not helpful is the information that signals to you what your pace or miles run are.

Any experience in running off the grid, stupid, Amish, or naked? Leave a comment or share this post with others for their thoughts.

Chris Narbone is the founder of Amplify, blog focused on empowering people through technology. You can find him on , Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe to learn how you can run on innovation


  1. Wornout Soles says

    I am guilting of being a slave to the Garmin. A few weeks ago I went out for a naked run and love it. It’s a great way to remember why I started running in the first place.

    • Chris says

      I’m guilty of being too connected to my mobile app. I’m recovering from plantar fasciitis so I’ve been doing a few naked runs and stupid runs. They take the pressure off of getting consumed with stats and it’s fun!

      Thanks for commenting. Take a moment to subscribe to my email list or add Amplify to your feed.

      All the best,

  2. Kathy Nguyen says

    Love this. I have been doing this more recently. It really helps me remember how much I love to run and not focus so much on some goal.

    • Chris says

      Hi Kathy. Thanks for commenting. Yeah, running without technology is nice once in a while. I think my wife wishes I wasn’t so into stats when I run. She runs naked pretty much all the time. Don’t think I’ll ever get to that point but I’m enjoying the once in a while thing.

      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting. Please take a moment to add Amplify to your feed or subscribe to my email list.

  3. Kristy @PghRunner.com says

    I never run with music, but I rarely go without the Garmin. BUT, most of the time, I don’t look at my Garmin until I’m finished.

    • Chris says

      Hi Kristy. Thanks for stopping by. You’re a little more disciplined than me when it comes to devices. I’m more in favor of a little info once in a while but not constantly. That’s why the voiceover option on most mobile apps are helpful. I’ve also been running, starting my mobile app, and not looking until the end. It’s a nice way to change things up.

  4. Brenda says

    I have been running for about 4 years and have never run with music preferring to just think while I run and I find it to be a mind clearing experience. About a year into running I started running with a watch in order to time myself. I sometimes find that distracting and am grateful when I run in unfamiliar places where I cannot keep track of mileage but simply run for time.

    • Chris says

      Hi Brenda. Thanks for reading and commenting! There’s definitely a balance with technology and running. Too much of a good thing has been my experience. I try to keep things simple because in the end running doesn’t require a great app or watch. Happy running!

  5. laura says

    I used to only run with music. I stopped and have used it only on a rare occasion since. Still using my Nike watch at first, I actually started making much better times without the music. I found I can keep my breathing with my pace better without it. I have recently stopped using my watch as I ease back into running outside which helps me to not compare what I am now to what I was last fall. Very enjoyable.

    • Chris Narbone says

      Hi Laura. Coming off an injury or a layoff from running, I phase my tech back in. Like you, I don’t want to compare too much when I’m getting back in shape.

      Thanks for reading and the comment!

Leave a Reply