Want VS Need

Lately I have been trying to change my mindset about things in running that I want vs items that I need.

The main focus of this internal discussion has been thinking about a GPS.

Currently, and for the past few years I’ve either been using my iPhone in an armband or a Suunto Footpod. Well the footpod is useless here in the mountains and I’m just getting sick of having an iPhone on my arm while running/racing.

Heck, part of me does not even want a GPS.

On one wrist..er..hand, I’d love to have a $399 wrist-top computer that can give me the temperature, elevation climbed, current vs goal pace, etc.

On the other hand, I enjoy going without a GPS for my easy runs.

My body does not care if I do my easy 5.25km running route in 28:45 but put 30 down, which is what I do when I do the route without a watch. I still did the workout exactly the same, and honestly, I’ve been finding them more enjoyable when not having something on my body recording my every movement.

The same goes for clothing. I would kill to own a pair of the Tracksmith $60 running shorts, I hear they’re amazing.

Yet, I did a recent run in a pair of Desi’s “normal” running shorts and it was totally fine, even though they may have came from Goodwill.

And finally, we go from want to damn near lust.

The photo above is the Tesla Model S, a fully electric 0-60 in 3.9 seconds beauty.

I want that so bad. So. Bad.

Yet, I barely drive! I’ve commuted on my new bike for over 200km since getting it. I love riding that thing. It feels good to ride it, but it also feels good to know I rode it instead of driving. I’ve saved almost $30 in gas money in under 2 months from simply riding my bike. That’s incredible, and makes me not want a car at all.

What is something you want, but have not purchased because it is not a need?

What is something you’ve wanted, and splurged a bit to get? 



Kyle is a running coach who works with people all over the world to help them run more consistently & be resilient to injury.

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Mark - November 22, 2014


Like many runners and athletes out there, I too went through some phases of life wanting and needing stuff. I remember my first year as a triathlete with my costco bought wetsuit, huffy bicycle and shoes from some ware! Two years later I had the “best” of everything, or so I thought. 17 years later to the present time, there’s nothing I enjoy more than my runs with my Skora Fits, discounted shirts and shorts from a clearance rack somewhere. I got caught up in the more is better and better is more better! It made me feel like I was trying too hard to enjoy running. Don’t get me wrong, I love racing as much as the next person. I just now leave the watch or Garmin in the drawer.

Joanna - November 21, 2014

HA! I just splurged, to the tune of $40 because I’m a big spender, on a real running rain jacket. But I live in Florida and during the summer, I run in the rain about half the time. I use my iPhone, too, but I kind of like just taking my watch and mapping my run after.

Jeremy Sanders - September 19, 2014

What is so great about those shorts? I’m the king of buyinganything and everything frivolous related to running. But $60 shorts?

    Kyle - September 19, 2014

    Made in the US is a HUGE part of the cost, I’m sure. They’re also a new/small brand, so I imagine their markup is high (which is completely understandable). I also think they take the SKORA Form approach of incredibly high quality with no concern about cost.

      Michael Baker - September 20, 2014

      You hit the nail on the head here Kyle. I look at companies like Tracksmith and make a decision to support them because of what they stand for as much as what they make. I can assure you the quality of those shorts is everything they say it is 🙂

      If people buy only what they need, innovation will die. Nobody needs an iPhone, or even a car for that matter, but they make life better by simplifying the tasks commonplace in our lives. In the end you run a lot of mileage and you want to track it. Spending 100 or 400 is justifiable if it’s not going to create a hardship.

      This is not suggest any obligation to spend massive amounts of money on STUFF, but if you’re buying the company more than the product it’s a vote of confidence to a small business trying to get off the ground.

Philip - September 17, 2014

Lots of GPS watches that don’t cost $400! You can get a watch for ~$100 that does 90% of what the $400 one does. Who needs to know the temperature when you’re already outside? 😉

    Kyle - September 17, 2014

    Oh I know, I’ve had my eye on the Forerunner 10 as well 😉 However an issue there is that I’m 100% certain if I buy the Forerunner 10, I’ll still want the Fenix 2. Hell, I’m 100% certain if I were to buy the Fenix 2, I’d still lust over the Ambit 3 or some future super GPS.

    I’m not sure if it makes sense, but I’d rather not have any GPS at all, than either a nice or or a more inexpensive one. And for those workouts where I do benefit from having one, the iPhone works well enough 🙂

Tina Muir - September 17, 2014

SO true! We have become so spoiled that we cannot recognize the difference anymore. I was online yesterday, and have a gift card to amazon, and I was wondering what I could spend it on, but could not think of a single thing I “needed”, yet throughout the day, I always think about things I wish I could buy.

I loved what you said about your body not caring about what time you run per mile/km, that is the way it should be, and even though I have a gps watch, I am learning to not look at it. I wrote about that in my post about why I am not setting a time goal for the marathon. I think you would agree with my points in that post.

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