At this point, you’re probably watching my distance ratchet up, and you’re all “Omg I’m gonna have to pay Cheri so much money for Haiti!” Yeah, sorry not sorry. It’s for a good cause! But are you wondering how I’m so accurately keeping tabs on my distance and mileage, to the tenth of the mile? Yep, probably.
So when I first started running, I was tracking my distance and mileage with http://www.mapmyrun.com/my_home/ This is a decent tool, but unless you’re running all the tangents, it can totally skew your mileage. It’s still an awesome, awesome tool, especially if you’re trying to map out a specific distance with no route in mind. If you know, for example, you have a 14-miler coming up (hello, Sunday morning!), it’s good to figure out how you’re going to make 14 miles happen.
Here’s the real deal way I keep track of my mileage.
Behold, ladies and gentlemen, the Garmin 610. Garmin is the same company that does the GPS in your car, so they harnessed the power of the GPS, and stuck it in a more accessible form, a watch, for runners, swimmers, and triathletes to use. Pretty smart, huh? I was given this watch as a gift for my 25th birthday. I actually cried when I got it. It would have been a little bit of a hardship for me to buy it for myself, and it was so thoughtful to get this as a gift.
Whether you’re just starting out, or running your 88th ultra marathon, you can benefit from a Garmin, whether it’s the FR10, the 210, or the 610 (my personal favs that we carry). Up on the top, 610 in particular will display total distance, followed by total time, and then followed by pace, all pretty important tools when you’re training for any race, and the 10 and 210 will do the same, even though the displays are a little different. They run between like $130 and $400, so you have to decide what you can make work for your budget. But remember, it’s a pretty significant piece of machinery. Even if you go with the super fancy one, it’s not something that you’re planning on replacing every other month – these babies will last a while. So if you’re training for a 5k, 10k, or maybe even a full, and you’re tired of deciphering a mapping tool, or bringing your iPhone on every run, consider a pretty small investment on a very powerful piece of machinery.