Do Gadgets Help or Hinder Your Running?

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Check out my newest running gadget! So cool!

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My friends at OpenSky sent me a Timex Marathon GPS watch to test out on my runs. Even though I absolutely love my Garmin Forerunner 305, I still think it’s pretty big and bulky on my wrist. So, when OpenSky suggested the smaller Timex watch, I was psyched to give it a try.

This morning, I planned to run 3 miles right after breakfast, but it was cold and cloudy outside, so I dillydallied for awhile before getting my act together. I guess I was feeling wussy about the weather, but, eventually, I just told myself to get out there and run. I knew once I got moving, I’d be warm and happy.

Apparently, my legs felt like running today because my mile splits were much faster than usual:

  • Mile 1: 8:31
  • Mile 2: 8:27
  • Mile 3: 7:57

Total: 25:57

Not too shabby! I picked up the pace for the final mile since I was almost done and still had plenty of fuel in the tank. I don’t know where my energy came from today, but I liked it!

After my run, I returned home to this adorable pug face:

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I love Murphy. He’s the best.

My Review of the Timex Marathon GPS Watch

Ok, ready for my review of the Timex Marathon GPS watch? I love a lot of things about it, which, of course, I couldn’t help but compare to the Garmin Forerunner 305.

First and foremost, I love how light the Timex felt on my wrist, especially compared to my Garmin (1.9 ounces versus 2.72 ounces). In fact, when I started my run, it actually felt like I was missing something since I didn’t feel my big, bulky Garmin on my wrist. I seriously loved how light it felt.

During my run, the Timex watch kept track of my pace, time, and distance, which was easy for me to read as I ran along. After my run, I really liked the workout data that the watch provided, including start and end times (ex: I started my run at 10:30 AM and finished at 10:55 AM), average speed, elapsed time, distance, split times, and calories burned. The Timex is also a regular watch, too.

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So, I’m totally not a “read-the-directions” kind of person, but the Quick Start Guide that came with the Timex watch made it really easy to learn how to use it. It’s only 10 pages long and walks you through everything you need to know. I can’t say that ever read my Garmin 305 manual. I just pushed the buttons on it until I figured out how it worked, and I’m still not sure I know everything it can do.

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The only “bad” thing about the Timex watch is that you need a USB port to charge it. Of course, this isn’t a huge deal, especially not for me since I always have access to a computer, but something to consider.

Do Gadgets Help or Hinder Your Running?

While I was running this morning, I started thinking about whether certain running gadgets (and other technologies) have helped me become a better runner. For instance, my Garmin, iPod, and the treadmill at the gym have all helped me in one way or another.

Garmin: tracks my pace to help me run faster and tracks my distance to help me run farther

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iPod: the music pumps me up for speed workouts and breaks up the monotony of long runs

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Treadmill: awesome for interval workouts and necessary (for me) for running in the winter


However, I know a lot of people think these things interfere with a runner’s awareness of their body and surroundings and perhaps even the enjoyment of running all together, especially if you become obsessed with the numbers and stats.

Do you think gadgets and other technologies help or hinder your running?


Today’s lunch was split into two parts: savory and sweet. I started with scrambled eggs mixed with chopped up roasted Brussels sprouts and crumbled feta, which was an insanely delicious flavor combination.

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After I ate my eggs, I whipped up a Strawberry-Banana Smoothie. In the mix:

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It wasn’t the greenest smoothie, but it sure tasted delicious. I love the combination of strawberry and banana together. Yum!

Off to walk the pug and then relax. Enjoy the evening, guys!



  1. I owned a polar watch before which just tracked heart rate. The band never stayed around my waist, it kept falling and was sooo annoying! I quickly returned it. Does the timex have a band, and if it does is it uncomfortable?

  2. I’ve run a few marathons and many, many half-marathons and I’ve never really worn a gadget or watch. It’s weird, I guess, but I haven’t known anything else. I kind of like the surprise at the end of the race, to see my time. Even if it’s not a PR or whatever. I think wearing a watch would def. change the way I train and race though.

  3. Good for you for getting out and doing your run despite the weather! I find that gadgets only hinder my run if I’m not comfortable wearing them, like if I forget my spibelt and have to carry my ipod in my hand (so annoying!) But I don’t think running would be quite as fun without some good music and a Garmin to help me keep track of my time and distance 🙂

  4. Gadgets definitely motivate me during my runs: the beat of song can be all it takes to increase the pace despite feeling exhausted! Also seeing the numbers go up on the treadmill (time/distance) is hugely motivating!

  5. I usually use the Nike + GPS app on my iPhone and put it on an arm band when I run. The app is fantastic because it plays music through your iTunes and updates you every mile with your pace and tells you when you hit new PR’s! It also tracks your runs and shows you a breakdown of where your fastest and slowest paces were along your workout. I wish Nike would come out with a mini little device with this app, because my iPhone gets kind of bulky, but I love the app so much!

  6. when I run it is without music.
    no heart rate monitors.
    no gadgets.
    Im not at all a fan of the run 🙂 and lately Ive begun wondering if that is why!

  7. My boyfriend just bought me that Timex GPS for an early bday present b/c my Garmin 110 stopped working. I like the simplicity of it. I bought him the Ironman Timex for Christmas and have used it a couple times. It has SO many features, which makes it kind of confusing.

  8. I think that they help in a lot of ways, however sometimes on runs I am strapped to my garmin. Meaning – I am always checking how far I have gone and my pace, etc…

  9. I think gadgets can be good and bad. I really love my Garmin Forerunner because can just get up and go and know exactly how far I’ve run as well as my pace and time. The downside, is something I recently wrote about on my review of the DC Rock n’ Roll half. At the end of the race, my Garmin told me I had reached 10 miles when really I hadn’t seen the mile marker yet. Turns out my watch was off from the mile markers (which I assume is from running turns wide and weaving in and out of people and such). Anyway, this totally screwed me up mentally and through me off for the remainder of the race.

  10. So cool! I have been on the hunt for a running watch, especially since it’s getting warmer and don’t want to rely on a treadmill or having to look online for a route… It seems like everyone has a Garmin so that’s what I was thinking of getting but I agree, it looks/ feels so bulky! I have a Timex digital watch I love so I’m def gonna check out this one…

  11. I’ve had my eye on getting one of these the past few months but can’t bring myself to spend the money. I just don’t think Map My Run and my i-pod timer are cutting in when it comes to figuring out my miles and speed.

  12. I would LOVE this GPS watch! Right now my husband has one and we fight over who gets to use it…he usually wins. It would be great to have my own. I just ran my first marathon a few months ago and I really want to beat my last time.

  13. I’ve often thought about how “low-maintenance” I am when it comes to gadgets. I was running totally without a watch for a few months, but I got the band on one fixed and the battery on my stopwatch fixed. I’m torn about getting a garmin – I really like ‘feeling’ my body and taking in my pace and my breathing, and I would hate to start to obsess about mile splits. Finally, it might help me improve my times at different events, but for my age and for my creaky body, I’m pretty happy with my PRs.

  14. I love gadgets. A new balance gps watch would be so helpful with my new training plan involving xfit/xfit endurance. I’ve never trained for a 1/2 marathon this way. I’m excited and thank god for your motivational blog and training plans:)

  15. I have been using the Map My Run App on my phone for my longer runs…but I would love to be able to be hands free!

  16. Hi Tina
    I use a simple timex and like you never read the directions. Whoops! I run at a metro park in Michigan where each quarter mile is marked which is very helpful and then I just time my miles. A garmin would be helpful for me so thanks for doing a giveaway! I’ve run one full marathon which was a killer!!! Ugh! Fueling was a problem for me. I just didn’t get it. How do you eat and run? I did two halves before the full and have done two halves since and am doing another half( the flying pig in cincinnati ) and the Chicago full this year. I’m totally scared but have lots more info now so I’m hoping I’ll be better prepared. Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to win the garmin.

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  18. Just bought this on open sky! Thanks for the great review!

    Quick, delayed, question… Can you charge this through the USB port on an iphone charger?


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