Right now, I am in the thick of training for a half-marathon. Since Davey isn’t running this race, I get to borrow his Garmin for my training. I’m not always happy with the pace that the Garmin tells me I’m running at. Sometimes I think it must have lost its satellite because surely I’m running faster than a 12-minute mile. Nevertheless, it’s been a good, and honest tool to help me hit my mileage and my pace during interval runs.
Last week, I had a 5 mile run on tap and I didn’t have time to drive to my favorite running path, so I set out from our house. The name of our street is Hillwood, and as soon as you walk out our door, you’re greeted by 3 MONSTER hills.
Once I reached the top, I kept listening for the Garmin to beep and tell me I had reached mile 1, but it never did. I looked down at my wrist and it was bare! I forgot the Garmin!
At first I thought about turning around to get it, but then I’d have to run those three Mt. Everest-like hills again. No thank you. After a few seconds, I stopped trying to guess my pace or estimate how far I ran, and I made a conscious decision to just enjoy the workout.
Without the Garmin constantly showing me my average pace, I had a lot of time to think. I realized how I have become consumed with data when it comes to my training.
Not only am I obsessed with my stats, but I noticed that my satisfaction with my workouts are dependent on those numbers. If those numbers don’t impress me, it was a “bad workout”. If the Garmin tells me that I’m running faster than I thought I was, then I pat myself on the back and call it a success.
Just like it’s a good idea to take a break from social media every now and then, I think it’s really important to workout from time to time without any gadgets. Learn to feel satisfied with your triathlon workout for the simple fact that you got out there and swam, biked or ran.
Although I think reviewing your training data is a great way to track your training and to help you improve and reach your fitness goals, finding your satisfaction in those numbers can actually slow you down. Putting all your efforts into getting a PR despite a nagging injury or attempting to beat yesterday’s stats when what you really need is a recovery day can burn you out.
So, every once in awhile, it can be really refreshing and motivating to workout and train gadget free. Feeling good about the fact that you exercised for the day, regardless of how far and fast you biked or how much weight you lifted deserves a high-five.
So, I dare you. I double dog dare you to leave your iPhone, your training apps, your GPS watch and lap counter behind and rekindle your love of swimming, biking, running or whatever exercise you do, and do it for the joy of it.