You know nothing, Garmin

We go back a long, long way, Garmin. I still remember the thrill of running with a house brick strapped to my wrist, that could tell me not only how many minutes I’d run, but exactly how far and how fast – amazing!

And OK, sometimes you had a bit of a meltdown and forgot where in the world you were, or tried to tell me I was running at a 5-minute mile pace. But mostly it felt good to have you along with me for my runs.

Now, lately something’s changed in our relationship. There’s a niggle that wasn’t there before. And I hate to say it, but it’s not me, Garmin. It’s you. You’ve become…well, how can I put this?…a bit judgey.

It seems that telling me my speed and distance isn’t enough for you anymore. Now you want to rate my run. It’s a bit of a mystery how you come up with this score. Some sort of algorithm thingy, based on how hard you think the run is, and how hard you think I’m working. Or something.

Which is fine. But I can do the same route, feel the same effort, run the same pace. And one is ‘productive’, while the other is ‘unproductive’. Or even worse, I’m ‘detraining’. Yikes.

Every time I run hills, run slow, run with friends, run intervals, run off-road, you give me ‘nul points’. What’s up with that?

You know nothing, Garmin.

Sure, you can work out how fast I’m running, how far I’ve been, and what my heart rate is. You can even take a rough guess at my cadence and stride length.

But sitting on my wrist, how can you tell whether I’m working against a head wind or pushed along by a following breeze? What kind of surface I’m on – easy or technical, tarmac or mud? How I’m breathing? How I’m feeling?

And when you judge a run just on workload and effort, where’s the joy in that?

What about my ‘clear your head runs’? My ‘exploring a new path’ runs? My ‘trying something new’ runs? My ‘just being outside because it feels good’ runs? Aren’t they ‘productive’ too?

Stick to what you’re good at, Garmin: telling me where I’ve gone, how long it took, and how fast I ran. And if I want your opinion on anything else, I’ll ask. K?

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