And now I must admit to more flat-earth contrariness: I don’t wear a Garmin running watch either.
My chronometer of choice is digital, but that’s as modern as it gets – it’s the simple Casio watch that you may have had if you were a kid in the 1980s. (I can’t remember exactly when I had mine, though I recall my younger brother getting one for his birthday – I think his had a black ‘Knight Rider’-style car on it.)
My Casio retro-gadget has a basic stopwatch: you press ‘start’, you run, and when you’re finished you press ‘stop’. I find that’s all I need. I haven’t even used the light.
I got it last summer in a jeweller’s shop in my home town, ignoring the fancy sports watches to pick out the one I wanted. It cost me 19 euros, which is about 24 US dollars. So far it has seen me through two marathons without breaking or dying, which is more than can be said for many high-tech brands of running shoes.
If you use a Garmin and find it invaluable, that’s fair enough. But I don’t feel that I’m missing out on anything by not having one. If I want to know how fast I’ve run, I use this complicated mathematical formula: I look at my watch, check the time, and then see if I ran that route faster or slower than last time. Scientific, isn’t it?
And my basic digital watch has plenty of advantages. I’m not spending my run fiddling with functions or trying to check my heart-rate while avoiding cyclists. There’s less for me to think about on my run – an occasional glance at it when I go past my usual landmarks, that’s all. And I don’t need to worry about damaging it or getting it wet. It’s just a cheap Casio one, and I can pick up another any time.
Running is a simple sport, a simple pleasure. Why complicate it?