I’m a Gadget Gal and . . .

Proud of It!

It’s no secret that I love my gadgets. You won’t find me running naked (aka no GPS watch). Some runners can’t be bothered to check their stats on the run. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with running naked — or using your watch to guide you through a run. It’s all good. You do you.

Gadgets help me recover wisely, actually

Why I enjoy my stats
Some runners can just run, never thinking about their mileage or pace, and it all works out for them. Other runners have a tendency to push their bodies too hard, for one reason or another.

A GPS Watch can help you check yourself before you wreck yourself:

  • I have definitely enjoyed being able to keep my eye on my heart rate (HR) while I run. It’s really easy to run easy runs too hard — and then wonder why you’re not hitting paces — or not feeling recovered (for those who don’t care about pace).
  • I have also found that running by HR, I need to start out slower than I really think I do — even for easy runs, not just speedwork or races! — to make sure I’m not burning up all my fuel right out of the gate. It’s so easy to just run fast at the start of a run. Keeping my HR lower than I want it to at the beginning can mean the difference between feeling good at the end of the run or feeling like I’m dying.
  • Totally unrelated to pace, I like to know my distance. I rarely have a route in mind when I go out for a run, and while I have loops I do all the time, they’re varied and I don’t really know their distance.
  • Hand in hand with knowing the distance I’ve run, is knowing when it’s time to turn around. Although I’ve been guilty of poor runner math many times and had to walk way longer to cool down than I planned on — in the cold, in the heat, in the rain.

Why it’s good to run naked
I admire the people who love to run “naked”. I’m good at not paying attention to pace at times, but I like my stats, so the watch is always running. There’s still something to be said for ditching the watch:

  • Your body is pretty smart. Running without checking your pace allows you to check in with your body more, and lets you learn what a pace actually feels like (if pace is important to you).
  • Again, your body is smart. You may have speedwork on your plan, and your body might be telling you no way, jose. Running naked (by feel) is a good way to honor your body.
  • Sometimes it’s a bummer when we’re trying to run a certain pace, and we come up short. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
  • It can be more fun to do whatever the heck you (or your body) feels like doing. Feel like your burning out? Ditch the watch. Just run. Enjoy.
  • When you’re not looking at your watch, you’re much more likely to take in the scenery around you. That can make you happier — and make a hard run feel easier.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with running with a watch — or without it. Can’t we all just get along? If you’re happy, I’m happy, and let’s not try to convince each other that our way is the best way. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Final thoughts
I won’t be joining the naked running brigade any time soon. I’ll probably continue to keep an eye on my HR during easy runs. That’s the only thing I check during easy runs, though, just to make sure I’m actually taking it easy.

I do feel as though I’ve become much more aware (most of the time, anyway) of what my body wants this year. It probably helped that I haven’t been training for any big goals in a long time. There was enough pressure in my life. That is one of the most important things about running naked: getting back in tune with your body. Yoga can help with that, too, of course, and there has been lots of Yoga this year as well.

I am not going to try to convince you that data is important. Please don’t try to convince me that running by feel is the be all, end all of running. There’s room for all of us in running.

Are you #teamgadget or #teamnaked?

Do you enjoy your runs more when you’re unaware of pace? Since starting to train by HR (loosely), I’m rarely aware of pace on most runs. I don’t think it makes a difference to me mentally. I do think it helps me to keep things easy when they should be easy.

What’s your favorite running gadget? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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41 thoughts on “I’m a Gadget Gal and . . .

  1. I could not imagine running without my Garmin! I use it to check pace and distance. I don’t check the HR, although I think you are right, it is a very good indicator for taking the easy runs truly easy.
    Whenever I want to enjoy my run and soak in the scenery, I just don’t look at my watch.
    Strangely, during races I don’t look at my watch, I just run by effort.
    And that photo! Are these 400 repeats or repeats for 400 meters?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For most of my runs, all I have showing is HR. So I don’t know pace (until the end of each mile). That’s my way of “running naked”.

      I do look at my watch in races, though. Too easy to go out too fast or slow down too much at the end.

      Definitely 400m on the watch — I shudder to think about 400 repeats!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You know how I feel.

    I usually run with others. So I let them dictate the pace. Having company is more fun than running fast or doing drills.

    I use a watch to check distance. But I let my legs tell me how far. I don’t have to stick to a plan.

    If I do use one, I delete it without looking at the stats. No time for that. Unless it’s a race and I post them for the blog then delete.

    You have to enjoy the run and if a watch helps you, so be it. If it becomes an obsession then I say Just relax and run naked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I rarely actually know what pace I’m running at, because for the most part, all I display is HR now. Which lets me know whether I’m running too fast — I’ve personally found it really helpful.

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      1. Glad that is working for you. Many runners do like to see their HR.
        You don’t download the stats and compare your pace for your runs? That’s what I meant about running naked…no stats.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Running naked to me means not having the watch going at all. Which I don’t do. I sometimes compare paces, but not all the time.

        I actually am rarely even aware of pace since the only thing I have my watch display for most runs is HR (although it does wonky things sometimes so sometimes I get a glimpse, but not on purpose).

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  3. I run with a watch. I keep track of weekly distance primarily. I do keep tabs on my heart rate. The longer I have been running the more efficient it has become. As a back of the packer, it has been nice to see improvements in my running.

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  4. Team gadget here! Although I don’t go crazy and buy the watch with ALL the features–not saying I wouldn’t want one, I just can’t justify it. I am a numbers person and I like tracking all the stats. I think it’s interesting.

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  5. Although I don’t need the “latest and greatest” when it comes to technology (I think my Garmin watch is 4 or 5 years old?), I do like using gadgets to track my fitness. I’ve tried running without my watch and it just felt odd, lol. Also at OTF we use heart rate monitors during class so that we can see how hard we’re working and I like that as well.

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  6. Um, I’m not going to pick a team because I do both. I mostly wear my watch because the training status and VO2max info fascinates me. But I don’t pay attention to distance or pace, now that I’m not on a training plan. I got my Fenix mostly for triathlon. I know I don’t use a fraction of all it does.

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    1. I’m kind of fascinated by VO2max, even tho I know it’s not real accurate. I can’t figure out what I need to do to increase, and I thought for sure today’s easy run would have it going down, especially as my HR went a bit wonky (high) for a while. But nope, didn’t budge.

      I also really do find I’ve been enjoying loosely training by HR. I know that it’s way to easy to run hard when I’m not really recovered, and that HR data is just a little more data to help me figure that out.

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  7. Team NAKED! I almost never run with a watch. I have run for so many years around my neighborhood and area that I have a pretty good approximation of miles. I do track miles (loosely to know wear on shoes).

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    1. Oddly enough, I don’t track my miles for my shoes, and I really should — especially since I rotate through a few pairs during a training cycle (more cushioned on easy days, minimalist for speed work/long runs).

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  8. I love my watch – I like to keep an eye on my pace to make sure I’m not overdoing it at the start of a long run, and it now tells me if I was working harder than usual which is great for basically making sure I’m OK. The heart rate data was useful when I was on medication that affected my blood pressure and heart rate, and I also love knowing where I went and how far without having to work it out, remember it and map it at home, as I used to have to do!

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  9. You probably know I run naked (sans watch) most of the time. That’s what I know from so many years (and races) without a Garmin LOL For myself, I get stressed seeing the stats as I’m in motion (that’s when I can actually read them), so I just do better not knowing the info until afterward. I do like utilizing the GPS feature…not gonna lie, that’s what I usually use my watch for 😉

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    1. I run around my neighborhood a lot, but I don’t really have a route that this is 3 miles, this is 4 miles . . . I like to mix things up, doing the same thing over & over is incredibly boring to me, so I run where I feel like on that day. So the watch is useful for that!

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  10. I do always run w my watch as well. Mostly, I like to know how far I’ve gone and when to turn around etc. Sometimes, I don’t look at my pace until I am done. If I am feeling good, I am feeing good and pace does not matter to me that much anymore. Thanks for joining the Runners’ roundup

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve been thinking about monitoring my HR on my runs but haven’t yet.
    I think it’s funny that you don’t have a route planned out before you run. I always know exactly which way I’m going and know all the miles in every direction from my house.

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    1. I definitely have a general idea of the miles in every direction. I usually have a route in mind, but not always. Often it’s because I either want hills or don’t want hills. But no, I pretty much just go whichever way I feel like.

      It’s the same at the park I run at often.

      I just like variety!

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  12. Definitely Team Gadget. I don’t obsess over my time but I do like to check it out when I’m running. I’ve become pretty good at guessing what my current speed is and also the distance I’ve run. I’ll have a number for each in my head, then check my watch and usually I’m pretty close. It helps the miles pass by quicker anyway!

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  13. A little bit of both. I love my Garmin, but if it’s dead, I’ll still go for a run. I know most of my routes to within a tenth of a mile or so, so I can look at start/end time on fitbit (I don’t wear a watch) and know I ran 4 miles in X distance. Or 3.3 which I’ve done some 20 times after work. I’ve found I rarely look back on specific splits even though I love them initially

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    1. Since my Garmin is also essentially my Fitbit, I pretty much never let it die. Although sometimes the charge gets really low, and I was surprised at how low it got with my long run this past weekend.

      I do sometimes look back at splits — like, a year ago. Sometimes, sometimes not.

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    1. It does seem as though bloggers are leaning a bit more towards #teamgadget. Having HR available on my Garmin was kind of a game changer, because that way I’m not paying attention to pace very often.

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  14. I am on Team Gadget here. I have a Garmin 225 (couple years old) and I love it. I hope it never breaks. I use it mostly for distance, pace, and to track the miles of my shoes. I don’t always check my data during a race or run. When I ran in Atlanta, I knew I was running “slow” (13, 14, and 15 minute miles) since I was walking a lot so why keep checking my watch. 🙂

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