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I'm in my 4th week of running and apart from a small blip last week, have kept it up fairly consistently. I have a training routine which is building up my weekly mileage. I always run with a watch to make sure I am hitting 8min miles but this morning I couldn't find it so had to run without it. I wasn't looking forward to this run (5.38 miles to be exact) as I had missed my last 3 runs and (as previously posted) I am carrying a slight ankle injury from football training. I took note of the time I left and off I went. I'll be honest, it was a struggle. Normally I enjoy this run more than the other shorter distances I do. It has some steep inclines followed by some gentle downhill areas so has a nice variance. I can normally up the pace in the last mile but couldn't find the energy to do it so plodded on and grit my teeth to do half sprint pace for the last 200m. On getting back and checking the time I noticed I had done it in 40 mins as opposed to my normal 43mins. No wonder I found it hard! I had taken 3 minutes off my regular time and ran 35-40 seconds / mile quicker than normal. The downside is my morale was falling the further I went as, without the watch, I had no idea I was running faster than normal and not just struggling because of a lack of fitness.

So what do I do in future? Continue to run with or without the watch? Does everyone else run with watches? Does anyone prefer to leave the watch at home?
 

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It's a tough one... and as seems to be the answer to so many questions on the forum lately, it's all down to personal preference.

Personally I now prefer to race without a watch, and just run based on how I feel - it makes it even more interesting to see what your result is at the end, plus I find it helps me push harder in the closing stages of the race whereas in the past, if I'dve had a watch with me, I can see what time I'm going to manage and think... well, I'm on course for 42mins, and I'd be happy with 42mins, so I just need to stay at this pace.

Another thing with being a slave to the watch, is try and run a mile on a VERY slight uphill as quick as possible... that is a road that you can barely tell it goes upwards at all, make a note of your time, then on another day try to run that very same mile in the other direction - there will be quite a difference in the time! My point being, that your pace can vary massively depending on the course and any elevation changes which can cause you to run a very uneven effort, usually not ideal for a PB ;)

Well done for knocking that much time off your usual training time though :) Just goes to show what we can achieve when we push ourselves :)
 
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