Begin running

Just starting to run

Running without a watch

February 25, 2010

A couple of months ago the battery died on my cheap, old stopwatch. I went to use the HRM instead and found that dead too. So I went for an easy run without a watch and it felt really strange, like something was missing. I hadn’t realised how important the watch had become and I must have checked it repeatedly while running, even when out for an easy shuffle. Perhaps checking time had become a running “twitch”, a sort of nervous habit.

Sometimes it was nice to know how long a session had lasted although I only really used a watch once or twice a week and that was for timing intervals and occasional pace counting (honestly!). Most of my runs are of similar duration and, for each of long medium and short sessions, tend not to vary that much. As far as pace goes there wasn’t much variation in that either! And when it came to timed intervals I wasn’t really disciplined, even with a watch. 3 sets of 3×1 fast often ended up as 2 sets of 3×1 min fairly quick and a couple of 40 second struggles.

So it seems like a watch isn’t a necessity for me. Of course if I got a bit more serious, stuck to a plan and started recording times to see if I improve, it would be worth wearing it more. But so far I’m not missing it and, if anything, running is more fun. Without a watch there’s time to relax. Space to let the mind wander without wondering how much time has elapsed. I’ll probably start using a watch again soon and will be more focussed as I do want to improve my times. But it’s really nice having a break from it and there’s plenty of other targets and deadlines during the day. So for a while I’ll enjoy missing that twitch.

2 responses to “Running without a watch”

  1. Noel says:

    I was initially reading your Easy start running plan when I chanced to notice this article. My impression with that article is how hard for me to keep to the plan unless I get a stopwatch or some sort of a timer. But it was good to read this article and see the other side of the story

  2. beginrunning says:

    @Noel – Unfortunately a timer / stopwatch is essential for the easy start running plan and it does take a bit of getting used to. But after that it feels really strange the first time you run without it!

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