Reservations about GPS Watches (Read 1795 times)

    I am also a data junkie, so I LOVE my Garmin. In fact, I can't run without it. (Well, I guess physically I could, but mentally it would drive me batty.) I love knowing my pace for each mile, what speed I am at during my run, or whether or not I should run that extra block to get an even 3 miles. (I am not a marathoner or typical RA profile - I only run a couple of times a week) IMHO, I think it adds a dimension to running that encourages me since I dread the run before I start (but love the finished feeling)

      I got a Garmin 205 two Christmas' ago.   I wasnt sure if I wanted one or not but Santa brought me one.   I really like wearing it on training runs so I can judge how fast/slow I'm training, but hate it and dont wear it in races because I was looking at it so much I was forgetting to feel my body.

       

      There are a LOT of settings......One I use OFTEN only displays the minutes run so while runniing its the same as a timex..    But after you are thry you can still upload the data and check your pace and so on,..

       

      I was a lot like you when I got mime - a bit reluctant - but I have to admit that I really like weariing it for training runs.....

      Champions are made when no one is watching

        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.

         

        I had a very similar experience. I bought a gps watch years ago for the freedom of ad libbing runs anywhere and still knowing my distance and pace. Then I realized I'd always had that freedom anyway, without having to worry if the toaster-oven-sized gadget on my wrist was charged. Now I use mine about 3 times a year, mostly when I want to see a map of where I ran off road.

        Runners run.


        Prince of Fatness

          Do I need a Garmin?  No, not really, but I like having one.  I know that there are other tools that I could use when I go exploring but the Garmin makes it a little easier, especially on trails.  Maybe I have a touch of OCD as well.  The other thing I like having it for is workouts, since I do not have access to a track.  That reminds me, I should actually start doing some workouts.

           

          I think that the trick is not letting the Garmin dictate your pace while you are running.

          Semi-retired.

            I'm one more who uses a Garmin to: (a) collect data for the training log; (b) set up repeats (intervals and such), just so I can run them away from a track and be able to focus on the running, not the distances/starting/stopping; and (c) occasionally check its readings so I can correlate my feel with pace/HR.

             

            I've said before, I'm amazed that people who demonstrate such self-discipline in their training can be so helpless to resist constantly looking at a little screen.  The Garmin has no special powers to enslave you.

            “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

              Another benefit to the garmin for adhoc runs is the built in "mapping" feature.  It may not show you city streets or trails, but it will show you where you went so you can get back to where you started if you took a wrong turn.  For me, I like having the security of knowing that even if I forget a turn or zone out, I can always tell where I am and back track by using the it.  Yes, you can do this without the garmin, but if you don't know where you are, you are going to spend a hell of a lot more time trying to figure it out.

               

              As far as wasting money, my wife paid $150 for my garmin (fathers day present) 2 1/2 years ago.   Most people waste more money on Starbucks or (insert your favorite vice here) per year. 

              DoppleBock


                I disagree - I run with enough people that are clearly slaves to the pace and avg pace - That it has an impact.  How do I know my mile splits when I start my watch at the start and end it at the end (Or these days do not time 75% of runs at all) - But when I look at the watch with 2 miles to go - I will always run the last 2 miles harder then I would have if I did not.

                 

                I am not saying this represents 100% of the people - But I would go with > 50% 

                 

                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.

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

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

                 


                In it for the long run..

                  I love my Garmin and consider it (besides shoes)  my most essential piece of running equipment.  I love the data and love knowing my exact distance/pace.  Some days I don't look at it at all during a run, other days I watch my HR and pace to keep the run easy.  I currently have a 310XT and it is the best one yet.   It is also great when I'm away from home and really have no idea of the distances. 

                  "It's not who wins the workout..."

                    I'm loving all the different perspectives on this. I'll admit the cost is a bit of a tough pill for me to swallow - Jeff sort of touched on it - I don't see it as a necessity. Plus, I enjoy the sense of superiority I experience telling GPS wearers that, "I run by feel." (joke)

                     

                    I'll stick with my Timex until such a time that a comrade is laid up with some type of running related injury, allowing me to borrow their GPS watch, and make a first hand appraisal of the whole thing. But again, you're recommendations and experience are appreciated - you've convinced me to find out for myself, if not immediately, at some point.

                    DoppleBock


                      I run with people at races and maybe 6-8 times a year.  I really like running alone.  But a friend has been bugging me to take me out to lunch to pick my brain about ultra-running.  I hate giving up a lunch run.  So I suggested we do a long run together and he can ask whatever he wants.

                       

                      To me he is the typical data freak and will look at his garmin 20-50 times a mile.

                       

                      Here is the map he sent me for our route with water stops

                       

                      http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/69515914

                       

                      Before I make it back home post run - he will have posted his run and blogged or tweated about it.

                       

                      If I was in charge - We would have run one direction for 80 minutes and then backtracked.  I wear a camelback - so I really do not care about water stops.  This will be the 1st run (except for a marathon and 50k race) I will do outside in months that I will know what pace I am running ... constantly.

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

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

                       

                      DoppleBock


                        For me - It might be weakness that I do not own a garmin.  I would not be able to resist letting it dictate my pace.  It would then slowly suck the joy out of running (What little is left) and leave me cold and empty inside ... followed by not running ... rapid weight gain and imminent death.

                         

                        But I am also a technology caveman.

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

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

                         

                          Count me as one who likes to use a Garmin.  The only time I don't use my 305 is when I forget it.  I even use it on the track as it has a big enough screen (if I set it to display only one parameter) that I can actually read off splits at a glance.  My near-field vision just isn't good enough anymore to see my old Timex screen during the fog of a hard interval.  Cost is trivial, relative to what I spend on race fees and travel costs, at ~$120 with the watch now in it's 3rd year.

                            It would then slowly suck the joy out of running (What little is left) and leave me cold and empty inside ...

                            You know what would come next, don't you?  Law school.

                             

                            While I'm a data junkie, I don't get that fix until after the run.  I'm like you, though: I enjoy being in the moment when running.

                            “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                              The other thing I like having it for is workouts, since I do not have access to a track. 

                               

                              Ditto this...I like using interval workouts when I can't get to the track (with the little beeps to tell when to start and stop, and especially the joyful musical tone when you complete the workout)....man, I need more friends.

                              2014 - Get 5k back under 20:00.  Stay healthy!

                                One of the best things about running is that I barely ever want to buy anything.