How fast, how long?
As a marathon runner in the early 1990’s much of my training took place in Sutton Park. As I look back at my training diaries I see entries such as ‘35 minutes easy, 5 miles, felt ok’ These days we have numerous measuring devises to make recording far more specific – but is it all for the better?
This week I am going to look at the GPS watch or speed distance devise. This can give us an accurate measurement of distance and pace.
Pace devises can be good motivational tools, however, having constant access to ones pace can also prove to be stressful. There may be a tendency to try to beat your pace on every run. If you are recovering from a marathon, knowing your pace can aid recovery. You may be on a ‘high’ following the event and ready to conquer the world. You will be more disciplined with your recovery if you know the exact pace you are running. Paced watches can help you be aware of the pace you run – you can then associate how you feel at this pace and then reproduce it without the gadget.
A disadvantage of these watches is that they don’t take into account the terrain, hills or weather conditions. It would be wrong to compare your pace on wet, muddy trails in a gale to a summers evening running along a relatively flat road surface. Relying on a GPS can stop us thinking about how we feel and take the enjoyment out of running.
So, if I had had access to a GPS watch in the 1990’s would I have used it? Well, yes but I wouldn’t have used it on every run. I would still have those runs where I just ran for 35 minutes through the muddy trails in Sutton Park in the wind and rain and recorded in my diary yet another 5 miler. (Sadly, now I discover these runs were never quite 5 miles!)