What is the caveman workout?

It’s a workout that gets an athlete out of their head and workout for the heck of it. The body is in motion, and the key to keeping it moving is to find a rhythm you can sustain.

Angela Naeth out for a run in Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

I love my heart-rate monitor, power meter and GPS watch. By doing fitness tests, recording data and structuring specific workouts, you can make a lot of improvements in a season. However, I find that focusing on feel, rather than power and heart rate, is not only liberating but empowering.

Related: Angela Naeth: Training with heart rate data

Photo: iracelikeagirl and Pearl Izumi

Recently, I planned to go swim at our local pool and run home. I thought I packed everything I needed, but forgot my trusted heart rate monitor and watch. Little did I know, the pool was closed because of contamination for an hour. Instead of driving home and rescheduling my entire day, I went with it and ended up doing my long run by feel. It went fantastic. I was able to listen to music, find a rhythm and just run.

Related: Running in the golden hour

I‘m a big advocate of pace and heart rate training. I train and coach that way. But this run reminded me how much a “caveman run” is needed.

Photo: iracelikeagirl and Pearl Izumi

Going by feel

If you feel slow, sluggish and tired, then go slow and easy. On the other hand, if you feel fast and energized, then let it loose. You decide, but be mindful with what your body is telling you, regardless of how you’re feeling.

Photo: iracelikeagirl and Pearl Izumi

No data 

Leaving behind your training gadgets can help when you feel pressure in a race or workout. It’s about letting go, and seeing what you got.

Typically, I find that most athletes hit their aerobic zone for this type of training session. You can always document the run without looking at the data when training. When I forgot my watch, I used the Strava app on my phone, so I could record the duration and distance.

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