Does the Run Still Count?

Anyone with a Garmin or sports watch will know what I'm taking about; you're running, you need a minute and without thinking hit "pause" on your watch. You pause, recover, hit "start" and continue on. This happens a few times and by the end you're pretty please with your time. But how accurate is your run really?

I feel like for training runs, which let's face usually compromise 95% of our runs, are for this purpose. It's almost like prolonged interval training but at a medium intensity and typically over a longer period of time. It helps you gauge your pace and gives you an idea of how hard/long you can go for. Recently I've been wondering if it affects you more mentally. For example, I know I can run 10k without stopping. I've done it in races countless times but when I know I'm going for a training run, I really struggle to run 10k without having a quick moment to catch my breath,

Is it because I know it's just a training run and it doesn't count? Is it because psychologically I'm thinking "this run is going to be long so take a few breaks to ease the pain?" - honestly I don't know. I know that I feel quite guilty when I post a great time with fast splits knowing that in reality, I've stopped a few times and even popped into the hairdresser for a glass of water! Nonetheless I've posted it on Strava and felt weirdly pleased when my friends have commented on my "great times". 

I feel like I should start my watch at the beginning of my run and stop it at the end. No questions asked. But when I'm waiting to cross the road or retying my shoelaces, its difficult to have this kind of clear cut logic. The only thing I really look at is the time so am I just kidding myself?

What do you think- is it purely a vanity thing for Strava so our friends can give us "kudos" and make us feel better about how well we're running. Are we just fooling ourselves or does it actually help? We try not to stop in races so why do we do it in training and think nothing of it?


  1. I completely agree with you I used to do this all the time - it's definitely a mental thing. I think the atmosphere, competitive spirit and unwillingness to lose face when everybody's watching when running races makes a difference to not stopping. I also think you mentally prepare for a race to be the main event of that day whereas a training run fits in around other things you've been doing so it's easier to make excuses and say 'I'm tired from work' or 'I'd better save my energy as I still have a whole day of work'. I definitely think that you should keep the clock going whether you stop at lights etc or not, especially if consistently running the same route, because otherwise the variables are inaccurate and also mentally it prevents you from recovering mid-run for too long when we know from experience running races that the recovery isn't actually necessary. Wow what an essay, sorry aneesha haha

    1. Hey G, no I completely agree. I've been keeping it on and it's actually pushing me harder in training. Thank for reading and commenting :) x


Follow @ Instagram

Back to Top