Working Out Without A Watch

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When I'm coaching High Performance West athletes on workout days, there is only one watch that counts. It is called God Watch. That is my stopwatch. It is always right. 

Therefore, I encourage my athletes to not wear their watches during workouts because the time it records is automatically wrong. Remeber, only God Watch marks the correct time. 

Why do I play this game? It is because I've found that many runners I've coached are overly dependant on their watch to the point of detriment. 

Rather than the instrument recording, it becomes director of a session. To me, practice is not centered around hitting the splits assigned, it is about developing a better sense of paces, rhythms of movement, and trust in one's ability. The watch often distracts from this process as it measures only the outcome. 

For many, the watch is a security blanket which provides reassurance. It pacifies and validates. Reinforcing a shallow confidence that they are still fit, capable, and ready to race well. But it is a false idol. A crutch. 

My experience has been once the athlete discards their watch, they run faster -- and with less effort. Their movements are free and easy. They can't believe how smooth and fluid they felt without looking at their wrist every 200m. It is a win-win. 

I'm always amazed at the instant change a watchless runner undergoes. It is fun to observe and a pleasure to coach. They transcend into newer realms of ability right before your eyes. And it spills over to race day. They compete bolder, are absorbed in the moment, and challenge competitors who previously outclassed them. 

And all it takes is a leap of faith to trust themselves, their ability, and, of course, the belief that God Watch is always right.


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus