what do you do with your data

Last year someone was telling me how much they hate running with a GPS watch and think it’s the worst way to run, “looking at your pace the whole time instead of looking up and enjoying the run.”

I looked down at my giant green watch and thought, “Huh, yep that’s a big ol’ watch on my hand”. I barely ever look at my pace and if it wasn’t the size of a baby turtle, I wouldn’t even really notice it when I was running. It got me thinking about why I wear one and why I recently upgraded to the new Suunto Ambit3 Run.


I run to explore. Some of that exploring takes a few months of training to do, so not all my runs are across the Dales and over mountains, but there are a lot of plods to/from work and around the river at Runch. What I like about all those runs are that I can go back and look at them after. Which brings me to the first way I use my data.

I love my run maps. I love looking at my Nike+/Garmin Connect/Strava/MovesCount (the evolution of my running tracking!) and seeing the route I ran and the surprisingly detailed maps they produce. I’ve had runs that cover entire islands, dip into the sea at low tide, and trace giant circles around cities I am exploring.

woburn wander








Art. I have this dream that one day all this data I am collecting will be able to be turned into a cool piece of art.  I want some sort of interactive world map on the wall of my house that shows each run I’ve done in different parts of the world. The details need to be worked out but one day it will be on my wall.  In the meantime Sisu is doing really cool things when you connect your Strava account. I love looking at my runs in different ways and seeing the the data my watch is collecting.


For the past 2.5 years my Garmin10 FR has been my best friend and totally up to any run/cycle/swim I threw at it (yes, it’s waterproof even though they don’t actively advertise it!) and I loved it’s simplicity and think it’s the best basic watch on the market. But it’s battery has been getting shorter and shorter, and my runs have been getting longer and longer. I’m not going to finish a marathon in 3:30 any time soon so need my watch to last a little longer.  I’m not going to go into all the things the Suunto Ambit3 Run does, as I’d be here for years (and you can check out DC Rainmaker for that) but it has up to 100 hours of battery life on GPS. It uploads wirelessly to your mobile phone, it makes 3D videos of your run data, you can customize it 100% to match the activities you do (or don’t do) – I even have a commute cycle setting, and finally you can plan routes on it and follow them with it’s built in compass.

If I’m having that same conversation about GPS watches now, I’d say that just because you wear a watch doesn’t mean you’re a slave to the pace setting.

I bought the Suunto Amibt3 Run with the contribution I received from Quorn. As a part of my partnership with Quorn they are helping me financially to reach my 2015 fitness goals. 


5 thoughts on “what do you do with your data

  1. DrJuliet

    I agree. I wear mine most runs but sometimes tuck it under my sleeve and never look at it. Uploaded runs are a kind of diary for me. If i’m interested I’ll analyse them and I usually write a comment but often about who I ran with or what I saw rather than the stats.

  2. Hannah

    I love looking at my data after a run! See how many kms I’ve run in the current month and compare it to previous months or the same time last year. In November I noticed that I could probably beat my total distance from the previous yr, so being the competitive person I am, I had to pass that total by the end of the year. To see the total distance in a year is also pretty amazing (probably at lot less miles than most runners, but a lot for me!). I have to confess that I also look frequently at my pace during a run, and won’t start running until my watch has found signal ( I need the kms to count towards my years total!). Quite tempted to do some GPS ‘art’ too in future.

  3. misswheezy

    I totally agree that it’s way more interesting to look at the data after your run/cycle/hike rather than during! It’s fun for me to look back since I started running and see how my pace has improved and how the distances have got longer. You haven’t been tempted to try and create some strange picture animal with any of your runs yet then?! 🙂


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