Posted by: Ingrid | April 5, 2010

When all else fails, read the manual

My penchant for not reading directions is something that I am very aware of.  There have been several times while following a recipe that I will realize, fifteen minutes before dinner is supposed to be on the table, that the curry I have just assembled is supposed to simmer for two hours.  Whoops!  Missed that minor detail!  No, I probably just didn’t read it in the first place.

This is especially true with tech stuff.  I have a phone that is supposed to double as an ipod.  Have I learned to do anything other than make phone calls on it in a year and a half?  Nope.  I also have a Garmin GPS that I purchased four years ago after my first marathon.  It’s a model 201 so it’s ancient by now.  I think I looked at the manual just enough to figure out how to start and stop the thing and get the units of measurement off of the metric system.  Last night as I was figuring out my speed workout for today it suddenly occured to me that my Garmin, ancient as it may be, should be able to help me track speed work so that I don’t have to keep everything in my head and depend on a track that is not 400 meters around.

It does!  Not only can you program in specific workouts and minimum/maximum paces, but it also allows you to program in the interval distance with a recovery period in between.  Wow!  This morning I had six 1K repeats with a minute rest in between each and the Garmin tracked them all beautifully.  It was fantastic and I was able to focus on just running.  All of my splits were under a seven minute pace, with my best coming in at 4:05.  My theory is that the extra brain power I normally expend trying to figure out seconds and meters went towards running faster today.

I sort of feel stupid for not reading the manual sooner and getting the most out of my Garmin.  On the other hand, I can save money on new running “toys” if I wait four years to figure out how something works.  It’s like getting a brand new GPS without spending the money!



  1. I am so impressed at what you have made your Garmin do! I never knew. I’ve gone slightly beyond start/stop, but you’re inspiring me to learn even more!

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