Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A New Tool To Motivate Me

This week I purchased a Garmin Forerunner 35 fitness tracking watch. I plan to use it mostly during the cycling offseason to put metrics around my cross-training activities—hiking, ruck marches, snowshoeing, etc.—with the expectation that the resulting statistics will motivate me to be more active during the winter. The watch will allow me to upload my activities to Garmin Connect, which I already use for every bike ride. And assuming Garmin can keep its website up from now on, it will be nice to have all of my stats in one place.

“Segal’s Law” says a man with one watch always knows the time, while a man with two watches is never sure. Cute, but inaccurate. A man’s only watch may be wrong, and then what good is his confidence in it? The more points of data one has, the closer one gets to the truth ... even if no single point of data is definitive. My new watch has a bike mode, and at least until the novelty wears off I will activate it whenever I ride. On its maiden voyage today, the handlebar-mounted Forerunner compared very favorably to my Garmin Edge cycling computer:

It’s good to know the Forerunner can function as a backup bike computer if the Edge fails.

There’s also heart rate tracking, which used to be part of my training until I abandoned it several years ago. I didn’t like wearing a chest strap. The sensor in the watch seems accurate enough, I guess, so maybe I’ll start to pay attention to those numbers again as my workouts evolve. Heart rate is not as good a metric as power (Watts) for cycling, but there’s still a place for heart rate training zones, on and off the bike. Anything that makes me work a little harder is going to be welcome as winter approaches and I try, again, to keep from gaining too much offseason weight.

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