When you attempt to change how you have been doing something for several years, it does take a bit to shake the old way of thinking/doing and move on to direction you plan to take going forward.
That is how I am seeing this change from using a GPS watch to primarily using my new Timex Ironman. I have used GPS watches since I got my first Garmin FR10 back in the Christmas of 2011. Yeah, I did without one for a month or so a few years ago, but that was an experiment that failed, because I chose the wrong thing to measure.
Ever since I have been a runner (1971), I have always tracked my running by miles and I got a hair-brained idea to change over to tracking only by time. It lasted just over a month and I went back to tracking my running by the mile. I just feel comfortable tracking things that way. Using a GPS device makes this a LOT easier.
This time I am not going to do anything drastic like completely get rid of my Garmin or only track my running by time. No I will still track my running by mileage, use my Garmin for faster workouts, longer runs and new courses, but otherwise I plan to just use my Timex Ironman for easy, moderate and recovery runs.
However, running without a GPS does require a different mind-set and makes you focus more on being in the moment. At least it does for me. Especially, since I know that once the run is done there is no record of it, other than what I remember and what little data is on my watch.
That is the biggest weakness of not having a GPS is that once you are done, there is no data to review other than the time and distance (if you know it), along with maybe some laps if you recorded them. I have to remember what happened and put in a log of some sort (for me this blog and my spreadsheet), so I can refer back to what happened that day.
Today marked the first day of running with my new Timex and I also decided to not run with my phone. So I went old school and you know something, I felt pretty comfortable doing it.
I started out slow and then picked it up pretty good going down Philbrick Hill, I thought about picking it up after hitting Shepard Road, but the humidity was in the 90% range and I knew that I was going to suffer a lot if I did anything stoopid. So I kept things in a comfortable, but not quite easy pace.
Going down Pepin Drive was pretty quick, but I felt good and when I turned around to come back up I started to slow down. The humidity was winning the battle. Then I hit the bottom of Philbrick Hill and while I felt decent going back up it, I slowed down quite a bit more. Once I got back on my side of the hill, I managed to pick up the pace again and finished well.
Although, at various portions of the run, I gotta admit that I thought about how I was running would look on the graph and then remembered – no graphs after.
I did play around with the lap capabilities and figured out the tap to lap features.
After the getting over wishing I had the pace I was running after the first mile split or seeing how high the old heartrate was coming back up Philbrick Hill. You know all of those wonderful things that you look at while running, when wearing a GPS watch, when I started to reflect on the run…well I smiled.
Because I did remember more about the run than I usually do. Mostly, because I was focused on the run, not external stuff. No, it wasn’t all that fast, but I wasn’t really attempting any speed records in that kind of humidity. No, this was more to check out the old noggin and how it was going to adapt to no GPS watch data and how bad the withdrawal symptoms would be.
You can laugh, make fun of me and all that other stuff, but I do believe that we get hooked on using technology and that they are designed to stimulate us to want to keep using it. So I was wondering how I would feel today.
There was some withdrawal and WTFO moments, but I think that I have prepared myself over the last week to start this and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.
It was only one day, but something felt right…we will see how I am seeing things at the end of September. That is about how long I believe it will take for me to figure out how things actually are working for me with this experiment of going “old school”.
Neat experiment! I have to admit, some days it’s only being able to add to my mileage on runkeeper that gets me out the door for a run
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Unfortunately I’m a data freak and probably can’t bring myself to not using my Garmin. I’ve even got the Running Dynamics Pod for additional info about my sessions but I do remember the days when I ran just using a Casio, I was so much less demanding of myself back then.
Nick, re-read your last words after Casio. Stop and think for a minute we both have had more than our share of injuries over the last 5 years we have been talking to one another on social media. That is the major reason that I am attempting to do this experiment – when I use a GPS device/watch, I become more fixated on the data and demand too much from myself on a daily basis. I wonder how much that plays into our injury woes.
I noticed today that I wasn’t nearly as worried about pace/time on my 5.0 Mile Middle Road Loop course and relaxed a lot more during the run. As a result I felt good when I finished and could have run the course again, which is how I think I am supposed to feel after an easy run.
I can’t say that I usually feel that way, when I am worrying about what the graphs will tell me about how I slowed down going up a hill or didn’t do as well on a segment that I wanted to get my best time for that segment.
Next time you get injured using all the data capture technology think about retiring that stuff for a few months and once the withdrawals are over, if you might run the easy runs a bit easier and if you might feel a little happier without having to worry about all the data points during and after a run. 🙂
I am starting to notice a difference and it might be a part of the answer.