Data Madness: Are you a slave to your running device?

There’s a never-ending supply of new fitness devices and data trackers available today – but is all that information actually helping you become a better runner?

Data overload

I wouldn’t even be surprised if you own more than one of these gadgets!

  • GPS watches like Garmin, Soleus, Timex, etc.
  • Wearables that track steps, calories burned, flights of stairs climbed (like the FitBit, which I wrote about here)
  • Apps that monitor distances, speeds, and compare them with previous performances
  • Devices that measure lactate threshold with lasers (not kidding)
  • Power meters for runners

But with all the new technology that allows us to look deeper into our workouts, it’s critical to ask: Are they actually helping us become better runners?

That’s the goal, after all. If your new $400 device gives you all this fancy data, but you’re not sure what to do with it, then is that device even helpful?

No, no it’s not. And let’s not also forget the dirty little secret that wearable manufacturers never advertise: most people let their devices gather dust after just a few months.

Tech Republic reported that more than half of consumers no longer use their wearables – and one-third of survey respondents lost interest within six months.

I’ve previously written about my distaste for GPS watches (even though I wear mine for about 80% of my mileage) and why it can be more instructive to run by feel rather than constantly adjusting your pace based on what your device displays.

But do wearables have a place in most runner’s training? If so, what’s the best way to use them? And more importantly, how should we interpret the massive amounts of data they produce?

I won’t claim to have all the answers and this is simply my opinion. I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Data

Let me be clear: data can be enormously helpful. It may help you refine your running form, adjust your pace for smarter race strategy (here’s a free ebook to help, too), or dial in a very specific training pace during a workout.

In college, I often used a heart rate monitor during tempo workouts. I knew my maximum HR (I wore it during workouts where I “went to the well”) and made sure that my tempo effort was within the 85-90% range it needed to be during a lactate threshold run.

I believe the more advanced fitness devices – like those that track lactate threshold (BSX Insight) or impact (Moov) – are better suited for more advanced runners for a variety of reasons:

  • Improvement is more difficult the faster you get – so you need to squeeze that improvement from every aspect of your training
  • Advanced runners have likely already focused on the basics, so now they need to focus on more advanced strategies
  • Advanced training is more complex, requiring more complex approaches
  • The more experience you have, the more you probably know about advanced topics (LT, impact rates, etc.) and will be able to DO SOMETHING with the data

And that brings me to the whole point of this article: data is only valuable if it is actionable. 

If you don’t know what to DO with the data, then it’s not valuable. It might as well be an extinct language like Sumerian or a pile of random numbers.

Beginners with fancy running gadgets usually suffer from the “So What? Factor.” They get all this info… and their only response is so what? 

It doesn’t help that the marketing of these devices even goes so far as to recommend you stop listening to your body. One manufacturer advises:

Stop trying to “feel” whether you’re pushing too hard or leaving too much on the trail…

Uhm… that’s one of the most beneficial things you can learn as a runner! If you don’t know your body and how it responds to workouts and different paces, how will you train effectively?

How will you race effectively?

How will you know when to back off and rest to prevent a running injury, or push forward to complete a workout?

Simple: you won’t. These devices will blunt internal feedback, cripple your ability to learn more about your body, and shield you from the true demands of running.

Do the Pro’s Obsess About Data?

Running Data

It’s also interesting to look at what the elites are doing in regard to fitness trackers. In an interview with Chris Derrick, he says this about heart rate training:

We don’t [measure heart rate]; it’s all by feel. Jerry [Schumacher, his coach] doesn’t like relying so much on data. He doesn’t want us to be restricted by data. He wants us to feel it, and sometimes you just need to run hard.

The concept of data as restrictive is an interesting one. What do you think about that?

Personally, I agree. Data can be helpful in small doses when you know what to do with it, but data for the sake of being a quantified-self-geek pollutes the purity of running and effectiveness of training.

In another interview with Janet Bawcom, she talks about how US and Kenyan runners differ in their approach to data:

People here [in Kenya] are much more relaxed about their training – no one really seems to have it mapped out to the microsecond like you see in the US. In Kapsabet, where I’m training right now, there’s not even a track at the moment so you can’t get too uptight about needing perfect conditions to nail a workout. I’m just doing all my workouts on dirt roads, and I know that if I’m hanging with the guys in my group, I’ll be fine on race day.

I think that’s kind of the mentality here – if you’re keeping up with the right people on workout day, who cares if the “mile” you ran was exactly a mile or not.

Here there’s just a lot more “shut up and run” to it.

Of course, there are plenty of elite runners who take advantage of data tracking in a big way. But let’s also remember that those who do have teams of support coaches (their primary coach, physical therapists, and exercise scientists) to help them interpret the data.

And that’s where the real value is – the insights you get from all this data.

Value Comes from Insights

If you have a hard drive of exercise data – and nobody to interpret it – you have nothing valuable. Data by itself is meaningless unless it can be interpreted, analyzed, and used to influence your running.

Some factors aren’t important to your performance. Some can distract you from what truly matters, while other metrics are incredibly valuable.

Just like in online businesses where you don’t want to focus on vanity metrics (those that don’t impact your business objectives), you don’t want to focus on meaningless metrics in your running.

When you do find the data that can influence your training in a positive way, the next step is interpreting it correctly. And most runners have no idea how to do this.

I once coached a runner who provided me with vertical oscillation rate and ground contact time for EVERY SINGLE RUN. I finally had to tell him to stop collecting this data – it was meaningless. His numbers were fine – and it lifted a huge burden off his chest to forget about collecting 10+ metrics on every run.

Runners will get the most value from established coaches, biomechanics experts who can filter through this information, or doctors who specialize in runners.

Just a few small insights from these people are worth a hundred devices – because they’re actionable and actually help your running!

The real value of a coach is in his underlying training philosophy, small adjustments to your program, and advice that took the coach years to develop, understand and refine.

I’ve written before about what it takes to be a good coach (and what it takes to be a good client). The collective experiences of any coach are what makes their insights so valuable:

  • Their years – or decades – as an athlete themselves
  • Their formal coaching education
  • The number of coaches that they’ve personally had
  • The results of their clients

The value of seeking out a running coach’s advice when it comes to running should be common sense. But it isn’t always. Just look at this tweet:

Some PT’s don’t treat runners – and have never seriously trained – so their background is solely in anatomy and physiology, with no focus on training theory or performance.

Of course, I’m biased toward less data and more coaching because of my background: I grew up running with just a simple Timex watch and a track. I’ve had more than 10 coaches since I started running.

I understand the value of getting feedback (both positive and negative) and how that can radically transform your running.

Instead of being a Lone Wolf and relying solely on data with no outside help, the vast majority of runners would improve more with coaching guidance rather than with a fancy new gadget.

But I’m curious what you think:

  • Do you rely on a device – and if so, which one?
  • How has that device measurably improved your running?
  • Do you occasionally run without any gadgets? Why?

Leave your comment below.

And if you found this post interesting – or know a runner who’s a slave to their device – post it on Facebook or email it to them to let them know.

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Comments

  1. Wait a minute … runners would benefit more from having a coach on hand guiding them than trying to gather and interpret data by themselves? Well, duh. What percentage of the recreational runners reading your blog do you think have access to a running coach? Most of us are doing the best we can with what is available. If that means using a GPS watch to gauge performance so be it. I would love to have a coach watching my runs and giving me pointers but this is a hobby not a job.

    You know, I respect your blog and have even purchased a couple of your products but it seems like this blog has shifted towards the semi-professional runner or at least the elite recreational runners. If that is your focus now, that’s fine but it’s still a shame for those of us that will never be more than recreational runners.

    • Dave, I appreciate your comment. I have a few thoughts:

      1. Coaching is not just for the pro’s. I coach many beginner runners who prove this point. This is a huge false belief that you’d be best served abandoning.
      2. This blog is for any recreational runner – whether that’s someone running a 2:45 marathon or a 5:45 marathon. Just look at some of my most recent articles (a beginner’s guide to the track, how to get started with trails, advice on running form, etc.)
      3. This article is a conversation starter, not an excuse for you to lash out with sarcasm. This is my home and I ask that you respect it.

      • Thanks Jason.

        I wasn’t trying to disrespect you nor be overly sarcastic. Sorry if it came off that way. Like I said, I have a lot of respect for your blog and it helped to get me running healthy for the first time in years for which I am hugely appreciative. Maybe I just don’t understand what is being talked about when you recommend coaching. When I started running (35 years ago?) that was a guy standing on the track with you, I suppose in this age coaching means something a little more technologically advanced.

        • Sure, that’s in-person coaching. It’s VERY expensive (you’d expect to pay $250-$400 per month), time-consuming for the coach, and is only for runners with deep pockets. I don’t even offer this service.

          But “coaching” can be online coaching, a custom training plan without the 1-on-1 support, or simply getting guidance through a proven program from a trusted coach. My point is that investing in your running through education and guidance creates better runners, not being a slave to mountains of running data that often aren’t analyzed well.

  2. I always use my Garmin watch when doing a hard workout with tempo or intervals or whatever specifics I am doing, and keep tabs on the pace constantly. I wear it during easy runs and base training only for the distance measurement, not even looking at pace. Wearing it allows me to not run circles around a track, or sticking to pre-measured routes; one part of running I love is exploration and my watch allows me to just go. Without distance and time metrics showing progress of working towards a goal, I eventually lose inspiration and stop running.

    • This is a great way to use a running device. You’re just using it for distance on easy runs (smart) and for structured workouts to help you be more precise. I love it.

  3. My Garmin just died this morning! It wouldn’t turn on when I grabbed it for my morning run. I loved my Garmin and used it similar to how Rand did above. Mine was an old, chunky Forerunner 205. Any recommendations for a new slimmer model that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Thanks!

  4. I will admit I love my Garmin! I love knowing how far I have gone and how long it took me (and if I burned enough calories for an extra slice of pizza 🙂 but that is where it stops. I don’t download it into the computer and analyze it to death – who has time for that. Have a great day everyone!

  5. Nicole W says:

    I find my garmin the most helpful to track distance without following a designated route, to monitor pace during speed workouts, and to keep my first miles controlled during marathons.
    I don’t obsess over pace, but I do like to check it to see what my pace is based on how I feel. Recently I’ve made some big gains in pace, so I play a game I call “Guess My Pace”, where I make myself guess my pace before looking at my watch. It keeps me entertained, and has helped me relearn what my current paces intuitively feel like. I will say, it is usually pretty accurate based on the day, but when the battery gets low Garmin lies.
    I do run a couple days a week without it, just for some tech freedom. 🙂

  6. Good post.
    I don’t rely on my Garmin but I do use it.
    There are times when I feel like I should by flying but Garmin says slow poke. Sometimes this means the congestion in my lungs is worse than I thought, or I didn’t hydrate or fuel properly.
    I also like to be able to monitor my heart rate and compare that to how I feel. Sometimes I feel like crap and my heart rate is higher than it should be for a particular pace. Then I know something is wrong.
    I know I could be making more use of the data.

  7. Looking at this from a slightly different view, I can say for me having a ton of technology strapped to you can really take the joy out of simply going out for a run. I got to the point where I was wearing a GPS watch, a phone, bluetooth headphones and sometimes a heart rate monitor. It almost got to the point of where getting everything together, making sure the batteries were charged, the bluetooth connections were good, etc. became such a chore that I would find myself irritated before I ever got a step into my run.

    I will admit that I enjoy using a GPS watch. I don’t really use it for pacing as much as simply keeping track of the miles on my shoes and I think it is neat to have the maps stored so I can go back and look at some of the more interesting places I have run. Getting rid of the phone and earphones was probably the best thing I ever did. I feel much more in tune with my body now, and a side benefit is that bicyclers no longer scare the snot out of me when they zoom by. When you get into a good groove running, just the sound of your feet hitting the ground is enough, and being able to be a little social during races is great fun as well.

  8. I collect pace and avg heart rate from every run. After having more than a thousand runs in my excel I can easily tell if the heart rate is getting higher or lower. If higher I need to reconsider and if lower I know I am in a right track.

  9. I’m training for my first marathon and I’ve been relying on a GPS watch (currently a TomTom) to track distance as previous commenters stated. At home I track average pace based on the total time and mileage to see if I can see any trends related to diet and sleep as well as blood pressure.

    I find the device useful because I’m seeing my general improvements, and the data is helping me refine my eating habits for runs.

  10. I almost always wear watch so Ican calculate my pace after the workout, and my ipod. Once a week during my long run, I will wear a heart rate monitor, tracking max and average, looking for trends that could point to diet or sleep issues. I try to completely unplug a couple of times a month.

  11. Devices are, to reuse a marketing phrase, “lights to guide, not lamp posts to lean on”. Some people become obsessive over the slightest change in data, collecting every little bit,then cling to a tiny improvement in one run. Like with any data (and I am a market researcher!) it is the story that is meaningful and the solution that comes with it. Obsessing over one KPI, or seeing them in silos is ‘dangerous’.

    Hence, devices have been fantastic in helping me see the long term improvement in my running. They have helped me set distance and speed goals over the same course and new ones and pushed to try that bit harder but also manage expectations. All the more important in a sub tropical climate where you are trying to gauge how you perform on a chilled 12oC dry January night and a 28oC, 95% humidity April day. It has replaced the training diary I would have likely kept (or not – devices make that easy for me). So are they really that different? It won’t help with my running form, but neither would a diary. It doesn’t stop me getting injured, ditto the diary.

    However, if they help a percentage (not all as most will ‘give up’) keep going that bit extra and make running / exercise a habit then I am all for them. Never mind the data.

  12. Catherine Berry says:

    Hi Jason

    I first used my Garmin because in the mental fog of a workout I just couldn’t keep track of how many intervals I’d done, Is this the first minute of my recovery pace or the second?

    Also, I don’t have access to a track and was a lousy judge of distance so this allowed me to run wherever I could, and know how far I’d gone. Tonight I wanted to do a couple of iKs at my proposed race pace, but I’m running up a trail on an old railway bed with no markers. Garmin might not be deadly accurate but it’s close enough, and I can run where it’s scenic.

    As a relative beginner it has given me feedback so I can learn
    – how long is a kilometre, really
    – what does recovery pace feel like and how slow is it really
    – how fast am I going when I start to breathe more heavily
    And as I learn, I find I’m looking at it less. LIke Nicole, I like to play Guess My Pace.

    It keeps track of all the cool places I’ve been, and I can email a map to a co-worker and suggest a trail or route that I’ve found on a layover.

    Yes, the devices collect a lot of data, but that’s cuz they’re dumb. They don’t know what you need to know or when so they just collect it all and we get to choose what to read. Just because a device collects it all, doesn’t mean we have to read it all.

    Tonight, for example, all I wanted to know was my splits for those 1k to see if I’m close to my race pace. I’m learning what that pace feels like. Looked at the splits, getting closer, then turned to reading your blog.

    As in many things in life, there’s a balance. I used my Garmin tonight but I also saw the sunset over the little lake on the trail, listened to the ball players in the park, heard the evening bird song, felt my own breathing and my footstrike and their variation. That balance is for us to choose.

  13. Interesting comments. I think most serious runners use their garmin more than the 6 months quoted. Also to many their watch is their coach.

    At the moment my watch is simply a convenient running diary. Switch on, but barely look at it during the run. Post run look at weekly distance, to ensure I make my weekly goal (10% rule) and track number of runs, monthly distance etc. This is fine as I’m doing base training so I’m not concerned about speed.

    I find that my heart rate is simply 10 times my speed (km/hr) and any deviation from this is related more to gradient or track surface so I do not wear a heart rate monitor except in a race (very seldom).

    When training harder, I.e. Going for a LT run then I will closely use the watch to ensure I do the workout intended by my plan.

  14. I only started running very recently, around three months ago. I always carry my iPhone with me because music really helps keeping me focused and two months ago I found a running app and decided to give it a go. Since then I always use it when running. I only have the basic version, which is probably for the best, as it only informs me about distance, calories and speed. All are things that I can understand on my own even with my very limited knowledge.

    It’s particularly helpful whenever I increase my mileage as I can know exactly by how many kms I’ve added. Before I started using the app I had no actual idea of how many kms I was even doing but now I can tell what my weekly and monthly totals are.

  15. I have a Garmin Fenix 3 and I can be a slave to it. I wear it 24 hours, because it tracks sleep and movement. For training runs I like to see how hard, fast, long I ran. I like to see my V02 max increase and although I don’t know much about it, I feel like it means my sleep, eating, training and recovery is on target. When I’m doing speed, sometimes I race myself on past courses, just because it’s fun. I especially love getting race predictions. Granted, I doubt their accuracy, but they give me a boost of
    confidence. When I first got my watch the predictions were spot on and now their significantly faster, so only a well executed race on a good day will tell. I also use it for cycling and hiking and soon swimming, climbing and kayaking. It’s just fun to see what I’ve done. All this being said, my race strategy is to start and stop my watch at the start and finish, because if I’m doing the math and checking my pace during a race, I will get discouraged when I think I fell behind or start to get tired (how can I keep this up? Screw it. I’m just gonna walk). When I run on feel at races and just have fun, that’s always when I pr. I’ve found the psychology of my Garmin to help me kill it in training, but get killed on race day.

    • Oh and I do also look at cadence and stride length. Just on occasion. I don’t have that down to a science or anything, but I know what it means about form (which I do think about during runs) and speed within that form. I don’t know a ton about it, but I know enough to get if I’m getting tired and sloppy or stronger.

  16. Jon Niehof says:

    I think the data after the run is more important, since it helps in looking back over the workout and seeing how it went. (And it’s an incentive to do so.) When I run by “feel,” I stick the watch in a pocket and record the run, so I can check afterwards. For races, I’ve gotten to the point of hiding the heart rate field and sometimes instant pace (and even total time!). I don’t want to scare myself with the heart rate and I can pace myself off the mile splits, trusting the paces my coach and I have come up with from the training. I can look at instant pace and heart rate later.

    During a normal run, I “check in with myself” before looking at the watch. How do I feel? What pace do I think I’m at? Then check heart rate, check pace, compare. If they’re different, why? I know if my exertion is high but HR low, I’m starting to overtrain (for me, the first sign of overtraining is difficulty getting the HR up.) My biggest wish on these fancypants watches is a simple RPE recorder: how hard do I think I’m working right now on 1-10 or 6-20 scale, up/down arrow, record to look at later. Then I wouldn’t have to remember “okay, first repeat was a 5, second was a 7…”

    Gadget question for you Jason…is there any point to caring about step count? The whole “10000 steps” thing is based on achieving an activity baseline for general health. Generally on a runnng day I’m way past that anyhow, and on a rest/cross-training day I’m getting non-step activity and prioritizing recovery. So does it do any good to put in extra walking on those days, or harm, or just waste time? Should I just go for a recovery jog more often?

    • That’s a good question. I try to get the steps in by walking my dogs extra on cross training days and wondered the same thing.

    • Great question. For running/training, there’s no reason to worry about steps. But for general health, I think it’s important not to be completely sedentary the entire day even if you do run. I get about 4,000 – 5,000 steps in addition to my run and I think that’s a fair amount, considering I’m getting roughly 10,000+ steps from running per day on average. I wrote about this here: https://strengthrunning.com/2014/12/beyond-fitness-what-it-really-means-to-be-healthy/

      • Jon Niehof says:

        Thanks Jason. I found that one of your more thought-provoking posts. I’ve been using the “you’re sitting too long” alarm specifically for the “running doesn’t mean you don’t move the rest of the day” purpose. It seems to let me sit exactly long enough for the legs to start stiffening, then make me walk pretty well until they’ve loosened up! I’ll start taking the step goals more seriously as well.

  17. Absolutely love my Garmin, and it’s pretty rare that I go out for a run without it.

    That said, I fully appreciate the suggestion of data overload (and I’m a self-confessed data geek). I started out using the HRM bands, but recently as the batteries have started to fail they’ve become useless (even showing me as clinically dead half way through a few runs) so I’ve stopped using the HRM. I thought I would miss that data, but I don’t really. As the article suggests, I just don’t have enough understanding of the data or the other interfering factors – sleep, stress, hydration, etc. – to make sense of the numbers. So, I’ve pretty much stopped caring.

    Where the GPS does come into its own (for me) though is a couple of more basic ways:

    (1) An idea of the distance I’ve run so I can track weekly and monthly mileage. I upload them all to Strava, which keeps track of all the distances for me and provides that useful procrastination filter – if I’m not uploading, my friends can assume I’m not running, and it won’t be long before somebody says something… 🙂

    (2) I’m getting better, but I suck at pacing easy runs. Using the pace features on the watch (even though I know they’re only approximations) provides a useful reminder to slow down when I’m feeling out of puff.

    (3) Intervals and workouts seem like a perfect fit for a Garmin type watch. I set it to beep each time I need to change paces and I just need to keep count of the number of beeps rather than having to think through the distances or times for each interval etc.

    (4) Finally, while I don’t really use the HRM features anymore, I have been playing with the footpod while trying to improve my cadence (thanks to Jason for pushing cadence as a form improver). I don’t feel the need to take it out on every run, and actually the Garmin doesn’t provide any real-time feedback on cadence, but looking at the graphs afterwards it has been a useful way of watching my cadence improve week on week as I’ve been using the device.

    The only time I really take my phone out running with me is on a new route, or in a new area and I’m worried about getting lost. I have some friends who take their phone out on easy runs to take pictures. Otherwise it’s just me and the watch…

  18. Michael Wilson says:

    I use the ismoothrun app which has all I need in 1 app including music, tracks cadence, tracks my distance, average Pace, current pace, works my heart rate monitor, and I can use the Interval Timer for Fartleks and much more – I love it and heavily rely on it for my training!!!

  19. So many of us love our gadgets, and they can be so helpful, in both running and other forms of training. i guess my main feeling is that the connection we make between our body and mind during training is so important. A gadget can help this, but could also potentially interfere with the connection.

  20. Warren says:

    I started using a Garmin forerunner 410 when it was first introduced (4 plus years ago) and have recently begun using the forerunner 920XT. I do find it incredibly useful. Why?

    It provides a running journal that I have never been able to maintain consistently and it provides many more reference data points for the diary entries that I make in the notes section.

    I have found in a number of competitive sports (I’ve been involved with) that the number of channels for engagement in the sport increases the enjoyment of the sport and the likelihood of improvement and commitment — ‘sharing’ a workout or route, chatting with friends about a recent race, etc. My Garmin is an additional channel of engagement and it helps me improve & enjoy.

    Fond memories also play a part. Lots of people maintain photo albums of family, friends, vacations and events. Though it is not a digital photo, my Garmin connect is my photo album of the important aspects of my running involvement; races, routes, etc.

    On the subject of consistency, my Garmin provides a big boost. The most effective method I have read about for achieving consistency is to commit to an unbroken string of performance. I look forward to syncing my Garmin every day to get one more check box in a row with NO misses. Motivation!

    Finally, I have long realized that ‘what you measure is what you get’ works well in many fields. In my fitness and running, I find the Garmin measures quite useful. Absolute accuracy is not the point, but being ‘directionally correct’ is very useful. The ‘training effect’ reading is a generally a good match to my ‘feeling’ and the ‘recovery adviser’ is working well, too. Precision here is not the issue (a 19 hour recovery time simply means roughly one 24 hour day). A training effect in the 3 range means I’m improving, the 4 range means I probably just ran a race, and the 2 range is a recovery or maintenance session.

    I will confess that I was a bit disappointed with the logic of your email on this subject. You seem to conflate all of the fitness trackers into a single population. I have yet to meet a 10,000 step adherent that is running or even working toward a racing event. Likewise, my running friends (and a good percent of folks on the 10K start line) are using Garmin devices or similar. These are not the devices that go unused after 6 months, though I can believe that is the case of the step counters. I apologize for the small sample size on this observation.

    So, I do find the data quite useful in many dimensions of my running enjoyment. Could I improve more quickly and more efficiently? I’m sure that is the case, but I am running for personal fitness & enjoyment and my ‘data journal’ is a huge part of that enjoyment.

  21. Tom Faithful says:

    I’ve used a Garmin 405 for 4+ years and admit to loving my data. But most of the time it’s post run after my cool down and re-fueling. I rarely look at it while running and even when I do it usually just confirms what I know about my pace, distance or time. It has benefited by giving me a long term view of my progress and if I’m training for a particular race it helps me keep on track with my goals. I’ve also used Garmin training center to setup particular workouts based on paces, distances and/or time. To me it helps monitor my goals without me having to think about. I admit to very rarely running without it but it’s my only tech – no music, no iPhone.

  22. While I only have an old iron man Timex watch, I don’t record any data or pace like you guys have. What I do is, record my time starting to finish run and remember my pace. Next day I will try to beat that record and so on.

    I find it easy to track my progress in terms of speed, time and check my breathing (I make sure I don’t forget to breath :P) In terms of data, you are right that data is nothing when you don’t need it or no use for it. That’s the reason I only use a Timex watch.

    Btw, new fan of your blog!

  23. I run with MapmyFitness on my phone and have a basic computer on my bike. I want to know my distance and pace to track my pace while running over time and to keep my bike cadence within a certain range so that I can sustain my efforts and not burn out my legs and to see an improvement in my average bike cadence.
    I have my phone on me 99% of the time to track and also just for safety reasons should I get injured or my daughter needs to get a hold of me.
    I like running by feel and sometimes I surprise myself in that I was faster than I thought so I remember that feeling for the next run. I rarely ever look at my phone during a run. I just simply don’t want to know until I get home.