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.
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.