Reservations about GPS Watches (Read 1795 times)

    I've flirted with purchasing GPS watches on a handful of occasions now, but have never pulled the trigger. I convince myself each time that the simplicity of being in the moment, listening to my breathing, my body, and running by feel would be compromised by having a GPS watch.

     

    I run a loop when I'm targeting specific paces as I know where the mile splits are (i.e. second telephone pole between 13th and 14th, etc). And, I enjoy the routine of seeing the same places on a regular basis. For tempo runs its great for gauging my effort.

     

    But, when it comes to my long runs, I can imagine how nice it would be to take off without a set path and just watch the pace on my wrist.

     

    Anybody have similar reservations before getting a GPS watch? Are my fears that the GPS would "take-hold" of my attention unfounded?

     

    I guess it's a bit of a philosophical issue more than anything else - and, furthermore, different for each individual.

    DoppleBock


      I do not own one - No desire.

       

      When I do a long run - I run by feel.  If I am running somewhere I do not know approximate distance - I run by time.  At my current fitness level - I would run out 82-85 minutes depending on preceived speed - Turn around and run back and call it 20 miles.  It if was 19.5 or 20.5 I do not care!  If in that run I wanted to do some mile repeats - Currently I would run hard for 6.5-7 minutes then recover and repeat.  If the pace was 6:30 or 6:50 who cares.

       

      But most people like their data

       

      , I enjoy the routine of seeing the same places on a regular basis. For tempo runs its great for gauging my effort.

       

      But, when it comes to my long runs, I can imagine how nice it would be to take off without a set path and just watch the pace on my wrist.

      http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

      2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

       


      an amazing likeness

        The GPS data doesn't control you any more or less than knowing the telephone pole #14 is your mile split and your watch is giving you time. And, there's no requirement that you have the GPS display anything that would influence you.  (I often have have the display under a long sleeve, or simply set to show only compass heading and time of day...)

         

        The freedom of just going where the whim takes you and having a distance/time/splits data set is what you gain.

        Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

          Just ignore it when you want to, you are not obliged to look at it.  The only number I have permanently displayed on mine is my heart rate and I'm not a slave to that either as my log will prove.

          Do what you want, just how you like. Nobody has to know.

            I was the same way about hand held water bottles.  But then I bought one, and sometimes I use it, and sometimes it stays in my car or gym bag.

             

            Buy one.  They're handy and give you cool data.  When you feel like just running, like our ancestors, leave it at home and go run a herd of deer to exhaustion.  Wink        When you want some specific info, strap it on and rev it up. 

             

            Oh, and since you're not totally committed, buy a used one off Craigslist or eBay.  Cheaper that way.

              I've used a Garmin for the past three years and I'll never run without one again.


              A Saucy Wench

                The display fields are user settable.  If you are afraid you would watch the pace instead of going by feel set the data screen to some totally useless number (elevation is a good one, GPS watches SUCK at elevation) and then you can just run but still have all your data when you get home.

                 

                Or you can set just distance if you want that info.  Or whatever.  Its a tool, its not a mind sucking machine.  Thats what the internet is for.

                I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

                 

                "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

                  I've flirted with purchasing GPS watches on a handful of occasions now, but have never pulled the trigger. I convince myself each time that the simplicity of being in the moment, listening to my breathing, my body, and running by feel would be compromised by having a GPS watch.

                   

                  I run a loop when I'm targeting specific paces as I know where the mile splits are (i.e. second telephone pole between 13th and 14th, etc). And, I enjoy the routine of seeing the same places on a regular basis. For tempo runs its great for gauging my effort.

                   

                  But, when it comes to my long runs, I can imagine how nice it would be to take off without a set path and just watch the pace on my wrist.

                   

                  Anybody have similar reservations before getting a GPS watch? Are my fears that the GPS would "take-hold" of my attention unfounded?

                   

                  I guess it's a bit of a philosophical issue more than anything else - and, furthermore, different for each individual.

                   

                  I bought a GPS watch for exactly this reason. I wore it for about two weeks until I came to the realization that  before I bought the watch I could go anywhere I wanted anyways and that I knew how far I went about as accurately as the satellites did. So, I stopped using my GPS watch. It sat in a drawer for 3 months and then I gave it away.

                   

                  So, no, I think the primary risk is not that it will take hold of your attention. The risk is wasting your money on something you don't need, but hey that's the American Dream.

                    The display fields are user settable.  If you are afraid you would watch the pace instead of going by feel set the data screen to some totally useless number (elevation is a good one, GPS watches SUCK at elevation) and then you can just run but still have all your data when you get home.

                     

                    Or you can set just distance if you want that info.  Or whatever.  Its a tool, its not a mind sucking machine.  Thats what the internet is for.

                     

                     Yup.  On most days, I just have one data field up: minutes and seconds. That way I can run around town (or the lake) for whatever time I have before work.

                     

                    That being said, when I'm under the gun to hit a pace, I lean on it.  I am unlearning that these days. 

                     

                    So, yeah, if you wanna roam free without losing your runnerly instincts, just hide the unwanted fields. In that case, though, as Jeff said, you could just save your money.  

                     

                    I hear it is totally anathema to bring that thing onto a track.  BEWARE. 

                    "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


                    old woman w/hobby

                      The display fields are user settable.  If you are afraid you would watch the pace instead of going by feel set the data screen to some totally useless number (elevation is a good one, GPS watches SUCK at elevation) and then you can just run but still have all your data when you get home.

                       

                      Or you can set just distance if you want that info.  Or whatever.  Its a tool, its not a mind sucking machine.  Thats what the internet is for.

                       

                      Ha!  Ha!  Yes this.

                      steph  

                       

                      OCD  If you don't laugh...   


                      Feeling the growl again

                          Its a tool, its not a mind sucking machine.  Thats what the internet  Sport Jester is for.

                         

                        FIFY

                         

                        I use mine a good amount...an ancient Garmin 201 still limping along.  It's basically an odometer, and a tool to keep me from going too fast on easy days.  I rarely get on a track anymore so I use it to do "track workouts" on the road as well.

                         

                        I've never hooked it up to a computer.  I always take my run up to the next full quarter mile (mind trick), so all I have is a distance/time to put in my log along with other details I feel are important.

                         

                        It's only something that will suck you in if you let it.

                         

                        I travel quite a bit for work.  It's pretty nice to have in new locations to measure/map out runs and be able to do whatever is on the schedule, no matter where I am.

                        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                         

                          If you have an iPhone or and Android, you could try running with the RunKeeper app a few times to see if you like it.

                          I ran with RunKeeper for a while and then bought a Garmin, but I am a data junkie. 

                           

                          --

                          Nashville, TN

                           

                            If you have an iPhone or and Android, you could try running with the RunKeeper app a few times to see if you like it.

                            I ran with RunKeeper for a while and then bought a Garmin, but I am a data junkie. 

                             

                            One problem with running with 'phones is that they tend not to be very waterproof, although you can get waterproof containers for them


                            tomatolover

                              I guess I'm in the minority, but I LOVE MY GARMIN...i love knowing where i've gone, how far i've gone, how fast i've gone...prior to garmin, i was absolutely clueless about my "easy pace" and never strayed past the beaten route.  Now, i'll try out new routes, run crazy ones while on vacation (and use the pointer to get back to "home"), and I don't have to  worry figuring out how i'm gonna log the milage on RA. It's changed my running for the better.

                                I guess I'm a bit like sixelagogo (and not only because I'm growing 30+ different kinds of tomatoes). 

                                I don't use a GPS watch, but I use a Polar wearlink+ bluetooth HRM that connects to my android, and I use Sportstracklive to record my runs and my HeartRate.
                                It really keeps me more motivated, to know all kinds of data...

                                Running in Belgium
                                Ann