TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

What kind Of Garmin Runner Are You?

Lots of people run naked – that is without a garmin.  Some of my friends say that the garmin on their wrist takes the fun out of running.  They become too concerned with stats and don’t enjoy the scenery and the other joys of running. 

I feel differently.  For me, the garmin does not “tie me down.”  The garmin does just the opposite – it sets me free.  I can run anywhere I want to and the garmin knows pretty dang well how far I travelled and more importantly to me, how many feet I climbed.  (I don’t care much about pace unless I’m training, but I do enjoy keeping track of mileage and elevation since I am a long distance runner of pretty extreme trails – extreme for my locale anyway).  Before my garmin days, I would only run routes that I knew the mileage, or a route I could drive to measure the mileage.  Otherwise, I’d use GoogleEarth software to measure miles, which was a pain in the butt, especially on trails.  GoogleEarth looks from above, which makes measuring trails difficult because most of the time all I can see on the screen is tree tops (not trails).

For me, the garmin is a thumbs up!  And if you’ve ever been a spectator at a race, be it trail or road, what do you notice 99.9% of the runners do at the finish line?  They look down at their wrist and stop the garmin.  LOL.

So, I’m wondering this:  What kind of garmin wearer are you?

1.  Are you “The-one-who-forgets-to-start/stop-your-garmin?”  That’s me!! I don’t know how many times I’ve been into my run or race and noticed, yikes!  I didn’t start my garmin.  I’m the one asking, “What does your garmin read?”  That way I know how much to add to my ending mileage.  I’m also the one driving off, having forgotten to stop my garmin.  Of course, that screws up my pace big time.  But at the same time, it’s not too difficult to figure out the actual mileage I ran, judging by the dramatic pace increase on the graph.

2.  Are you “The-one-who-pauses-your-garmin-every-time-you-stop, say to get something out of your pack, or make a pit-stop?”  I don’t do this because they don’t stop the clock when I stop at the outhouse or duck behind a bush in races.  Even though I’m not this garmin user, #2 garmin users suffer from the same thing as #1 above (me).  I don’t know how many times my running friends have exclaimed, “Dang!  I forgot to restart my garmin.”  Like myself, they ask about the group, “What does your garmin read?”  And I have to laugh.  Smile with tongue out

3.  Or are you “The-one-who-sets-your-garmin-to-pause-every-time-you stop?”  If so, you probably know by now, this doesn’t work well.  Too often, the garmin does not restart when you begin running again.  I know very few garmin runners who still set their garmin this way.   Many have tried, few have succeeded. 

So, what kind of garmin wearer are you?  Or do you even wear a garmin?  And if so, what is the most important stat that it gives you? Mine are mileage and pretty obviously, elevation.  For me, besides discovering trails, the garmin was the best thing that has happened to my running. 

10 comments:

  1. Ha! I got my Garmin pretty recently, but i'm with you - I am always forgetting to turn it off and on, and never stop it if I take my own break (water, bathroom, gu, whatever). Auto-pause is kind of a pet peeve, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE ACTUALLY DOING?!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Giraffy. Everyone I know has a problem with auto-pause. Hope you have fun with your garmin. I really enjoy mine.

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  2. #3 on the roads and bike
    #4 on the trails, turn it on and then off and the end

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    1. Thanks for reading Stuart. I figured you were a garmin user, had to be with all your stats & graphs. I love mine -- gives me all kinds of data to input into my crazy spreadsheet.

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  3. I never forget to start mine as I'm overly obsessed with my stats, but I have been known to forget to stop it. And it is OH so frustrating. I too think that pausing it is cheating! It gives you an inflated sense of accomplishment. What's the point? Plus I'd bet that you're more likely to take more breaks if you know you can erase them from the garmin. Mileage and pace are the biggest stats for me, but just being able to look at your run on the map is SO COOL!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Adam. I am overly obsessed with stats too (some stats, LOL). I actually forgot to start my garmin at my last race!!!! I love, love, love being able to look at the map.

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  4. Im obsessed with my Garmin... but I dont let it "run" me.
    I like:
    - seeing my HR
    - knowing my distance
    - knowing my pace (afterwards)
    - and tracking miles

    I run by feel so if my HR feels like its high then I slow down, or if my breathing is out of whack then I slow down and let it catch up. Its nice to see those "problems" on the Garmin too so I know its real and not in my head. I dont obsess over pace as Im running, but I do like to keep track of it in the hopes of getting faster.

    Oh and I dont have my garmin set to auto pause and I only stop it if Im going to be taking a long-ish break, otherwise I just let it run.

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    1. Thanks for reading Khourt! One thing I don't do is use the heart rate. When I had a gym membership I used their equipment for a heart rate, and occasionally take my resting heart rate.

      I certainly don't obsess over pace either.

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  5. I'm a naked runner. No Garmin or other GPS. I do have a watch with a stop watch and start it at the beginning of my run and stop it at the end. I never look at it during a run unless there is some specific reason to do so.

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    1. Very interesting to know this Johann. I am such a stats collector, that I really like having my garmin. For a few years though all I ran with was a watch, and I too did not much look at it. : )

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