Thursday, July 19, 2007

To Watch Or Not To Watch

A good question that comes up with many high school runners is; should I wear a watch during summer base training?There is not an absolute yes or no to this question. The best way to answer it is to say yes and no. You can wear a watch and time your runs on certain days, such as threshold workouts (toward the end of the summer), but keep it on the dresser for the building up phase at the beginning of the summer. Either way, there are advantages and disadvantages to wearing a watch during summer base training. Here are a couple:


  1. The watch doesn't lie. It will tell you exactly how fast or slow you are going.
  2. A watch can help you control your pace. If you are going too fast, slow down. If you are going to slow, speed up.
  3. If you do not have mile markers or a set course, a watch can help you estimate how many miles you ran based on total time.
  4. You can judge improvement over the summer by calculating time over certain courses. For example, if you ran the "6 mile loop" in 45 minutes in June, 43 minutes in July, and 40 minutes in August at the same effort, you are getting stronger.


  1. Learning pace by how you feel may be more beneficial than letting a watch control you. If you feel good, stay steady or slow down. If you feel bad, slow down.
  2. May tend to run too fast because you would rather see a faster time at the end of the run. This can lead to every run being at moderate to fast pace, which can lead to being tired and weak at the end of the summer vs. fresh and strong.
  3. If you do not have measured courses and only run by time, you are only estimating total miles. This is only a disadvantage if you calculate daily, weekly, monthly and yearly miles and are concerned about being as accurate as possible.


Scott Bush said...

Joe! While I agree that wearing a watch could be a disadvantage if one would live by the watch, I wouls say for younger athletes a watch is a must in order to learn pace and learn to keep track of their workouts. A better way to train would be for athletes to run minutes instead of miles during practice, especially on easy days.

Joseph A. Renguso said...

I agree scott. I think most runners would benefit from running on minutes instead of miles. It takes away that mind set that we have to run so many miles or so fast to be good. A lot of distress would be taken away if runners just relaxed and ran.