Ben takes to the trails
Garmin-sponsored triathlete Ben Collins shares his training and racing experiences with Garmin fitness devices.
I decided this year not to take a break from running during the off-season. I spent so much time this year getting back on my feet and managed to make significant gains during the fall – so I felt like a change of venue would be better than a true off-season vacation from the sport. While I did say goodbye to the pool and to my bicycle for a few weeks, I used the extra time to make my way to a state park near my house where I could exchange my normal run for technical dirt trails through thick evergreen forests. I intended to back off on my volume of running, but winding my way in and out of valleys and around thick groves of cedar and Douglas fir trees made the time go by so quickly that I kept running overtime.
At first I was running with my Garmin Forerunner 405, but then switched to Garmin’s non-GPS fitness watch, the FR60. It comes with a Garmin foot pod for pace and distance measurements. After a few runs and calibrating to make sure my resulting data was as accurate as possible, I found that my data was very similar, whether measured with GPS or foot pod. What I found surprising was that a bigger source of error was my own perception of distance and speed while running through these trails. I found that I was about a minute – or more – slower per mile while twisting and turning my way through the woods than on a straight path at the same heart rate.
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