Anna Breen

I have a phone that does almost everything I need. Why would I also have a watch? A simple accessory is no longer simple in most of our worlds. For starters, there’s the unavoidable sports watch tan line, and most importantly and effectively there’s the data, which in my world, leads to a heap of what I refer to as ‘procrastinate-run.’

But a sports watch is so much more than an accessory. It’s also a friend. Let the guilty admissions follow… 

As a student, I like to put the blame upon my watch. 

For example, in a lecture where phones aren’t allowed: whoops, too bad! I can pretend I’m looking at the time and be reading notifications instead.

When I’m studying in the library, it’s my phone that tells me it’s time for a solid brain break when it lights up “move.” Goodbye 6th floor of the library, hello coffee (via the stairs of course). 

Those must-reach step count goals definitely help in more ways than one. 

When it comes to data, the watch gets better. Rather than just having statistics, the automatic sync comes in handy to see the stats on a bigger screen and have others see them too.

(Except, that is, for when I’ve somehow run a Waterfront 5km, climbed 12,000m of elevation and plunged to the bottom of the Earth and back in the space of around 100 meters. I’m no expert, but there may be something odd about that run.) 

Still, usually my watch really does somehow motivate me to attempt to run a little bit faster or a little bit further despite how I may be feeling. 

It’s not just about the data, though. My watch also connects me with other people. I think the funniest part about it all is that in the group that we mix with, having a sports watch becomes somewhat expected. You see someone wearing a sports watch, and you instantly know that you have something in common. In our group, everyone understands the truth behind having a Garmin and the procrastination it can create. 

So even though you already have your phone, I really do think the investment in a watch is 100% worth it. It may seem extravagantly expensive, unnecessary and a little ‘too connected’ but for me it has changed my running. 

As a student who didn’t exactly love undergrad, I can honestly say that the combination of running, stats and of course all the people got me through the days – even what that just meant reaching the minimum expected step count instead of sitting all day in the library. It’s an excuse to go outside, an excuse to do better and of course it keeps my training ticking along (pun definitely intended). 

There’s a t-shirt out there that says, “if I collapse someone pause my Garmin” and I can tell you: this actually does happen.

Despite the occasional GPS blip, or odd plunge to the middle of the Earth, a watch is so much more than an accessory.

A watch is a like good friend. It covers for you in lectures. It tells you when you need to get moving. It knows things about you that you don’t know yourself. It introduces you to new social groups. And most of all, it encourages you to run that little bit further and push that little bit harder – and it is definitely easier to carry than a phone!