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Is Your Training Data Slowing You Down?

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.

Is Your Training Data Slowing You Down? | TwoTri.comOnce 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.

Is Your Training Data Slowing You Down? |

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. 

Is Your Training Data Slowing You Down? |

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.


  1. Kyle

    I sometimes feel like I am a slave to my garmin watch during my runs. When I am training, I need to know exactly how far I’ve run and exactly how fast my splits are. If I am not running at the pace I expect, I get down on myself. Conversely, when I’m not training, I love to go running without my watch. I feel freer to just enjoy running without worrying about how I’m doing. I’m trying to work running without a watch into my training plan. Thanks for the post!

    • Jess Anderson
      Jess Anderson04-12-2015

      I feel the same way! When I ran the NYC marathon, I used the NYRR training plan and they always included a workout called the “As You Feel” workout. Every few weeks, they’d have us go for a run based on feel and not data. It was refreshing and I think those runs really helped me listen to my body for clues and get a feel for my pace. It also helps with mental toughness! Let us know how it goes if you incorporate Garmin-free runs into your training plan!

  2. Laura Gay
    Laura Gay04-07-2015

    I have a quote I use “If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen!” My Garmin is “proof” to me . Yes, I’m addicted. I rode my bike 35 miles yesterday and forgot to save the ride when I shut it off! OH NO! My husband say to me “YOU know you did it.” Well, ya but I wanted everyone else to see my proof.

    So glad you had a great gadget free run. Maybe… someday… I’ll try it!

    • Jess Anderson
      Jess Anderson04-12-2015

      Ahhhh! I hate the feeling of forgetting to save a workout… especially one like a 35 mile bike ride! I don’t think I’ll ever be totally gadget free, but every once in awhile, it’s kinda nice 🙂 Keep up your awesome training!

  3. llh

    How appropriate – I had a 45 minute run for today and heard a beep when I got started. After awhile, I was trying to decide how I had missed the one mile beep. I look down and the time is going just fine; but the distance had stopped at .06. Instead of just letting the watch keep timing, I stopped it since it wasn’t doing my distance (and I wasn’t thinking I guess). I should have just kept it running because I knew the mileage of the loop I was doing. Ah well. It was a ‘bad’ run anyhow so not having the official time isn’t too terrible I guess.