Most runners, including myself are slightly addicted to their watch. Whether it is the gadgets they have on it, the statistics they can see, or their heart rate monitor, we are suckers to them. It’s amazing how something as simple as a watch can take over your life. Yes, we are governed by our watches everyday as we live life according to time, but since when has a GPS watch ruled us? I will admit to going on an easy run, catching a glimpse of my pace and choosing to pick it up a bit, just because the watch says so! I probably would’ve been better off not doing that, but you find yourself competing with the watch.
It was almost a year ago today I got my first Garmin watch. Up until then I had spent nearly 18-years running naked (watchless not clothesless) or at most with a stopwatch. Did this hinder my performance? No. Did it mean I enjoyed my runs more? Yes. So why do I insist on wearing my watch 24/7? It’s not just for the statistics, as to be honest I only understand the pace, distance and time, and that is all I analyse. But do I really need to do that? Probably not. Since being off injured I have worn my watch every day, for two reasons. One, I need to time my aqua jog sessions, rehab exercises, etc. and two, because it reassures me and tells others I am a runner. It’s a sense of belonging in a shallow way.
Should I ditch the watch all together? Where it occasionally, what should I do? That is another decision I have made since being off running. I have decided, once back to running, on my easy runs not to be governed by speed. I am going to simply resort back to my old method of running with a stopwatch. Yes, I will still use my Garmin most of the time and I will keep track of my mileage, but easy pace is a pace that should be enjoyed and relished, not forced and monitored.
Looking back on my injury, although it was not the cause, pushing my easy runs too hard may well have been a contributing factor. Because the watch showed me a pace I wasn’t happy with, I chose to speed up, running too fast all the time, and subsequently making me more prone to injury. An easy run has no pace governing it, it’s all about recovery and enjoyment.
So, next time you go for a run, try ditching the watch, and let me know how you find it.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!