Last week I set out on my first prescribed tempo run. I started out on this 6 mile journey at a fairly slow pace for my warm up mile. I had been playing pace leader on my long run the past Sunday so my Garmin was set to display the current pace. During mile 2 this setting began to frustrate me. I felt that every time I looked down at my watch it was reading a crazy different pace per mile. I did not think I was running that inconsistent of a pace. I stopped after finishing mile 2 reset my watch so it displayed the average pace. Now I was in the midst of mile 3 and I was feeling like I was working way too hard to get the pace that my watch was displaying. This is when I realized that I had set the watch to read the overall average pace and not the lap pace. Ugh! When I finished mile 3, my mile split time was 45 sec faster than I thought I was running. So again I had to stop to adjust the readout on my watch to show average lap pace. Can I just say how seriously frustrating it is to have to stop in the middle of my supposed tempo run to readjust my watch to the correct setting correct?
The last half of my run ended up being great. No more messing with my watch, which allowed me to run at a fast pace that wasn’t easy, but not too hard. I was able to do the majority of the tempo run as prescribed by my awesome coach. It was nice to report back to her with a somewhat successful run. I did learn that I may need a longer warm up before I can get into my groove and I also need to brush up on how my Garmin actually works. It looks like I’ll have to take a moment to set up my Garmin before heading out for each of my runs.
So for all you newbies out there (me included), there is a difference between current, overall average and lap average pace settings on your running watches!
Do you depend on a running watch to help you train? Which one do you use and does it work well for you?