Does the exact running distance matter?

Earlier this week, I posed a question in my dailymile about the discrepancies that occur in the distance that your GPS-enabled watch produces compared to that found on a route mapper for the exact same route (in my case, Gmaps Pedometer). When I conduct periodic audits of the distance as determined by my watch, I’m willing to accept a discrepancy of ± 0.1 km for distances under 10 km.

The responses by Robert U. and Jennifer W. provide some insight into the inner workings of my GPS watch, such as weather conditions: a run on the same route conducted on a sunny day vs. a cloudy day can actually result in different distance measurements by the watch. On the day I posted this question, it was a rainy day. What tipped me off was the unusually high paces that my watch was displaying as I was running. Even when attempting my fastest speedwork, I cannot achieve the same paces my watch was giving me at the time. It turns out that there was a difference of 0.3 km for an ~8 km run.

As a runnerd who values having data as accurate as possible, am I too worried over what amounts to a ~0.3% discrepancy?

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One Comment on “Does the exact running distance matter?”

  1. […] Does the exact running distance matter? […]


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