A vacation for a runner isn’t like a vacation for everyone else. Most people pack a novel, some slippers and a bathing suit, runners pack shoes, track shorts and a sweat-winking shirt.
Because for a runner, there’s no better way to see the sights than by running past them. We take great pains in planning a route that hits all the major tourist attractions while avoiding stop lights, back alleys and traffic.
But one thing not every runner packs—but should—is a Garmin.
We know, you were planning to just take a casual jog around. But you know that plan will change once the runner’s high hits you. So here’s why you should bring it along.
- It’s easy to get distracted
In an unfamiliar town, it’s easy to lose focus. You see a pretty hillside or an interesting building, and without you being aware your pace has slowed. Don’t let that happen! The hills will look just as pretty if you keep pushing. Ultra-marathon runner Steve Way uses his Garmin 620 and 920XT to do just that.
“Though monitoring my cadence during tempo and marathon pace sessions I can see where I’m getting tired and letting my form and cadence drop towards the end of the session and it helps me to try and focus next time,” he says.
- You probably can’t take your partner with you
Having a running buddy is a great way to stay motivated, but most people can’t take their partner on vacation with them. That’s where Garmin’s virtual training partner comes in.
“My favorite forerunner feature is the virtual training partner,” says professional triathlete Matt Lieto. “It allows me to set a pace that I know I’m capable of holding, and that way when I race I can start at that pace and try to finish at that pace.”
- Gives you an edge over other runners
If you’re lucky enough to be taking a trip with your partner—some of us are lucky enough to be married to the person—the Garmin can give you an edge. What’s wrong staying a few steps ahead of your partner? Nothing, if you ask U.S. Olympic distance runner Deena Kastor. She uses her Garmin to stay ahead of fellow Olympic runner Ryan Hall.
“I usually look at my Garmin to see what pace I’m running or how much ground I have to cover in order to hold him off,” Kastor says. “I tease him right before I start by saying ‘Catch me if you can.’ Then, it is only my Garmin giving me information to fend him off. It is my secret weapon.”
- Pits you against yourself
If you don’t have a partner and aren’t keen on using a virtual partner, you always have your toughest rival: yourself. Triathlon champ and 50K record-holder Josh Cox uses his Garmin for just that.
“For me, I try and think about constant improvement over all the sports and Garmin really helps me do that because I have the data from everything,” he says.
- Keeps you from slacking off
Let’s face it, when you’re out there sweaty, hot and tired, it’s easy to cave into the temptation to temptation and take it easy. After all, you’re on vacation, right? Well, Garmin-sponsored marathoner Maureen says her Garmin helps her fight off those temptations.
“When I’m out training by myself it’s so easy to slow down because there’s no one there to compare yourself to – but now I have the 305 telling me that I’m slacking and need to pick up the pace!” she says.