by Eric Baudouy, 2014 The North Face Canada Trail Ambassador
From time to time, I will borrow Chantal’s Garmin watch to calculate distance and pace my time. However, it does become a distraction as I find myself constantly looking at the readings of the watch rather than just feeling my run through the natural elements.
I have never used the heart monitor strap and actually never had any interest in trying one. I admit it can be useful for professional athletes and Olympians when specifics are recorded to the smallest detail or fluctuation. I am an amateur athlete, one who uses his body as his machine.
I have no machines in my Fitness club, only TRX training systems and Kettlebells. I believe in letting your body be your measure. Lactic threshold or VO2 Max can be loosely determined by the level of one’s respiratory rate. When you are training and have a breathing rate which you can hold continuously without gasping for air, then you are below your lactate threshold. Once you increase the effort and find yourself unable to maintain the level of exertion, like in hill sprint repeats, then you guessed it! You just hit the level and didn’t even need the heart monitor to warn you.
The body is a wonderful gadget and we should listen to it more often!
As I have just finished typing this noble sentence, I gaze down at my Iron Man Timex and remember how I love running with it. Does that count as a gadget? Then I am guilty of allowing myself the luxury of having my run timed to precision. Maybe the few times I kept my phone on me for convenience purposes would also count as cheating on my true trail running soul?! Basically this goes to say that the answer to the question of whether the tech gadgets are a help or hindrance is a very personal one. We each have our own preferences in terms of the shoes we wear, hydration pack we use, etc. Hum….a beanie or a bandana to keep the sweat out of the eyes?
As long as we do not become slaves to all the tech gadgets, I then say run and let run!