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Thursday, May 6, 2010

To Garmin...Or NOT to Garmin

That is the question!

This is the great debate that has been going on inside me for the past couple of months.  Last Christmas I got some cash to put towards a Garmin and I've been setting a little money aside each month ever since.  Well by next month I'll have the cash, I'm just not sure I have the desire anymore.

My current tool is my Ipod Nano.  It has my tunes, a timer, a lap button (helpful at the track or if I know the mile-posts..which I don't usually), and keeps track of my workouts.  It has served me well.  It is kinda a pain to have to hit the lap button everytime I complete a lap but maybe I'm just kinda lazy. ;)

After setting my goals at the first of this year I was sure that the Garmin 305 would be key in helping me attain them.  It would spit out my mileage, pace, and heart rate if so desired.  However, since discovering DailyMile I have mapped my runs and it spits out this information for me (except for the HR but I'm not totally interested in that anyways).  I have been running for so long now...about 15 years...that I'm pretty good at reading my body and judging how fast I can push myself.  Is checking my pace going to help or hinder me? 

During my 10k last Saturday I felt great!  I was running with energy, I was happy with my performance, and in the lead of the ladies!  I ended up finishing the race at 46.57 and pretty satisfied for the first race of the year.  As I was running I asked myself if I wish I new my pace and surprisingly the answer was NO.  I wanted to just act on how good I was doing at that moment and ride it to the end.  I didn't want to focus on how much faster I should be going or worrying if I was off my goal pace.  Should I just listen to how my body wants to run? 

Advantages

One ~ I can totally see the potential the Garmin provides in training for longer distances.  I think it more critical to have a pace in mind in a 1/2 or marathon so that you can make it to the finish line or get a BQ.

Two ~ I think it could be beneficial to use in training, i.e. training against my virtual partner, setting a pace for interval training, etc...

Maybe I just don't know all the things I could do with the Garmin and so that's the main reason for this post.  I want some opinions.  Do you love/dislike your Garmin?  What is your favorite thing about it?  Do you think it would do me some good to have it in the 5/10k's?  HELP!!!

6 comments:

Glenn Jones said...

Boy. Don't get me started on the beneits of the Garmin. I could go on for days.

I'll just say this - it's tough to improve without data, and the Garmin provides data in an immediate and complete fashion. One day, you might get into heart rate training (used to just if youare trainig too hard). I cannot tell you how important it is to me to make sure I'm not only running the right distance, but also in the proper zone (aerobic for long runs, VO2Max for intervals, LT for tempo runs). The Garmin is the best way to get real time feedback.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

Really the down side to a Garmin is that you would have been checking it during that entire race. I think if you are enjoying running then you really don't need it. If you have some new speed goals, it really becomes very, very helpful.

I also love it for marathon training because I can go run 18 miles just by running, rather than mapping it out ahead of time

Lisa said...

I bought a pretty low key polar watch last year. Sometimes I wish I had one with GPS, but I know so many people here in the city that have problems with the GPS and it hardly ever works or it takes 15 minutes to get a signal! I don't envy your debate. it's a tough one. Good luck!

Stuart said...

Depends on your training needs but it's a great tool!

chris mcpeake said...

greatest running purchase I ever made. You will love it.

Tracy said...

I purchased my Garmin 2 weeks ago and I love it. I can't imagine life without it now, it really makes a huge difference in my runs, my training and my self awareness. It was one of the best purchases I have ever made.