|Remote controlled by a Garmin 310|
I held off for a while. I thought to myself, "Why don't these runner geeks put the tech down for a second and just enjoy running???" Isn't running about getting out there and just going?
Well, I'd like to share with you lessons I've learned from my transformation from tech-loather to lover. I'm now a firm believer that for some folks, one of the best items they could purchase is one of those crazy GPS units.
|Mile repeats, 15:30 pace. Push the flats below|
and above the 16 Golden Stairs.
Another factor to consider is how well GPS units like the Garmin aid you in honing feel. Anyone who is serious about his training needs to be able to tell the difference in his pace beyond "hard" and "easy." I know many programs in college that expected their runners to be able to tell the difference between a 7:00 mile and a 7:05 mile. I also know that once you're dialed in, that's not only possible but somewhat simple to do. Since most runners tend to start races, workouts, etc too quickly, the Garmin can keep you in check until you find your groove. Instead of having to wait a full mile to get that first pace check in, you simply look down at your watch and see if it matches what you perceive. It's cool when those two start to jive with increasing frequency.
Possibly the biggest advantage I've found to owning a Garmin is in how it has motivated me. Before I had one, I could only estimate how far I ran in any given week. When I'm actually tracking that number, I'm much more motivated to bump that number up - to get out the door on a day where I'm otherwise feeling lethargic or to tack on that extra loop just to hit double digits. It's fun to see what I've done and to challenge, to one-up myself. I can also tangibly see differences in my fitness by comparing similar workouts across different points in time. It's powerful stuff to see that I'm 30 sec/mile faster on a given loop now than I was last fall...wow, maybe the miles ARE adding up. When it comes down to it, the Garmin causes me to get my lazy butt out the door more, for longer, and faster. Not sure how an addiction like that can be a bad thing.