I was disappointed and frustrated that my race times were so pathetically slow this year. I thought I trained well. But obviously I didn’t. So I asked myself what did I do last year that I didn’t do this year?
The answer was clear. Last year, I used my GPS for every run. It kept me honest. Every time I hit the streets or trials I knew exactly how far and how fast I was running. This year it was all guesswork. For instance, I added a “10 mile” trail run to my schedule. I estimated the mileage by the Upper Salmon River signs and by feel. When I wore my GPS watch on the run last week, I discovered that the trail markers were correct, but my estimates were wrong. My “10 mile trail run” was only 8.97 miles. The miles felt longer because the trail has some steep, technical spots that slowed my pace considerably. Because I used this “10 mile run” as the basis for other mileage (I looped the route to get in my 15 and 20 milers) all of my training mileage was off. I was also running the route much slower than I should have.
This year I learned that honesty can be spelled with just three letters: GPS. For now, I’m still using my ancient Garmin Forerunner to track my mileage. But here some top of the line models that are in my wish list. These watches are perfect some of the longer ultras that I’m planning next year: