Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Shame on me

I bought a Garmin!
Running is a simple matter that boils down to just two things, stride length and stride frequency. No-one poo-pooed the use of a Garmin more than I did, arguing that it made running obsessional rather than something to be enjoyed. When I run I need to be aware of my surroundings, flowers, birdsong, deer, badgers or foxes that cross my path, the wind on the moor, the surge of the sea, the stoop of a peregrine, etc. etc...
A Garmin, I thought, would be a gross distraction from things that matter more. I don't want to be constantly glancing at my wrist to see whether I'm ahead or behind my 'virtual running partner', or be annoyed by little beeps telling me my pace has dropped. I run at a pace my body, and the terrain, allow me to run at. My one ruling has always been that I NEVER train at 100% effort. At any stage of a run I like to think I have that little bit in reserve that will enable me to run faster if I want or need to do. That way I've kept reasonably free of injury or burn-out. And it got me into the world rankings.
So, I can only think it's because what an acquaintence said, about 'boys must have toys', that a few weeks ago I bought a Garmion 205. It was reasonably cheap and I liked the idea of it measuring routes and ascents quite accurately, instead of me having to work these things out with my Anquet mapping system after every new run. I've also used it in fell races and find it disputes the stated mileages and ascents given by race organizers. As yet, that's all I've used it for (perhaps because my decrepit old brain hasn't yet figured out how to do anything else with it!) so it sits there on my wrist throughout my runs without even a glance from me. I get home, plug it into my computer and Voila, it tells me all the information I want to know for my running diary, and I can even have a look at my route on Google Earth if I want. It's very clever.
I haven't yet considered it as a coaching aid, and it certainly couldn't be regarded as an artificial aid as someone described it, but watch this space. If the Ginko Biloba does its stuff I might one day figure out all its other wonderful functions and hopefully remember which buttons to press.


  1. Hello RF!
    Like you, I use the Garmin to tell me what I've done, not how I'm doing! Glad you enjoyed the Masham 1/2. Are you doing the Lowther run in August? 13 miles on pleasing fell and grassland sounds right up your street.