Monday, February 12, 2007

The Long Run and the Garmin

(In this case the Garmin 305)

People prefer to run in all kinds of scenarios. In fact, in a recent Runner's World, you could take a quiz to find out what kind of runner you are based on what motivates you. Are you competitive? Social? A purist? A fitness junkie? A bit of everything?

Well, chances are you're a bit of all four. You like to run alone sometimes to clear your head, and when you're least motivated, nothing helps like having a friend to meet and run with.

And chances are, at least once, you're going to have to do that long run alone. Because nobody wants to get up with you on a Sunday, drive 45 minutes and run 16 miles with 3,000 feet of climbing.

trail running

Yes, it is another chance to be with nature and yourself. Hit the trails. Enjoy the scenery. Yadda yadda yadda. But one thing we at TriDiva have found to be extremely helpful for those super long solo journeys is a Garmin. In fact, we're a little obsessed. It gives you the freedom to run alone in contemplative silence. It won't ask you about your Great Aunt Mary or that ticket you got for driving the wrong way on a one way street. But it will gather all sorts of fun information about your run, and beep kindly at you at every interval you set (like every mile), and when you start and stop, so you don't feel so alone.

In fact, having that little guy on your wrist might just make you feel invincible, and give you motivation to make your next split faster than your last. (Or play all sorts of interval games!) And should you stop for directions, your Garmin will chirp happily as it pauses itself, letting your fellow runner/hiker know you are super cool for having such a gadget, and that no, you are not all alone out in the wilderness. You've got GPS. (So what if the OnStar people aren't tracking your every move?)

Garmin 305

And when you get home, tons of fun information will be readily at your fingertips! Just plug it into your computer for graphs of your heart rate vs. incline vs. distance. Your fastest split, your biggest climb in a mile.

Garmin Graph

Then print out your stellar stats and share them with the friend that didn't run with you. Because maybe next week, you'll finally feel like discussing your directionally challenged vehicular boo boo (as you like to call it). And while the Garmin does a lot of cool stuff, it won't tell you that yeah, that street sign was hard to see, and yeah, that cop was unusually cocky and mean that day and yeah, a $432 ticket was totally uncalled for and yeah, you don't have to go out to dinner this week to save some cash for the evil ticket. Human running partners can be nice, too!

Happy long running!

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