Monday, October 27, 2014

Post-marathon thoughts: Running without my Garmin

Faithful for training, takes a nap on race day.
I talked in my race report for the recent Detroit Free Press Marathon that my Garmin crashed, lost its charge, and died less than 1.5 miles into the race. How did that affect my race overall?

My Garmin and I are pretty faithful to each other in training. I like to use it to keep myself at a steady pace, both when I need to pick it up a bit and when I need to take it down a notch. Of course I also try to take feel into account, but sometimes if you're feeling overly lousy or amazing, your biofeedback might be a bit off.

I know I started the race a bit slower than I would have liked, but I attributed that to getting into a groove and dodging discarded sweatshirts. I did try to stay in between the 4:15 and 4:20 finishing time pace groups, but with the start of the race being dark and hectic, I lost them pretty early on.

As I looked back at my official results, I hit the 5-mile marker at a pace of 10:21, about 30 seconds per mile slower than I was hoping for. Yech. But, at the time that felt like a sustainable pace. If I'd had my Garmin, would I have pushed myself harder than I could have sustained?

Of course, there's no way to tell, other than running a bunch of marathons and switching off using my Garmin or not — ha! I also have no way to tell how consistent I was able to keep my mile splits, but my 5-mile splits from the results suggest I started out steadily, slowed down a lot in the mile-20-ish range, and then picked it back up for the finish. I could have told them that.

I don't think not having my Garmin caused me to run too slowly. If that were the case, the wheels wouldn't have fallen off around mile 18. And looking at my splits from the results, I don't think not having it caused me to run too quickly, as the paces registered were still below my goal.

Lesson learned? Double-check that you don't need a hard start on race day, I guess, and be OK with the feedback your body is giving you... just in case.

1 comment:

  1. I've done a 13.1 without my Garmin thinking maybe not having the feedback would help me, it didn't! For me I know seeing the numbers and doing the math helps keep me moving.