Time Yourself

For the past few weeks, I’ve been debating back and forth about whether or not to invest in a Garmin (or other brand, doesn’t matter) running watch. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and I’m still at a stalemate, so I thought I’d see what you guys think.

I’ve never been one of those runners who cares much about time. I’ve always been a pretty average/moderately fast runner, but I never worked hard at making myself quicker. I always ran just to…run. Recently though, I’ve had dreams of increasing my speed. It all started a few weeks ago when I PRed at the Shamrock Half Marathon. I liked setting a goal (albeit a very loose goal, but still a goal nonetheless) and achieving it. I realize that if I do interval training and apply myself, I can (hopefully) make myself faster. My marathon times have been pretty mediocre thus far: close to 5 hours for both, and I’d like to improve GREATLY upon that time for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. If I can run a 1:55 half, I’m thinking that I should be able to run a 4:30 marathon. Easier said than done, of course. It’s going to take some tough interval training and I will have to start paying attention to time during long runs. Which is why I’m thinking about buying a Garmin watch.

(Source)

Pros of buying a Garmin:

  • Can finally time myself and figure out what my average pace is/should be.
  • Improve on my speed for the marathon.
  • Be more accurate in my distances. Right now I use google maps, and perhaps this isn’t the best judge of running distance.
  • With that, I can try some new running trails since I won’t have to map them out beforehand. This would be great in marathon training since I tend to get bored of the one I do everyday.
  • Be more of a “real” runner. Don’t all the real runners have these things?

Cons of buying a Garmin:

  • It’s expensive! Ahhhhh!!!
  • Will I become one of those people who is constantly looking at my wrist during races? And the anxiety that comes with that.
  • Clunky, extra weight.
  • Waiting for¬†satellites, I’ve heard fun stories about this.
  • Will it take the fun out of running?

The big con that I’m worried about is that last one on the list. Will it take the fun out of my favorite sport? Thoughts? Should I get the watch or not?

I’ve got some time to figure out if this is a smart investment for me. No better place to contemplate such things than here, which may or may not have happened this weekend:

Happy (belated) Cinco de Mayo!

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7 Comments

  1. I just started using Cardio Trainer app on my phone. It is a GPS app that gives you your speed or pace,maps your distance, and syncs with polar hrm. It also has a built in music player so you dont have to start your music first, it just does it automatically. Best of all, its free. You might try it first before you splurge on the Garmin…

    Reply
    • Yeah, I’d say the only thing that I don’t like about using an app is that I don’t like to run with my phone. I don’t like to have anything in my hand when I’m running long distances (plus, I’m afraid that I’ll drop it). I would buy an arm band, but then I can’t see the screen to monitor my pace which is the whole reason I want something in the first place.

      Reply
      • I have an armband that is clear on front so you can both see and manipulate your screen through the clear plastic. I think I ordered it online. It works pretty well.

  2. Aaron

     /  May 6, 2012

    +1. I was thinking while reading…. “you can do all that with a smart phone!” But I totally understand the appeal (and cool factor) of a dedicated device.
    If you consider that expensive, I shudder to think what you would say about some of my hobbies!…. =P

    Reply
    • Hahahaha I think you’d be surprised at how much money goes into just running. By the time you add up shoes, dry-fit clothes (for warm and cold weather), race fees (upwards to $100+ per race), iPod, water bottle, fancy Garmin devices, etc things start getting pricey!

      Reply
  3. Jenna Dillon

     /  May 10, 2012

    My dad has one and he loves it.

    Reply
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