To GPS or not to GPS
Like so many other runners I have a GPS watch. An old-school Garmin 205 to be exact. Of course it looks like I am wearing a small brick on my wrist and newer models are significantly smaller, but mine works awesome. The thing is amazing, it tells me my current pace, my overall pace, overall time I have been running, and of course distance traveled. There are eight other data fields you can choose from as well but those four are the ones I tend to focus on. However as cool and informative as my Garmin is, I have been finding myself more and more often leaving it at home when I head out the door these days.
I find I tend to have better runs when I don’t wear it lately. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but I think it is just may be a case of over stimulation of my neurons. When I wear it I am like a seven year-old on Christmas Eve incapable of not sneaking peaks every chance I get to check my current status. I start out too fast, obsess about my pace, stress myself out that my run is going to be a failure and usually I end up running slower than I want.
Yet, when I simply wear my trusted mid-sized (yes Carolyn, it is mid-size not women’s) Timex Ironman without activating the stopwatch, I tend to have faster, more enjoyable runs. I simply just run. I look at the time when I start and when I finish, certainly not exact, but pretty close. For an average 6 mile run, my runs are usually about three minutes faster when I run without my Garmin. I find myself finishing stronger, running my fastest mile at the end. Of course I can’t actually quantify this, having to rely on simple feel.
I still find my Garmin helpful on my long runs or specific workouts, but for now I am leaving the GPS at home on my normal runs. I would love to hear your take on the benefits of running with GPS versus running without one.