Women's Health Australia
Running Fitness Workout Exercise Image Credit: Women's Health Australia
Running Fitness Workout Exercise Image Credit: Women's Health Australia

Is Your tracker Slowing you down?

Could your tracker actually be slowing you down? A growing number of run gurus say yes. Here’s why.

Michael Easter

Your race bib flutters as your feet pound the footpath in perfect cadence. You glance down at your GPS watch [5:41]. The precise pace you’ll need to maintain if you’re going to complete this half-marathon in your goal time of under two hours. You have five kilometres left to go when you hit a tough hill. Despite raucous cheers from spectators flanking the route, your pace falters [5:58]. But then, suddenly, salvation: a downhill [5:32]. You rush towards the finish line, skipping the celebratory fist pump to stop your watch as you don’t want to be a second late. You anxiously inspect the screen. 1:59:42. Yes! Cloud. Nine.Not to burst your bubble, but what would your time be if you weren’t connected to that mobile cloud in the sky? Could you have finished in 1:55... 1:50... maybe even 1:45?

Yes, say many coaches. Tracking may help you hit your goal, but it can also stop you from running your best. Why? Because it becomes all about staying on pace. “We see it all the time,” says ultra-marathoner and running coach Alec Blenis. “A runner will feel fantastic and could go faster but stays on pace. Or they’ll be running faster than their goal pace, then check their watch and slow down.” Blenis is part of a growing group of experts who claim we over-rely on electronic feedback.


The whole concept of running ‘naked’ might seem uncomfortable, even alarming. After all, m

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