Every run has a purpose, right?
If you head out the door for a mile or three or ten or whatever, there is a benefit.
Even if your Garmin has the nerve to tell you that your run was unproductive.
Your Garmin is Stupid
I used to be a Garmin guy, but I’m decidedly team Coros these days.
That said, I promise I’m not trying to straight-up dump on Garmin in here.
I mean, if you like paying 2-3x more for a watch with half the battery life, I’m not going to stand in your way.
But any watch that tells you that your run was unproductive is stupid, full stop.
I’m not privy to any inside info, but near as I can tell Garmin determines whether or not your run was productive by how intense your miles happened to be.
If you’re hammering? It’s a productive run.
If you’re running easy? It’s an unproductive run.
In an effort to not come across as completely biased, Coros hasn’t always been perfect on this front either.
I seem to remember many runs classified as “non-impactful” back in the day.
Though thanks to a software update at some point along the way, those runs are now labeled as easy or recovery runs.
Which, is exactly what they should be called.
You Can Have an Unproductive Run
Now, before I get too far lost in the weeds and at the risk of contradicting myself to an unprecedented level, it’s fair to label certain runs as unproductive.
If you’re doing some sort of hard workout, but you’re not pushing yourself very hard, I think labeling that workout as an unproductive run could make sense.
Because if the goal was to get the physiological benefits of a hard speed session and all you did was cruise, you more than likely didn’t get the benefits you were after.
Sounds more or less unproductive to me.
Yet I would wager that Garmin would never label a half-assed speed workout as unproductive.
But an easy run? Where the goal is to keep your heart rate low and build your base?
The Power of Unproductivity
If I was still a Garmin guy, there’s no doubt the vast majority of my runs would be labeled unproductive.
Somehow, after years of almost nothing but one unproductive run after another, I’m running better than I ever have before.
This past weekend, I jumped into a local 10-miler with no expectations.
I had a loose goal of running the race in 75 minutes, but I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do that.
I’ve only done a handful of real workouts since we moved to Georgia, and the last time I really got after it was over a year ago.
In January of 2022, I set a new 13.1 PR with an average pace of 7:50.
With very few “productive” runs in the past 16 months, the odds of running 7:30 pace for 10 miles didn’t seem to be in my favor.
Turns out, my “slowest” mile on the day was 7:29, and I crossed the line with a 7:08 average pace.
I’m not here to brag about that pace.
There are plenty of people that are faster than me.
But what I’m trying to point out, once again, is that the key to racing fast isn’t to run fast all the time.
Most of run runs in GA are in the 10+ minute pace range.
Or, what a certain watch company may call “unproductive.”
Sorry, but I’ll take an “unproductive” run anytime if that puts me in the best position to throw down, in a big way, on race day.
Have You Ever Had Your Watch Tell You that Your Run Was Unproductive??
Want to Support the Continued Growth & Production of the Show?
Check out the support page for ideas and suggestions of ways you can help me grow the show. And remember, not all support involves money. Some of the best ways you can show your support are 100% free.
Subscribe to the Show
Never miss another episode of the Diz Runs With podcast by subscribing to the show, and for my fellow Apple fans out there, it’s never been easier now that the podcast app is native on the new operating system. iPhone/iPod/iPad users click here. Android users click here. SoundCloud users click here.
Please Give Me Some Feedback!
Take the 6 question listener survey to help me shape the future of this podcast.
Register for a Free Race Training Plan
Join The Tribe!
There’s always room for more members of the tribe! Both the Facebook group and the email group provide opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else. The Facebook group is still small, but it is a great way to connect with fellow runners and foster community amongst like-minded individuals. The email group is THE way to stay up to date about future guests on the show, as well as getting some other freebies and offers that aren’t available to anyone else. If you’ve got questions about either/both, just let me know!