It seems to be the mainstay of every single runner nowadays, or at least the vast majority. And I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t do it. And that is why you shouldn’t run with a watch.
There’s a really common saying now that if it didn’t happen on Strava, it didn’t happen. Now, you and I both know, if we think about this, that’s horse shit, because there are plenty of people that go out and run and have nothing to do with logging their miles on Strava. I’m one of them. So, you know I’m partisan a little bit in this. But it’s an ego check to say, oh, I did this many miles, or, oh, I ran this pace, and I want to show it off to everybody. It doesn’t matter whether you put it on Strava or not. If you put in the miles you put in the miles, that’s it. It’ll show up on race day.
But beyond getting past our ego gratification, there’s a very big reason you shouldn’t run with a watch. This guy is just going to slow you down. And you might think, okay, but shouldn’t speed me up because I know how fast I’m going? Well, I guess. But the thing is, you may actually slow down. Now, now you’re saying okay, Jesse, you just said it’s going to slow you down. And now you’re saying that if you take it off, you’re going to slow down. Exactly. Stick with me here. So, the point of not running with a watch is learning about your rate of perceived exertion.
Now, I’ve harped on this before, but it is very, very important, because we’re so reliant on technology now, that if you don’t know your rate of perceived exertion, that you’re not going to get the most out of your body. And if you want to know more about rate of perceived exertion and my other training philosophies, be sure to stick around, hit that subscribe button for more videos in the future like this Tuesdays and Thursdays.
But when we’re talking about rate of perceived exertion, I’m talking about how hard does it feel like you’re running? If you’re so reliant on a watch, to tell you, hey, this is your pace. And you’re like, that’s the pace I need to run. Great. You’re going to miss out on the days where you can run faster, because it’s too easy. And you’re going to miss out, more importantly, on the days when it’s too hard, and you need to go slower.
Knowing your rate of perceived exertion allows you to modify your paces day by day, based on how you feel, which is a feedback from your body based on the wear and tear that you’re putting on it. Not just from training, but the stressors of everyday life. How do I feel? Why do I feel that way? Did I have a really great time yesterday and I feel light and uplifted? Or was there some kind of family stress and man, I just, ugh. I’m so preoccupied by and stressed out, and I just can’t get this run in in the time I want. Knowing how to feel that internal pace helps you adjust to all these things on the fly.
More importantly, when you get to a race and it’s not a track race where it’s a perfectly 400 meter flat surface with everything measured out. You’re going to know, hey, this is how I should feel whether I’m going uphill, or downhill or flat or curved or blind corners or big open fields. Whatever it is, you can turn inwards, focus on the pace internally, and then know that you’re going to hit your times, regardless of everything else. When everything else is variable, the thing you can rely on the most is yourself. So, when you leave the watch at home, you become to be more in tune with who you are, and how fast you’re actually running.
So, that’s my suggestion of why you shouldn’t run with a watch. Do you have any other ideas about why you should run with a watch? Tell me I’m wrong. I’d love to hear your argument. Leave them down in the comments below. Hopefully, I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.