Monday, June 19, 2006

Auto Pausing?

Definitely felt the after effects of yesterday's 2 hour run this morning as I puttered around the dew-laden/recently watered local golf course. I felt slow and tired during my recovery run, and I'm questioning whether he golf course is the best place for an easy day since there are some painfully steep uphill sections. I guess I'll stick it out because it's nice to run on the grass and the course is closed on Mondays. Plus the hills should be good for me, right?

I've been noticing some heart rate spikes on my new Garmin Forerunner 305 at the beginning of runs. I'm guessing it's due to the fact I'm not getting good chest contact with the transmitter strap. I currently use water and/or a heart rate monitor electrode cream back from my Polar HRM days. I read somewhere that a light amount of soapy water does the trick so I might try it tomorrow.

Last Friday, I read a post at the Garmin Blog about the virtues of using the Auto Pause feature on the Garmin Forerunner 205/305. I commented on the post that:

I personally don't use the auto-pause function because I'm a data-driven geek too keen on tracking every mile and second. The auto-pause is a great feature, but I find you gain a couple of seconds over the course of a run when you use it. I prefer to use the start/stop button instead, because at my age I can't afford to get any slower :-)
My non-technical guess for these gains in time is due to GPS lag. I don't know how often the Forerunners ping the various satellites , but it is never instantaneous that the device pauses at exactly the same time you stop at a light or something. I know you can set it so that it pauses when you slow down to a certain speed (i.e. 20 minutes per mile), but I wouldn't want the device to stop in the middle of a run because of a weak GPS signal.

This is why I just use the start/stop button to pause during a run. I'm use to it from my track days. It might make sense for a cyclist to use auto pause, but I'd rather have the seconds back.

Any other runners out there who use/don't use the Auto Pause feature?

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