What are the advantages of using gadgets, gizmos and apps to track your running? Are they essential and should you aim to run without them every so often?
Gadgets, gizmos and apps are amazing
Gadgets, gizmos and apps are amazing and most runners use them. You can choose from many different ones. They give you all sorts of information about your run, from how far you have run to what the weather was like!
How much of what they tell you do you actually know already?
Things like the day, date, time, route, and pace of your run, you really know anyway. Yes it will tell you your pace as you run along but this is not very accurate. It is more accurate over a mile but second by second it’s not worth looking at.
What useful information can they give you?
It is useful to know how far you have run and to be able to keep a record of your runs. Sometimes apps tell you how much recovery you will need after a run. They also compare ‘matched runs’ so that you can see whether you are improving. Be careful though as it’s tempting to push yourself to make sure your matched runs are faster each time.
What don’t they tell you?
Running apps don’t tell you how much effort you are putting in, if your legs are aching, if you are tired or if you have a niggly knee. These are more important than the facts an app gives you. If you are tired or you have achy legs you will be running slower. You need to listen to what your body is telling you. The temptation is to feel bad because your app says you are running slower and as a result you feel you should push on. Actually you are running slower for a reason. You need to recover!
Are running apps essential?
All you really need to know what is the purpose of your run and why you are doing it. Is it a recovery run or a long run for example? If an app teaches you to be feeling based then that’s brilliant. If the watch is dictating what you do, you are running only to your watch and it’s getting in the way of you being feeling based it’s not so good.
Try running without your app. Reduce the noise on your runs.
Just use it to keep a record of your runs.
Try a naked wrist run or a whole week. See how you get on.
The bottom line is – If you love your app crack on but make sure you are listening to your body!
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