One of my newest toys is this cool piece of running technology from Garmin. Basically it’s an oversized wrist watch, with builtin GPS, and lots of useful features for running and other sports.
For all its clever features, there’s really only one that I use – the Virtual Partner feature that lets me run against one of my previous runs. I just pick a previous run as my Virtual Partner, and the Forerunner shows me how far ahead or behind my ghostly other self I am. It’s definitely a weird feeling when you’re only 10 feet ahead or behind your Virtual Partner.
I pretty much exclusively run alone, and having a Virtual Partner is good motivation when I’m out on a run. And he doesn’t mind if I’m feeling fast or slow that day – I can just run at whatever pace I want and he doesn’t complain. When I am slow, at least it’s only myself on a better day that I can’t keep up with.
One important tip – if you own a Forerunner, resist the temptation to set a really fast run as your Virtual Partner. It’s only odd days that your body is up to running a personal best, and attempting to stay with a hard pace on a normal day will be unpleasant and possibly dangerous. A fast but comfortable run seems work for me.
If you’re a regular runner and enjoy your gadgets, it’s worthy of your consideration.