The philosophy of no watch (Read 1931 times)


    Is ditching the watch a good idea? 


    No idea. I personally love to run "free", every time I finish a training season I take a few weeks of and only run long relaxing runs on weekends.
    Some only with a watch to remind me to go back home and many just looking at the hour when I leave. I log them but I just look at the clock again when I'm back home.


    I bought a small compass to know where I'm heading too.


    I also go with huaraches.


    I feels GREAT. I love it.


    But... number crunching is my second nature. I'm just that type of person, I love setting up plans, taking care of variables, logging.


    Of course, a moment arrives when I have go enough of one of them... once my target races are run I am fed up with number crunching and planning and I just want to get out there lost alone with myself and very little more. But after the few weeks I am again eager to start putting myself to the limit, measuring stuff and testing this and that... 


    I guess that one day will come in my distant future when I won't give a f**k about timings, variables and stuff and I am sure that I will still be out there on the roads or trails...




    "If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years,
    then will power is no longer a problem. It's raining? That doesn't matter.
    I am tired? That's besides the point. It's simply that I just have to."

    Emil Zatopek


      I think everyone needs to do what works for them, realizing there are advantages and disadvantages to various approaches. In my own case, I like using a watch to keep my pace "in the ballpark," but I also make a point to integrate "feel" and try to remain flexible. To that end getting a accurate lactate threshold heart-rate reading and adjusting training according to heart-rate zones has been very helpful for training at an appropriate intensity during my 5K, 10K, and tempo runs. The disadvantage is that learning how to train according to HR correctly can involve a significant amount of self-education, which takes a lot of time. Using HR requires taking a flexible approach, integrating "feel" as well. This is in part due to a common phenomenon know as "cardiac drift." Your HR can also vary some from day to day. At any rate, the point here is that even though this is a tool I find helpful and enjoy using, it does have disadvantages. As such, everyone needs to find what works for them. For many, running by feel is the way to go. I know many runners that like having a GPS watch just to track distance, but generally pace themselves according to feel. For newer runners just getting into speed and tempo work, this may be a little difficult as they may over or undershoot the appropriate pace for the workout (e.g. - disadvantage). More experienced runners may already have a "feel" for these various training zones and as such running by feel works for them. Some also find it more enjoyable just to ditch the watch and enjoy the view.

        I like to have everything logged - so that's one reason to use the watch - ease of logging.


        For easy/recovery runs I think there is a danger is pushing too hard is you see a slow pace. That might be a reason to avoid the watch if you can't let go and relax.


        For other runs when I have a specific pace target for at least some section of the run I like to have the watch.