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My running addiction

Running became a common element of my lifestyle more than 20 years ago (more later). I wish I had embraced running earlier in my life, but still no time machine to fix this. It’s something I do for my personal gratification and fun, a very intimate moment I deeply cherish. A private moment in my day, the ideal start of the day for an introvert: I’m sure many runners share these feelings. Let me share what running means to me. So, while I covered more than 50,000 kilometers based on my Nike tracking solutions (initially Nike+ in 2006, then more recently the Nike Run Club app on my Apple Watch), I don’t consider myself a pro, but merely a passionate, daily addict.

Over the years, my “setup” has dramatically evolved thanks to different “technological eras” in wearable devices. In the early days, I embraced Nike+, consisting of a sensor in my left shoe, a receiver attached to the Apple iPod, and traditional (wired) headphones. For quite some time, I added my iPhone to my hardware equipment, a solution I happily ditched for the Apple Watch as soon as GPS tracking was added (series 3 if I remember correctly). Nowadays, it’s just the Apple Watch Series 5, AirPods Pro, and Nike sunglasses.

That’s it. When running in scorching and humid conditions, a wristband is another indispensable addition to my running setup. My current running shoes are the Nike Pegasus Zoom Turbo, while top and shorts vary according to weather conditions. Nowadays, I primarily run in a hot and humid environment, opting for basic shorts and a t-shirt.

Pre-run preparation is very basic. I stretch for roughly 15-20 minutes in warm conditions initially, progressively adjusting to the external temperature to reduce the initial impact. I follow a series of exercises learned at a tennis camp in Florida, warming up all muscles, not just the lower part of my body. I find this full-body approach to work well for me, “waking up” my entire body after a good night’s sleep.

From a dietary perspective, I can only run an empty stomach. I don’t drink or eat anything: probably not an orthodox approach, but this is what works for my short runs (10Km on average, not extending more than15Km). Similarly, I do not carry any water supplies: I don’t feel I need it, and my first thought, once the run is over, is not drinking. A mouthguard completes my setup, a recent addition, after I tripped while running in Seattle.

As mentioned, I track my runs using the Nike Running Club (NRC) app. I wish the app had more features and a better UI. I am currently enjoying regular feedback every kilometer plus the final recap. As a precaution, I always keep an eye on my heartbeat, something I would encourage everyone to include in their routines. For the majority of my runs, alternative music or tech, finance, and cultural podcasts, often a source of inspiration while occasionally, I prefer “radio silence” to better concentrate on my upcoming challenges throughout the day.

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