“GPS watches” have become a buzzword, next to running shoes, even when you’ve just started to run five kilometers in fun runs. Suffice to say, a GPS watch doesn’t come cheap, so before you jump in the bandwagon, consider the following before investing on one:
1. You have probably gone past training or running on “time” goals (i.e. one hour, two hours, etc.) Running gurus were right in teaching us that – to start performing better, TIME must be an objective. If you know an estimate distance where you regularly run (for example, UP Oval = 2.2kms), you can perform better by:
- Running faster over a short period of time, like targeting 2 loops in 30 minutes, OR,
- Running as many loops as possible in an hour.
Option #1 subliminally trains for speed, while Option #2 builds endurance. Let’s face it; even as we speak, all we ever needed was a TIMEPIECE to run better and faster. But technology knew some of us will get hungry for more info and will try to look at statistics in a much more sophisticated way….
2. You’re learning to be “pace-oriented”. This means going up a notch on time goals, because pace is time over distance, ergo, improving pace is improving overall performance. In fact, some of us do not have PR (Personal Record) goals but look at pace as a more concrete measure of improving race times. Once you understand the concept of pace, it becomes second nature to check pace regularly, hence a need for a GPS watch. Still, I know some runners who still do the traditional manual writing of “splits” on a piece of paper like a cheat card — these are actually time goals per kilometer, to keep one ON TRACK to finish a certain pre-determined time in a race. One online pace calculator can also compute splits depending on time/distance/pace goals.
You can try this link for a sample pace calculator.
If you’ve read this far, then you’re probably ready to invest on your first GPS watch and take the world of running to the next level.