You know I have a bad history with my Garmin–just not a big fan. But with this last training cycle, I had so many miles of marathon pace and tempo that there was really no way to avoid it. I had to suck it up and slap that thing on my wrist.
How did it go? I still don’t love it, but it served its purpose for those tempo/MP miles. I’ve learned a few things about it that have made me embrace it a bit more. Most importantly, I’ve learned that if I’m wearing it, I can’t look at it constantly. Really it comes down to the mile splits that matter with a Garmin, not the data in between. So I had to program myself to only make the occasional peeks between mile beeps. This led to much steadier pacing, which is my strength anyhow. I didn’t want to let the Garmin mess me up in that regard by sucking me into obsessively checking and adjusting pace.
Still, even though I am now on friendly terms with my Garmin, there are places I won’t use it:
- It’s a big no on my recovery runs–I want my body to set the pace here. I know the mileage on all my familiar routes, so when I run a recovery run or any run that doesn’t require a particular pace, it’s a no beep zone.
- I won’t race with it. I still think I will be better off to check in with my good ‘ole Timex Ironman model when running my marathon next week. Even though I have worked on not checking my Garmin constantly, having that pacing info there at all times just doesn’t work well for me, especially in a race.
- I won’t train on the track with it. I still feel strongly that the track is the best way to learn how to pace yourself and you can do this much better without a GPS on hand than with.
Don’t get me wrong–I do think a Garmin (or other GPS watch) is a helpful tool in certain circumstances. But by and large, more of my runs will continue to be old school than new.
And you? Can you go without the Garmin on occasion?