A GPS Running Watch Set My Running Free and It Can Set Yours Free Too!
If you are like me, you may be hesitant to purchase a GPS running watch. For many years I used the same drugstore Casio stopwatch time after time. It was $15, had a stopwatch and countdown timer, and that’s all I felt I needed. It would last me a few years, and when the battery died or the band broke I picked up a new one next time I was at the drug store. Eventually I moved up to a nicer watch, one that had a 30-lap memory. This was great for marathons and long tempo runs, when I was running too hard to remember all of those splits. I could just hit a button at each mile (or half mile) and check on the splits later.
So, what convinced me to take the plunge and plop down the money for a GPS running watch? The short answer is – freedom. That answer may surprise you. After all, isn’t technology supposed to have the opposite effect? Supposedly, gadgets tie us down, make us dependent on them, and even enslave us, so to speak. Some might argue that a GPS watch will make you a slave to numbers and stats, and you will lose sight of the joy of running. And, the truth is that I, like so many runners (and maybe you, too) want to be able to run wherever I feel like running, but at the same time I want to know how fast I went, how far, how hard, etc. As a result, when I wanted to know these things about my run, which was most of the time, I had to run on courses that I already knew, that I had measured, and that had been tested with countless other runs until I was confident in their accurate distance. I couldn’t take a side street to explore, and run up and down a hill a couple times for extra work, or even cross back and forth over the street too many times without losing valuable information about the run. Enter the GPS watch.
I have many friends, and a brother, who all owned and touted their watches for several years before I broke down and bought one. It was largely on their advice that I did buy one, and largely on their advice that chose the specific watch I purchased. And once I did, and once I ran that first run with my new watch, it was a whole new ball game.
The reason a GPS watch brings freedom is that it allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds. Suddenly, I could explore down that unknown trail, or veer off on some random road and not have to worry about how far I was going. The watch would keep track of my run for me so I didn’t have to. Yes, it’s true that you can focus too much on all the stats such a device provides. You can watch your pace progress minute by minute throughout the run and end up micromanaging yourself. But it’s also true that you can run and not pay any attention to the watch at all. You can cover it up under your sleeve and go about your merry way, just taking in the scenery and enjoying the “run”. And you still get all the stats afterwards, and even more stats than before. It really is the best of both worlds!
No longer do I have to map out courses using one of the many Google Maps tools online to figure out where to run. Ok, I still use that tool sometimes to plan out courses. But I don’t have to write down all the mile splits on a piece of paper and carry it with me, and then try to figure out which house or street corner in front of me is the same one I was looking at with the satellite view on my computer an hour before. When I’m on vacation in Central Oregon I can set out on a highway or a dusty trail and just run. Yes, a GPS running watch truly is freedom on the run!
For more information about how to select a GPS running watch go to http://www.infobarrel.com/How_to_buy_a_GPS_Running_Watch.