alsoran runners Running watch

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If you are planning to run the Comrades Marathon a running watch is a must have!  Now you don’t have to spend a fortune.  There are many well priced running watches on the market and they will all do the essential job you require from it, that is, to keep stopwatch time.

Things to consider about your running watch.

1.    Has it got a decent battery
      Many watches now come with a battery guarantee. I bought mine because it came with a 10-year        battery guarantee!

2.     24 hour stopwatch/timer
        Make sure your stop watch will run for 24 hours!  My husband once ran Comrades with a                     stopwatch that reverted back to 00:00:00 after 9 hours (and he wasn't planning on running a Bill             Rowan!)

3.    Know how your watch works
       Even if you don’t know how to use all the features, make sure you know how to
        i)     set stopwatch to zero
        ii)     start stopwatch
        iii)    stop stopwatch
        iv)    switch from stopwatch time to “time of day”

Some runners like to take “splits”.  If you are one of those runners, make sure you know how this feature works.  Personally I don’t take splits.  I often run with my friend Gail Mac who takes splits for us.  After the run she lets me know how we did, split wise.

4.    Don’t fiddle!
       If you are not 100% sure how a feature works, don’t fiddle with your running watch, especially             while you are running and taking stopwatch time.

What to do if you encounter a problem with your running watch during your race:

This is what I do to counter this problem.  At the start of the race, I will start my stopwatch.  Once I am certain that I have started it correctly and can see it is keeping time, I switch my watch over from stopwatch time to “time of day”.  The reason I do this is because I always add an additional column to my pacing chart which indicates the “time of day”.

If I accidentally “stop” my stopwatch, I can still use my pacing chart and run to “time of day”.  Even if I don’t have a pacing chart, I can still work out how long I have been running by subtracting the starting time from the current “time of day”.  Certainly for the Comrades Marathon, I strongly advise a pacing chart, as it is very difficult to do maths when you are tired.

Getting to know what pace you are running comes with training.  This is useful information to know as you can use this to work out expected time of finish (your pace per km x kilometres to go).  For Comrades, if you are running it the ALSORAN way, you should be running at conversation pace!

Key words: running watch, Comrades Marathon, stopwatch time, time of day, splits
Internal links: Comrades Marathon, pacing chart
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Nikki Campbell 2008