Although I’ve been a runner for over 15 years now, I must admit that I only kept a running log for less than 4 of them. Before I had a running watch that saved more than a single run, I had no problem keeping a log – it was an ingrained habit.
As soon as I got a watch that kept 100 runs, I would put off transferring them to my log until the watch was full. By that time there was no way I was going to be able to remember where I ran or what I did each day. These watches were my running log downfall. I gave into laziness and besides, who has time to maintain a running log? It seems like a luxury to have the time to do that.
What I needed was an automated way to keep a log using a computer. My requirements were simple. I needed a watch that could transfer its runs to a computer, preferably in an automated way. I also needed a watch that would track the distance and speed of my runs.
There are basically 2 types of watches that fulfilled these requirements. The Garmin Forerunner line of watches uses GPS to track where you’ve run. These watches were coming down in price, so it seemed like a good time to put it through the paces. There are other watches that use a “footpod” – a small battery powered device that you attach to the laces on your shoe. It uses an accelerometer to take samples at about 100 times a second and transfers them to the watch which displays pace, distance, etc.
I took two such devices through the paces (so to speak) to see which one would take me to the running log utopia that I sought.