Confessions of a Runner Who Uses Technology

As a runner who uses technology I feel that transparency is important. The internet, blogging specifically, can lead people to believe that everything they see on the screen is true. Persona’s are created and distributed – over time lack authenticity.

I’m going to touch on a few areas, truths if you will, that will shed more light on how I run with technology. I might find some things I’m about to reveal…scandalous (or silly it really could go either way). You should just know that there’s a human on the other side of this post that makes some…interesting choices when running with technology.


Here are a few confessions from a runner who uses technology. Oh, and be sure to leave a comment either to ask what exactly am I thinking, or confess something you’ve done running digitally.

Right Now, I’m Running with only a Smart Phone

That felt good getting that off my chest. I’ve reviewed and analyzed dozens of gadgets, devices, and hardware but keep going back to my smart phone for Strava.


Don’t get me wrong, I’ve recommended a number of products for runners and do believe in them. At certain points in my running I do pick them back up. Right now, I’m using just my smart phone.

I like the self-coaching aspect of using a mobile app on a smart phone. The voice-overs are really helpful with establishing a pace or certain workout (i.e. tempo runs).

There’s also the less is more concept with technology. Too many devices can dilute the impact of running with technology.

Here’s the biggest reason I primarily run with my smart phone – something better is out there. What that “something better” is I don’t know yet. Right now, wearable technology is very hardware focused. I think over the next couple of years the technology will become less visible. It might be the form of a patch, tattoo, or something that no one is talking about.

Beyond wearable tech, there has to be some mind-blowing tech out there that could change running. A game changer – maybe it’s the smart watch from Apple or whatever Google has cooking.

It’s tempting to chase and buy every tech trend out there, but at the end of the day I just want to run. The smart phone does job – for now.

I Review My Running Data Like it’s a Treasure Map

Yeah, I pour over my running data like it’s going to reveal some sort of ancient mystery leading me to treasure. I’m looking for trends, outliers, basically anything that gets me to link how I felt about a run to my data.


I think the running community is big on “feeling” when running. I get it. The need to listen to what your body is telling you is really important, but I think associating that with data is pretty powerful.

I’ve been experimenting with intermittent fasting for the last couple months (more to come on this) and trying to gauge how this impacts my running.

I’m still trying to come to a conclusion. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks just establishing the habit and understanding how my body responds without doing any harm.

What I’m working on now is to pay closer attention to my running and certain times of the day based on my fasting schedule.

I think it’s a cool self-experiment, but I think a lot of things are cool which bring me to…

I Don’t Run Dream About Responsible People Stuff

I could be sleeping on the couch after my wife reads this.

How many of you kind of zone out when you’re running? Maybe you get lost in a song, think about a place you’d like to vacation, or just day dream?

For me, I’m creating science fiction stories in my head, thinking of future projects, or completely random thoughts. Not all the time but a good chunk. Usually on a long run my mind wanders a little bit. Sometimes it’s a completely original thought, or I continue on a movie I might’ve seen recently.


Where this gets a little dicey is that my wife will ask me what I think about when I run. For her, it’s the kids, things we need to get done around the house, prayers, birthdays, church songs, problem solving, ants, and that weird noise every time a toilet is flushed.

I think about some of those things and then this creeps into my mind. Tough to think about yard projects when that is happening. Or when this is happening.

I’ve Stopped a Run Because of a Dead Battery

Glasses houses, people, glass houses.

This has only happened twice that I can remember. The clearest memory of this happening is when I thought my phone was charged but it wasn’t. The horror!

I was pretty upset and just bagged the whole run. Yes, I know it’s short-sighted, stupid, and a total First World Problem. I have no excuses and later regretted it. For the record, I have run without technology – checkout 5 Benefits of Running Naked.

I’m a committed runner and will power down when it makes sense. However, I do credit technology for my commitment to running. I’ve run steady for four years and large in part to technology. When it does not power up like it’s supposed, I get a little angry.

No More Confessions From a Runner Who Uses Technology

Now you have all the lurid details of my running with technology. Probably not as juicy as the headline indicated but transparency is important as a blogger. You hopefully get the sense I practice what I preach, but I also know I’m not perfect or certainly don’t to pretend.

Care to weigh in or confess your running tech sins? Drop a comment!

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  1. says

    I love this! I love this whole message of you don’t need a watch to do serious training (we usually all run with a smartphone anyway). Even though I’ll have to get you to try FitFriend instead of Strava ;) I created it to be a less is more app.

    But I applaud this non-trendy stance. It’s very trendy to use a Garmin just because everyone else is using one right now, but I’ve known for a couple of years that training with a smartphone is just as good as a watch…if not better. If I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t have even bothered with programming FitFriend – I would’ve just created a watch on Kickstarter instead :P

    I think you’re right with the software vs hardware angle. Devices are the centre of attention right now, but this is likely to shift when a game changer comes out like the iWatch, or a touchscreen Pebble.

    Nice one. Keep the contrarian blog posts coming!

    • Chris Narbone says

      Hi Mike. Thanks for commenting. Glad you liked the post. No doubt Garmin is the tech force for runners right now. It is a good tool, but I think we agree that something is coming up that will change the game of tech and running.

      I’ll check out FitFriend – always on the lookout for a new app!

      Thanks again for stopping by!

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