Decisions, decisions…

Clueless about what is your average pace or heart rate while running? Does running with a smartphone feels cumbersome? Unsure about your distance? Would you like to learn more about the quality of your run, such as your cadence, VO2 Max, and recovery period?


It is time for you to buy a GPS watch!

Overwhelmed by the brands, features, designs, and price in the market? Fear not, I am here to help you by using a tool called ‘Decision Tree’. However,  not all tools are perfect. Some limitations to this decision tree includes:

  1. This decision tree is focused on Garmin products only. Frankly speaking, I am a fan of Garmin products because they are simple, user friendly, and high GPS accuracy.
  2. Technology and gadgets move at a very fast pace. All products discussed in this article are up to September 2016 only.
  3. Some products are not available or come in a different version depending on your country.
  4. Garmin also carries a wide range of GPS tracking device products that is suitable for sailing, golfing, cycling, and many more. The options presented in the decision tree are only related to running.
  5. Everyone have different deciding factors when choosing a watch. I know some people place priority on design and weight, smart watch features to be compatible with their smartphones, etc. Deciding factors are personal and unique for every individual.


I hope my very humble and limited knowledge in GPS watches can assist you to make the right decision!

P/S: I have been using Forerunner 25 for almost a year, then I decided that I needed a longer battery lifespan. So recently I upgraded to Forerunner 225 and it has been great!

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner

The Weekend Runner: Newton Challenge 30KM 2015

I know that everyone can get a little bit emotional at finishing lines. The welcoming sight of the “FINISH” arch can make you suddenly sprint while smiling and laughing even though your feet hurt, or you may be overwhelmed with thankfulness that you makes you want to cry. In my case my emotions were really messed up; I really wanted to cry because even walking was painful, yet I was so happy because it was finally over that I wanted to shed tears of joy. I bet my tear ducts were really confused that morning.


This was me at today’s finishing line.(Picture credit: Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon instagram)

When I registered for this race, I plan to treat it as a last minute training for next week’s full marathon debut. The race was 30km, at 70% of a full marathon length it will give me a taste of what is about to come running for 42km. Part of the training also involved a 30km test run last week, however things did not go as planned. Realising that I was low in my mileage, I hastily agreed to a 10km LSD run on the day before the race (Warning: Bad idea, do not try this at home).

To ensure that I made full use of this 30km run as a training session, I deviced a plan to challenge myself to complete in 4 hours. However, it turns out that the race had pacers. I started off by keeping up with the 3:45 hour pacer. They were running at around pace 7:00 to 7:15 minutes/km, which was fine by me since it was still early in the race and I was feeling fresh. However, I lost them at the KM8 water station because I took a longer break to pray Fajr (morning prayers).

I finished praying just in time to keep up with the 4:00 hour pacer. They were cruising at a pretty easy pace of 7:50 to 8:00 minutes/km, so I thought I could cope with that…until I bumped into more hills. My pace slowed significantly by one minute, I can no longer keep up with them at the KM23 marker. By the last 5km, I was seriously contemplating if I should just DNF the race and hitch a ride from the patrolling ambulance because it hurts to even walk. But there was a stronger voice in my head saying “You are so close to finishing! You will finish this, even if you end up crawling!”. So I practically dragged myself to complete at approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes, which was way off target.


IMG_2115‘The Plan’ to complete within 4 hours. Does it makes sense to you? Seems pretty straightforward, except for one major flaw: I did not take into account that the route is notoriously hilly, resulting in a significantly reduced pace.


IMG_2170Besides running skills, an important characteristic that every pacer should have is being friendly. These two were really helpful and encouraging.


No smiling finisher picture from me this time. I was pretty disappointed with myself since I did not complete as planned. On the other hand, I felt accomplished because the hilly route will prove to be useful as part of preparing for next week’s full marathon.




Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.