So I love my GPS watch. Before I got my watch I never really knew the distance I ran. I would just run hard until I got tired and then I would turn around and hope I could make it home. After I got my watch, I learned how to pace myself and gauge my efforts to help get me further than I ever though I could go.
There are only 2 major setbacks that, should I have never run with a GPS watch, I would never have encountered.
The first being that I have become obsessed with instantly knowing my stats while running. I am constantly checking how far I have run or how much further until I hit a certain distance. Pretty consistently I look to see what my current pace is gauged at; once half way through the first mile, once midway through to see “how I am doing”, and once after the final 100 yard sprint stretch. My phone app tracks all the same things but there is something about being able to know in the moment that isn’t comparable.
The second thing is it becoming a distraction. Oftentimes I won’t even start my run until the GPS has connected. Which means that sometime I end up standing on the sidewalk for 15 minutes waiting. In that 15 minutes I could have almost completed 2 miles, and to think I complain about not having enough time to get all my miles in sometimes. My watch has a touch screen, which is awesome and innovative, but in the moment can wreak a lot of havoc. If I accidently swiped one direction and then look down to see my stats, and the numbers are all weird (like saying I have only run .5 distance when I know I have gone at least 5) I am prone to try and fix it, and set up laps and things so my beep que is all messed up. Some days this really distracts me from my run and gets me all tangled in my issues, instead of producing relief.
So why am I saying this? I promise it is not to rant about my gadgets. I highly recommend running with a GPS watch, but don’t let it consume you. Know you watch before you set out on an adventure. That way if something looks off, you will know how to navigate back to normal. Also make sure you take some time to leave the watch at home. Be free from knowing, and just run free. Take each step as it comes. Your body will be able to gauge an average run, and after a while you will know your “mile markers”, so let go of exact data, and run.