Saturday, 10 March 2012

GPS gizmo? No Way!

There's no doubt in my mind, GPS technology is really useful and has a number of impressive applications.  Everything from the tagging of scallywag offenders through to smart phones and GPS enabled watches as training aids.  Earlier this year I toyed with the idea of treating myself to one of those snazzy Garmin watches that tell you everything about a run - distance, speed, elevation, heart rate and what kind of toothpaste I last used.  In this photo I used Rachel's smart phone for a bit of fun, to track my run and I was quite chuffed (even though my run wasn't that fast!).

I have also enjoyed the features on the treadmill I use at the local gym, particularly knowing what my heart beat (beats per minute) is at different speeds and now I have a pretty good idea what 180bpm feels like.  Useful to know but I don't need this all the time.

So, do I embrace this technology in my running?  Afterall, this isn't a nine day wonder, having been running for a few years now.  I could treat myself to a iPhone or a snazzy Garmin watch gizmo.  Having mulled this over, the answer is NO WAY! This is why:
  1. Running is a simple, beautiful and a low tech sport.  Let's not spoil that.
  2. Having to charge up your watch every day or month is daft
  3. I couldn't read a thing without my glasses on
  4. Too nerdy
  5. Too expensive for a watch
  6. It won't make my running any more enjoyable
  7. Finally, to repeat point 1 above.... running is a beautiful sport, fantastically simple - it's you and the path in front and that's it; a chance to let your mind wander, to sort things out, to think things through.  Getting distracted by a computer type device would, I think, just spoil the simplicity of running.  Sorry Mr Garmin.
Do you agree or disagree?  Tell me I'm wrong?


  1. I usually wear a Suunto X-Lander watch when running or on the bike but thats all.
    I agree strongly with your first point.

  2. Agreed and point number 7 which is the same really. But Doug, don't you have a cycle computer on your bike? How do you explain that one?

    1. Anon, thanks for your comment and yes I do have a cycle computer.

      You're very welcomeSee my blog post for 15 March 2012.


  3. I like your viewpoint, keeping simple - simple. I wonder if I dare remove the gps from MY bike?
    I think the same principle applies and have been tempted before, before I read your post here today. Many times I've noticed that when I've forgotten the gps, and that happens frequently, I tend to enjoy the scenery more as I cycle. Of course, sometimes I get to cycle more than intended because I get hopelessly lost! :) Your viewpoint gives me just a bit more push!

    1. Thanks Pavel. I do like to keep it simple especially when running. You know I had reconsidered a GPS device for my bike recently but I have still not decided to go for one. Not only did I get lost one day, I took a look at my map and realised I had gone off the map itself - that's when I was thinking it would be useful. So I had to rely on picking up clues from the landscape and using my own sense of direction and it turned out to be fun after all!

      Glad you agree but others might have different points of view, each is welcome......