Runners tracking their data
After nearly a year of revising designs, throwing out ideas, and testing new functionality, we finally released Smashrun Pro. And, it’s truly befitting because, as we approach the end of the year, the concept of how data tracking has suddenly become a huge part of running as a social sport came to mind. Even races are now starting to take advantage of data and sharing it with their participants by indicating far more than just your splits but, also include a demographic breakdown of finisher stats.
I’ve had people ask me before about GPS watches or the best running apps to use. I usually point them towards DC Rainmaker or to this blog post I wrote about running apps and their data integrity. Those same people become one of two types of runners after tracking their stats for a little while: you either become tied to your data and you can’t ever seem to run without your watch or, you’re able to detach yourself from it whenever you need to.
The latter is actually pretty rare.
It’s important to understand that while data tracking provides consistency, structure, and a means for quantifying improvement, it can also hinder your progress.
Coach Jeff from RunnersConnect wrote an excellent article called “Don’t be a slave to your Garmin“. It does a really good job of summarizing GPS accuracy, pacing dependencies, and losing out on your easy days.
I think it’s hard for many runners to remember that tracking your stats can add noise to the big picture of your running. That we have to remain mindful of the variables that we compare. That we have to ask ourselves why it’s important to look at your pace trends, your total mileage, or the length of your streak.
I’m a chronic data tracker and it wasn’t until recently that I realized how much more fun I have when I don’t pay attention to my watch.
I still have to teach myself to just leave it at home sometimes but, for now, I think not looking at it while I’m running is a really good first step.