Contrary to what Peter might think I am not against technology, and being scientific about training. Infact, as a scientist I am very much pro technical advances (I know it is contradictory to my recent approach to running). My interest was in trying to understand what are people doing with the data generated.
The reason for asking the question was twofold. Firstly, during the Grand Union Canal half on sunday I was asked by the guy running beside me how far we had run. It was at the 7 mile marker and he was adamant that it was wrong because his Garmin said 7.2 miles. It seems that you can't do a race these days without being informed by someone that the race organisers are useless and have not measured the distance correctly. Secondly, in golf technology has changed the clubs and balls dramatically over the last 20 years, but according to the USPGA the average number of strokes to complete a round has stubbornly remained at 100. Being able to access new technology is all well and good, but the ability to use it beneficially is another matter entirely.
It seems that every week a new app, or gps enabled, heart rate mointoring device is being launched. Allowing us to analyse every aspect of our running. Does this really make us better runners?
In a bid to set myself free from the tyranny of technology I decided to ditch all my tech earlier this year. Running solely on feel rather than being a slave to the pace dictated by technology. When I go for a run now it is without a watch, hrm or any other device.
The unexpected result is that I have set my 3 best half marathon times to date:
previous pb 1:33:33 (age grade 69.8%)
Bracknell 1:31:02 (72.3%) new pb
Windsor 1:32:37 (71.1%) course pb
Grand union canal 1:33:24 (70.5%)
Anyway, I was just wondering what other runners thought about the growing trend of analysing every aspect of exercise and what they use the data for? For me, this year has been about going back to running for the pleasure of it and the improved performances have been an added bonus