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How to not fall over – take your watch off

Updated: May 9, 2022

Today I went for a run, but Strava doesn’t know that. So if its not on Strava then did it happen?

But the whole point of today’s run was to learn to respond to how my body was feeling and push my comfort zones without relying on technology to tell me how fast I was going and how far I had run.

I haven’t always run with a Garmin watch but once I have always wanted to know how long/far my runs were. This was the main reason why I bought my Garmin in the first place. When I broke it and had to send it away to be fixed before Ironman New Zealand, it was very stressful thinking that my watch/extension of me wouldn’t be back in time. How would I know my running pace and cycling wattage (things that I hear a lot about in other articles and training tip pieces)?!

However, running without it today was very freeing. For once I was able to just enjoy the run and take in the scenery without counting how many kilometers I had done, or putting pressure on myself to do a certain number of kilometers before going home.

During the week, all of my runs had been hard hill runs. So to tell you the truth, I was not looking forward to another hard hill run. Monday’s run was to keep my pace in the hills at 5min/km pace, then on Wednesday I was doing 6min tempo blocks where I was meant to build to 4min/km pace.  I did these work outs successfully but it was hard and I had to constantly check my watch for pace and time.

My coach and I had also decided that it would be better for me to now ride indoors during the week rather than take a chance on the weather being good enough to ride outside. My weekend rides were still meant to be outside and yesterday’s ride was a bit of a test. I did not think it was going to rain that hard and my enthusiasm for training drained away like the water pooling on my floor from my clothing. So the thought, of going outside again the next day was not invoking positive feelings.


Dreamstime image

But the sun shone today, the wind had dropped down, and I was able to run along one of my favourite tracks – the Highbury Fling. As another bonus, not running with my watch and being distracted by it meant that I could focus more on not slipping over in the mud! As a wise man once said to me – “you can wear any shoe as long as you have good balance”. So even though I was wearing my Altra road shoes, by making sure that my momentum and body weight was always forward and over my body when going downhill, I managed to come away mud free.

Now I’m not going to give up my Garmin totally, but running without it has definitely given me some positive insights into my training and my body.

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