Today’s guest post comes from Rebecca. Recently I went for a long run. This is pretty typical of my Saturday mornings (especially in the winter when it’s the only time I can run in daylight). The thing is, this run was anything but typical.
Why? Because I’m going minimal.
Don’t worry, I’m not talking naked running minimal. And, I’m not even talking barefoot minimal – although, full disclosure, I am a card-carrying Vibram FiveFingers wearer. I’m talking, not wearing my Garmin GPS watch minimal. That, my friends, was a huge leap for me.
You know what? Without it, I feel completely and utterly free!
Now, if you generally wear heart rate monitors or watches on your runs, don’t be too quick to ditch yours. I just want to tell you about my pros and cons of wearing a running watch and how to stop wearing one in a safe manner.
Garmin GPS Watch – the pros:
- knowing your pace and distance at any given time during a run
- (if you also have a HR strap) knowing your heart rate at any given time during a run
- being able to upload an analyze your workouts
- being able to keep track of the time (whether it’s time running or time on the clock)
- less difficult to get lost when you know how far you’ve gone (especially useful in a new place)
- great if you’re doing pace specific training
Garmin GPS Watch – the cons:
- it has to be charged often, and you sometimes loose your workout history if you let it completely discharge
- the HR strap can be uncomfortable and cause chafing
- sometimes the watch is uncomfortable – I can never decide if it’s too tight to too loose
- can cause higher levels of stress (and/or negative self talk), because you can see instantaneously when you’re not hitting your intended pace
- not great if you just feel like running without being tied to your pace
There are definitely pros and cons and it’s highly dependent on what you want out of your watch and your training. When I went out for my run the other day, I just needed to let go. I am so dependent on my pace and mileage when I am wearing my Garmin that I just wanted to see if I could be comfortable running without it.
Well, I made it through about 9 miles (according to mapmyrun.com) and I know that I just felt good. I don’t know how long it took me and I don’t know how fast I was running. With my Garmin, I had lost that “just run to feel good” feeling.
If you are completely tied to your running watch, like I was, here are a few suggestions for you to wean yourself off of it:
- start by picking a route that you know (somewhere close to home, a predetermined distance, or on a track)
- leave your running watch and heart rate strap at home
- just. run. try not to worry about your time, mileage, pace, etc. and just run for the fun of it!
Not so bad right?! My challenge to you is to try it, just for one run. See how it feels, and try to find comfort in the uncomfortable!
Is there any running gear that you feel like you can’t live without?
How would you feel on a run without it?
A bit about Becca: I started blogging in November 2010 and have been loving every minute of it! I grew up on Maui, went to school in Hoboken, NJ. Please feel free to stop by my website anytime if you guys have questions or just wanna say hi.