05 Dec Three Ways To Tell If You Are ADDICTED To Your GPS Watch.
The GPS watch is probably the biggest and most popular technological advancement in running. Before I delve deep into my thoughts around them. I thought I’d make a quick statement.
I have one, I love using it and I will never be throwing it away (until I get a new one!)
BUT – I have this little theory thats been brewing for a little while. And I firmly believe I’m not the only person who suffers from a similar issue.
And it’s this:
“We (as runners) put WAY too much pressure on ourselves”
Honestly, how many previous events have you lined up at hoping to grab a pb at?
How many events or training runs have you finished and looked at your watch with a hint of disappointment?
I bet the disappointed times outweigh the positive in number of occurrences (but hopefully not in emotional terms – otherwise… whats the point?)
Most of the runners I talk to post race will deeply analyse their stats from their GPS watch:
“Mile one was too fast, I just blew up, mile six was the worst”
“Mile twenty I just hit the wall, I definitely went out too quickly”
“I looked at my GPS watch at mile 4 and I was well behind pace, so I though, whats the point and just jogged the rest”
Those three quotes, aren’t direct quotes, but they are pretty close to what I have heard runners say and without a doubt I’ve come out with something similar on a few past occasions too!
So here are three ways to tell if you are addicted to your GPS Watch:
- You can’t possibly entertain the thought of going for a run without it on your wrist… “But how would Strava know what I have done, and if it’s not on Strava, then it doesn’t exist”Often, this is often closely linked pushing harder in training runs to get a better average speed just in case anyone is looking.
- You have a beep set to every mile or kilometre and as soon as you hear the beep, you have to check the split, and then compare this split with all the other splits you can remember. Sometimes, you’ll even defend that previous split as being slower because it was a little hillier.I always used to aim to get quicker throughout each run, it even got to the point where I’d mark out courses in my head that started more uphill and finished coming down so that I had that positive buzz at the end of a run feeling like I was getting stronger.
- On completion of said run, the analysis takes place, but not only looking at your finish time, but checking each mile or kilometre split and then checking this against the elevation profile to see if you were running uphill or actually just getting slower.Of course these don’t include the little black book of excuses we can all find to defend each and every run and it’s splits!
Some (or all of these) might sound familiar. And they are a little tongue in cheek too. But they are things that I used to do, and have now weaned myself off of (most of the time) for my own mental health more than anything else.
It may or may not work for you. But if you find yourself beating yourself up during and after a run, purely based on the numbers that are displayed on the screen, then, in my humble opinion, you are missing the point of running entirely.
Yes running is a numbers game, but if the numbers are taking over the enjoyment of running, we need to identify how we can change the game for you.
Don’t hate running.
Don’t beat yourself up over the numbers.
Realise that numbers are just that – numbers.
What matters most is how you FEEL.
When you run, you should feel freedom, happy, relaxed and living in the moment. Not worrying about how to speed up because the last split that came through wasn’t quick enough.
I can guarantee, when you take the numbers out of the equation and simply run. You’ll enjoy it more and with enjoyment will come improved performance.
You also have the most advanced computer at your disposal on each and every run. A computer that sits between your ears and will automatically tell you if you are running too fast of too easy, although admittedly, for some runners, this computer does have a habit of being a bit over or under ambitious!
Now before you grab your GPS watch from your wrist and lob it in the bin… This isn’t a post from me telling you to throw it away .
Absolutely you should record everything, but don’t worry about it when it gets uploaded. Or just hide it from the public view if you don’t want the pressure of everyone seeing what you are up to, this public view is often one of the hardest things for many people.
Yes, it offers a degree of accountability, but if you are punishing yourself during and after running, then this type of accountability isn’t for you.
On this point, the best thing I did was to employ a coach to do all of my analysis for me, so all I have to do is run (you can check out our coaching options here), in this method you get accountability but without public judgement.
Plus, I guarantee the chat you’ll have with a coach about your running splits will be a whole lot more positive than the conversation you have in your head about your running (and thats coming from someone who would beat themselves up a lot).
Hopefully this has helped you out a little, I’m interested to know what you think about this subject. Pop a comment below and let me know if you think you could ever run without your watch on display.
P.S. if this post has helped you, chances are it could help another runner too, in which case please share it using one of the buttons below:
Ant is the creator of RunCamp. Everyday his goals are to educate, motivate and inspire runners and triathletes to make themselves better than they were yesterday.
Running in his eyes is a journey, and through his coaching he aims to make everyone’s journeys more enjoyable.
As well as running, you’ll find Ant regularly taking part in triathlons, from sprint distance up to full Ironmans.
He also has a big weakness in the forms of Papa John’s pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so if you ever want to get an easier session, thats one way to get one!