Wednesday, October 24, 2012

You Can Leave Your Watch Off

Awhile back I was getting ready to do an easy 7 mile run. As I went out the door I realized I had spent almost 10 minutes looking for my watch. While running I wondered, what was the urgency for having a watch on this run? It was over a familiar area,it wasn't a tempo run or time trial,so why the need for a watch?
I started thinking how wearing a watch less for runs would be a good idea. Consider this--ever go out for what you believe is going to be an easy run over a route you've run many times and found yourself checking your time at certain points along the way? Have you looked at your watch and thought, "I'm a minute and half off where I usually am at this point," then picked up the pace either consciously or subconsciously? What was originally intended to be an easy recovery run then became something else.
How many of you have done tempo runs,intervals,or time trials and found yourself obsessively checking your watch as you go? I certainly did it at one time and have seen countless other runners over the years doing it.
I think it would be wise if many of us rethought our use of watches in training and used effort as the gauge instead of timepieces. Cerutty once said: "Elliot may run faster than me but never harder." It is the effort put out that determines the time,so why the preoccupation with timing and the reliance on it has a determinent as to whether or not you had a "good" workout?
Of course the watch can be an aid to training but it is often the disruptor,inhibitor and discourager to training(forgive the grammar). Who knows why we sometimes run fast and smooth one day,and not so fast and smooth another.In some ways I think that it's just part of the way it goes in training.We shouldn't allow ourselves to be discouraged by these ebbs and flows,it's all part of the process.
Free up your training,try leaving your watch at home.

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