Oven Timer

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Lately I’ve been twittering about how I really, really want a Garmin Forerunner.  I feel like I’m the last runner in the world without a Garmin, and I want one sooooo badly.


These tweets led to a funny discussion between Megan and I.  She asked how I time my runs if I don’t wear a watch.


I said, "I look at the oven before I leave and then I look at it again when I return!"


See why I need a Garmin?


Runners – How do you time your runs?  Am I really the last runner without a Garmin?



  • Tina July 20, 2009, 12:11 pm

    Haha. I used to do the EXACT same thing before my Garmin. I still do actually when I don't use it!

  • Elizabeth July 20, 2009, 12:18 pm

    I use my iPod – sometimes I use the timer, sometimes I go by the length of the playlist, and sometimes I go by the iPod clock. None of these is a very good system; all lead to lots of fidgeting with my armband and mumbling of numbers so I don't forget my splits on long runs.

    I plan to buy one this fall, as long as I stay on my half marathon training schedule.

  • mamasweeds July 20, 2009, 12:19 pm

    I use a regular stop watch. I've gone back and forth between wanting a Garmin and I've come to realize I can save the money get by with my watch and the internet.

    I have a handful of routes with varying mileage (that I have memorized) or if I take a new route I use mapmyrun.com to figure out how far I went.

    Then I come home and plug in the distance and my time into the pace calculator at coolrunning.com


    VOILA! Saves you a bunch of bucks, no Garmin necessary.

  • Allison July 20, 2009, 12:20 pm

    I wear a $9.99 digital watch from Target with a stopwatch feature. It's great! Before I start half marathon training in November, I want to purchase a heart rate monitor. I know we can't afford a fancy Garmin, but I plan to purchase a good heart rate monitor with stopwatch at around the $100 price point.

    Runner's World July has an article about different Garmins and other running technology you might want to check out.

  • Natalie M. July 20, 2009, 12:23 pm

    Hey Caitlin,

    why do you need a garmin specifically? I have a Polar F6 and it works pretty darn well. A garmin is really the tricked out version of a heart rate monitor (heck I'd take one if I could afford it but 300.00 on a heartrate monitor just seems a little crazy lol I say the same thing about people who buy the most expensive ipods and iphones) but trust me the Polar works just as well. It was about 130.00 with tax and amazon has free shipping and a one year warranty. Try it out! 🙂

  • Samantha @ Mama Notes July 20, 2009, 12:24 pm

    I always wear a watch. Always! i look at it through the whole run- it keeps me going.

    I actually don't know what a garmin is? Off to google….. 🙂

  • Niki July 20, 2009, 12:25 pm

    I use the oven, too. 🙁 haha

  • Christy July 20, 2009, 12:25 pm

    I use my Garmin. There really is nothing better! :o) Or you could get a little $12 cheap-o sports watch from Target so you could at least set the timer. I've also used the time on my cell phone (I always take it with me when I run.)

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point July 20, 2009, 12:26 pm

    natalie – garmins have GPS device in them so they can track how far you have run (accurately).

  • Tami July 20, 2009, 12:27 pm

    i am getting the garmin fr60, much cheaper than any other watch i have found. check it out.

  • Christina July 20, 2009, 12:28 pm

    I have a cheap Nike Imara HRM that I bought on ebay for like 30 dollars but it works great!

  • Carolina John July 20, 2009, 12:29 pm

    yes for goodness sake get a garmin forerunner 205, or the 305 if you want the heartrate monitor. wow.

    you will be blown away with how cool it is!

  • Ricardo July 20, 2009, 12:32 pm

    I have a cheap Casio rubber watch, that has a stopwatch feature. Actually, I love the watch because it also has an alarm clock, and a count-down timer (good for parking meters or laundry loads). Sometimes cheap is just as good as expensive. And if something goes wrong with the thing, you toss it and get another.

  • Therese July 20, 2009, 12:34 pm

    I was just thinking the same thing the other day. My Polar F6 has conveniently (or not so much) quit and I would LOVE a Garmin.

    Why do they have to cost more than a car payment though??

  • Allie July 20, 2009, 12:35 pm

    I have my Polar watch that tracks times, calories, heart rate, etc. And is an actual watch. I love it. And it was $80 :). I wouldn't give it up for anything.

  • brandi July 20, 2009, 12:37 pm

    I used to just wear a regular watch with a stopwatch feature and just go by my time.

    husband and I found the garmin forerunner 50 on amazon for only $80 a few months ago (and it came with the footpod) and we love them. This isn't the one with GPS, though – that one is a lot more expensive. check amazon first – they have some good prices on them.

  • Ada July 20, 2009, 12:38 pm

    That's so funny, I do the same thing! I really gotta bite the bullet and get a garmin:)

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) July 20, 2009, 12:38 pm

    I'm DYING for a Garmin!! I'm someone that needs to know the stats on my runs, especially distance, so…with the GPS (hint hint, Santa).

    I guess it'll just have to be the oven for now… 🙂

  • Red Head, Yellow Dog July 20, 2009, 12:42 pm

    I'm a microwave clock kind of girl 🙂

    I'd love a garmin but they just look like they're so HUGE!

  • M July 20, 2009, 12:43 pm

    Of course everyone has to do as they choose based on what is best for them, their life, their experience, etc. For me, I had a Garmin for a while — but sold it because it became just another objective standard, criteria, method of judging myself — not unlike the scale or counting calories. I worked really, really hard to stop counting calories and then eventually gave up the scale. The Garmin became the same thing… so now, I'm quite happy with the 'oven timer' method. It may not be accurate to the second, but it allows me to focus on what I should during exercise — being outside, how I feel, whether I feel like I'm pushing hard enough, etc.

  • Heather July 20, 2009, 12:47 pm

    I dont have a Garmin either but I do have an Ironman watch & a Polar F6 that I wear (strap with watch.) I use Gmaps Pedometer to calculate my mileage.

  • Amanda July 20, 2009, 12:49 pm

    I use a Polar F4 watch/heart rate monitor (I think it was per your recommendation!) And I figure out my distance through mapmyrun.com. I don't know my mile splits, but it gets the job done.

  • John July 20, 2009, 12:49 pm


    I'm not a runner but it seems like the timer on a cell phone would work fine. You would also have phone and camera if needed.


  • Help Meghan Run July 20, 2009, 12:49 pm

    No Garmin here! Although I would *love* one. I use the Nike+ system, which works with my iPod nano and the chip in my shoe. It tracks time, distance (fairly accurately), and therefore pace. I like it a lot, and it's only $30! (Not including the nano, obviously.)

  • Leah July 20, 2009, 12:57 pm

    I use my Polar HRM to time. Or my iPod if I don't want to be bothered with the HRM. Why don't you invest in a cheapo sports watch to hold you over until you can afford to get the Garmin?!

  • Kristie Lynn July 20, 2009, 12:57 pm

    There's no way I could afford a Garmin… mostly because I can't justify spending the $$ for one. I just have a $12 stopwatch I bought from Target that works just fine when combined with mapmyrun and google maps – besides, if I'm getting a fancy watch, I want one with a heart rate monitor and calorie counter that is accurate (which only the Garmin 405CX has)!

  • Erik July 20, 2009, 1:05 pm

    I seriously considered the Garmin 405 but got the Timex Trail Runner instead. Function & price-wise, they're both very similar. But…

    The G is only "splash-proof" (not waterproof enough to confidently swim with) where the TR is waterproof to 50m.

    I went to Best Buy and tried on the G. It is huge! Just too big for me to wear as an everyday watch. The TR is regular watch size. This is because the TR's GPS is a separate, clip-on unit. For me this is fine as I can wear the watch all the time and clip on the GPS when I want to run or ride. YMMV on this.

    The TR's band is an excellent design, and I always seem to have issues with this.

    People I run with complain that when they get sweaty the G's fancy touch-bezel doesn't respond to their touches.

    I love the Trail Runner, just my .02, but it just can't bake a batch of cookies! 😉

  • Victoria July 20, 2009, 1:08 pm

    Ha. I wear a watch, but the oven time is how my husband times his runs!

  • Meg C. July 20, 2009, 1:08 pm

    I use… a watch!

  • Mica July 20, 2009, 1:10 pm

    Haha, the oven timer is great! I'm really glad that I have a Garmin now, but sometimes I think about how much less neurotic I used to be before I kept track of every little detail and constantly worried about the pace. Sometimes,I have to leave it at home.

  • redhead75 July 20, 2009, 1:10 pm

    My husband hates his Garmin, if your long sleeve shirt touches the button it changes, if a rain drop touches it it change, the battery life sucks and you have to charge it all the time…that's his review 😉

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn July 20, 2009, 1:11 pm

    I don't have one!! 🙁

    I look at the time on my ipod right when I start and check it when I end. HA! Sounds like we both need one!

  • just me July 20, 2009, 1:15 pm

    hey, nothing wrong w/ the oven clock. i do the same thing, but from the clock on my VCR. Yes, I said VCR.

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) July 20, 2009, 1:21 pm

    Nope, I don't have one. They are out of my budget at the moment. I have a HRM that I love and can time my runs that way. I don't even see a Garmin in my future! 🙂

  • Christina! July 20, 2009, 1:21 pm

    Not to be an enabler but the Garmin 305 is only $162 on amazon right now… should price help your case!

  • Katie July 20, 2009, 1:23 pm

    Haha, I do that now too! I have a Garmin now, but whenever I don't use it, I always go by the oven time too 🙂

  • *One Step at a Time* July 20, 2009, 1:25 pm

    Haha! No you are not. I do the SAME exact thing to time my runs. I literally look at the oven as well, if I even decide to time my run at all. I'd rather not get caught up in how fast i'm running. I run FOR ME and not to beat myself up about how fast I go! 🙂

  • Beth July 20, 2009, 1:26 pm

    I've definitely used the oven method in the past, but I gave in to the Amazom sale yesterday! Now I'm obsessively tracking the package until it arrives…

  • Anna July 20, 2009, 1:27 pm

    I want a Garmin too!

    But right now I just use a regular sport watch with the stopwatch feature.

  • Natalie D July 20, 2009, 1:27 pm

    I am so unmotivated right now. I want one too!! I just put them into gmap-pedometer!

  • Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork July 20, 2009, 1:34 pm

    I use a Nike+ with my iPod Nano.

  • Jennifer July 20, 2009, 1:38 pm

    Hi Caitlin,
    I used my Nike + thingie with my ipod for a year before I got a Garmin. The funny thing is – the Nike + and Garmin registered the same distance when I wore them both! So I swear by the Nike +, but I love my Garmin. Good luck getting one! (My husband got it for my birthday when he couldn't stand the "hints" any more) 😉

  • Susan July 20, 2009, 1:38 pm

    Ha, you are so old-school! 😛 I have a Polar F11. I've lusted over Garmins, but they're too pricey, especially when I already have my trusty (and stylish) Polar.

  • Heather July 20, 2009, 1:49 pm

    I always used my iPod clock and guessed or tried to drive the mileage, but my hubby got me a Garmin 205 for my birthday and my running life was changed forever. Seriously, with a hectic schedule (especially like the one you have) it's much easier for me than trying to map out a 4 mile run on the internet. I also discovered that the mile markers at my local park are off according to the Garmie. Just do it 🙂

  • whitsgettingfit July 20, 2009, 2:00 pm

    I don't have a Garmin yet…but it's in the works!

  • Suzanne RN July 20, 2009, 2:01 pm

    I time it by the songs I listen to during my run! 🙂

  • Jamie Blair July 20, 2009, 2:07 pm

    I use my Nike+ and my Ipod nano, great way to track runs!

  • megan July 20, 2009, 2:14 pm

    Nope, no garmin here. My hubby randomly bought me a nike watch+hrm that I love. Tracks the calories I burn in a work out, which I may or may not obsess over that feature. 😉

  • Project 55 July 20, 2009, 2:17 pm

    I caved in and bought a Garmin even though I've only been running for 6 months and it was a MASSIVE splurge. Probably the single most expensive thing I've bought purely for recreational purposes but I love it.

    I used to map out my run online to find the correct distance for my training schedule and then I'd have to stick to it religiously but now I love that I can even choose to leave the path.

    I do check the pace religiously though, and the little virtual trainer guy seriously pisses me off when I lose against him!


  • sloank July 20, 2009, 2:19 pm

    I used to do that too!!! I don't have a garmin, I have a polar which I HATE… definitely need the garmin!!

    In other news, did you watch Oprah today?? Oh man, Operation Beautiful should have been on it!!! It was all about finding your happy weight and being happy with yourself. I just wanted to call in and tell them that there was a website specifically for this!!!

  • Peanut Butter Swirl July 20, 2009, 2:54 pm

    look at it this way – only six months until christmas 😀 haha I want a Garmin so bad too!

  • teacherwoman July 20, 2009, 3:06 pm

    LOL. And no, you are not the last one without a Garmin. I mean, I have a really old one, but I don't use it because I use mapmyrun.com for the distance and my heart rate monitor for the speed. I don't need to know all the other little details (ie. splits, elevation, etc.)

    You can buy great Timex sports watches at Target for $15… and their waterproof… I got one for the triathlon and love that thing! Plus, it has a timer on it! LOL

  • HangryPants July 20, 2009, 3:10 pm

    No Garmin here. I have a Polar HRM. When I first got it I ran on the treadmill to see if I could figure out how to determine when I've gone a mile. I know now that once I've burned between 60 and 70 calories that I've gone 1 mile. Then I just use the timer to see how long it took. I also use that and my HR to pace myself.

  • Lizzy July 20, 2009, 3:17 pm

    you aren't alone. when i read what you said i laughed because thats the exact thing i do when i leave the house to go running! i'm trying to find something because i'm starting to train for my half marathon in october soon! maybe we can find something for cheaper! 🙂

  • Lexie July 20, 2009, 3:19 pm

    lol…I do the same thing! My mom let me borrow her Garmin and then the stupid thing stopped charging! I used it til the charge ran out, but I am back to my old ways again!

  • HangryPants July 20, 2009, 3:23 pm

    Also, I map my run with google pedometer.

  • Kelly (Beneath It All) July 20, 2009, 3:27 pm

    You totally need a garmin! Definitely worth the investment! You'll love it! The kitchen timer works too though!

  • Andee (Runtolive) July 20, 2009, 3:35 pm

    I used to have to map my runs so I knew how far I was going, but I had no clue as to my pace. The Garmin really is great in calculating your pace, and gives you a goal to work on and where you could improve on your runs. I hope you are able to get it!

  • Jessica July 20, 2009, 3:36 pm

    I don't have a Garmin and I'm dying for one as well! For the time being, I use a cheap $10 sport watch that I bought at Target about 2 years ago. I map out my run before hand and then use the stopwatch on my sport watch to figure out what speed I went. Not exact science, but good enough for now!

    I'm going to give in and get a Garmin though…preferably one that is water resistant and measures your heart rate :). Might as well get all the cool features if I am going to get one!

  • hopeinpeanutbutterandoats July 20, 2009, 3:49 pm

    haha i just got a garmin and it's magical!
    the only thing i haven't figured out yet is how to calculate everything when indoors, or doing a home workout or calculate everything when i'm at the gym as opposed to running. BUT i'm all for Garmin use!

  • NYgirl@heart July 20, 2009, 4:00 pm

    Haha I don't have one either and have been bitching about how badly I want one too. I use my phone and my MP3 player. Sometimes when I stop to wait for a red light I have to stop it, and when I try to start it up again it resets…UGH that pisses me off! But yeah I hate not knowing how far I'm going, my pace, my heart rate/calories burned, and dealing with a resetting MP3 player. (although it could be worse)

  • leslie July 20, 2009, 4:16 pm

    this just made me laugh out loud! could you compromise with a cheaper hrm? or maybe that would be pointless since you'd still eventually want to get a garmin.

    i do think an ipod can be good as a timer, and mapmyrun.com is an easy way to track your distance. not as fun and high tech as a garmin, but you do what you have to do! 🙂

  • OhSheGlows July 20, 2009, 4:24 pm

    haha I always did the oven trick!!! TOO FUNNY! Thanks for the smile.

  • Sheri July 20, 2009, 4:33 pm

    I have a Garmin Forerunner 305 and LOVE it! I used to use my watch…but I have to say having the Garmin is sooo much better! I really like to know how far I have gone and it tracks my workouts for me. Plus it does stuff that I am sure I have not found out yet! 🙂

  • Kim July 20, 2009, 4:34 pm

    I use a Nike+ ipod thing. I just got it and it seems to work well. Otherwise, I have a Polar HRM/watch, but don't have the footpod for it. The Nike+ was much cheaper ($29.99) on Nike.com.

  • ~CB~ July 20, 2009, 4:39 pm

    Ha,you HAVE to get one. I am barely a runner and I have one. I have been training for my first half…this Sunday in San Francisco. It is such a great tool. I was on vacation but still needed to get in my miles and I was able to go out and run and know my mileage…critical for my personality…approximates dont work for me 🙂

  • Rebeca @All Vegged Out July 20, 2009, 4:48 pm

    OMG… no way!

    I just use the stopwatch on my iPod touch… and got Nike+ (cheaper)

  • Chellie has Issues July 20, 2009, 5:00 pm

    🙂 I used to do the SAME THING! Then I got a Nike sport which helped me. I used to stress about the distance I ran rather than the time, so I used to drive around in my van to try and clock my distances. Not totally accurate, but it gave me a general idea. I now have my Garmin and love it. If I go out on a run and the battery dies, I freak out! Now I just need to know my pace! Invest in one…it's HUGE on the wrist but well worth it!

  • Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write July 20, 2009, 5:04 pm

    That's funny. I use our HD box in the living room, right near the front door!

  • lilveggiepatch July 20, 2009, 5:18 pm

    I use my Polar Runner's HRM. It's been acting up recently… my BPMs have been way off (like, flashing zero when I'm sweating up a storm) but the timer's always right!

  • Kim July 20, 2009, 5:29 pm

    no garmin here just my regular pink polar…i do want a garmin though

  • Sarah W. July 20, 2009, 5:34 pm

    I use a $15 stop watch from Target – it does the trick! I would love to have the garmin forerunner too but it looks really bulky on peoples wrists so i'm skeptical…..i do want a HRM tho so i dunno

  • DLap July 20, 2009, 5:38 pm

    I wear a cheap-o watch from the drug store…..
    i wish i had a garmin

  • Anonymous July 20, 2009, 5:38 pm

    I laughed when I read about how you time your runs because I time mine by looking at the oven, too! I don't know why but I always thought you had a Garmin and it makes me feel a little better to know you don't have one either 🙂 I hope you're able to get one soon.

  • JennyMarie July 20, 2009, 5:45 pm

    i hit the treadmill. but i want a garmin still! when it gets to the perfect temperature in texas i will run outside. =) and of course i need it for my half marathon in january

  • Angharad July 20, 2009, 6:02 pm

    I want one! They sound awesome. I bought a cheap sports watch but it broke after about 2 months (what a surprise). Since it snapped I just carry the face in my hand as all the clock stuff still works – pretty ghetto though!! Ha!

  • Laura in Pgh July 20, 2009, 6:03 pm

    I've been using my garmin for over a year now, but used to look at the oven as well! I highly recommend the Garmin 305 – it is worth it's weight in gold!

  • The Gourmet on a Diet July 20, 2009, 6:04 pm

    I wear a Nike Triax heart monitor and watch. I'd like something cuter, but I'm too cheap!

  • Stephanie July 20, 2009, 6:06 pm

    No, you aren't the last runner without one! I dont have one, but I want one sooo badly. I just can't afford it right now. I do wear a normal digital watch and just use the timer on that.

  • Tyler July 20, 2009, 6:31 pm

    haha, i love your oven timing method :). i feel naked if i run without my watch. i just use a simple one with a stopwatch right now. i actually got a garmin for graduation, but i haven't figured out how to use it yet…

  • Nicole (anotheronebitesthecrust.wordpress.com) July 20, 2009, 6:32 pm

    Haha!! I do that too 😛

  • MarathonVal July 20, 2009, 6:45 pm

    I use a Polar F11 which works just great and is much cheaper!

    I love the heart rate monitor feature – it does pretty much the same stuff a Garmin does!

  • ttfn300 July 20, 2009, 6:57 pm

    haha, i look at my cable box 🙂 no garmin here!

  • chandra July 20, 2009, 7:05 pm

    I would also love a garmin, but I haven't been able to justify the splurge yet because it's really not a necessity IMO. I have (and use) the watch from my HRM to time myself when I want to, and I can map out runs on mapmyrun.com or google pedometer or use a local trail, so I'll know my mileage. So yeah, no justified reason = I spent my money elsewhere (like trips to Vegas an Boston! lol).

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point July 20, 2009, 7:17 pm

    ahahhaha i love how many people use their ovens!!!

  • Tasha July 20, 2009, 7:34 pm

    I'm not sure which Garmin you're looking at, but I just bought the Forerunner305 off of Costco.com for 150. So…it's not 299 as it "retails" for.

  • Natalie M. July 20, 2009, 8:34 pm

    Well now that you've mentioned the GPS I can see why its more desirable! I was going to suggest the Nike/iPod sport pack but other readers beat me to it. Also, if you really really really want a Garmin it might be worthwhile to check out places like overstock, ebay, and google for refurbished ones.. you might be able to get a decent deal. Good luck! 🙂

  • k July 21, 2009, 4:33 am

    I used to do the same thing, but with my cable box. It was the most conveniently located clock I can see on my way out the door.

    I just got a garmin (405) and so far I quite like it. I like to be able to use it for pacing and it is nice to be able to leave the house and just run instead of having to map it out…

  • Aaron @ CrossBorderCravings July 21, 2009, 4:59 am

    I do the same thing! My oven clock is one of the only accurate clocks in the house, haha. I desperately want a Garmin as well, but is far too much money for me. I stick to using the oven clock, my iPod clock, and mapmyrun.com. I'm hoping to by a Polar heart rate monitor soon – its a bit more affordable!

  • Julia July 21, 2009, 11:37 am

    I used to not even time my runs…. I still mostly don't even with my garmin. Gosh, how am I ever gonna PR? haha

  • erinbee July 21, 2009, 2:56 pm

    i use the microwave. ;]

  • Happy Feet 26.2 July 21, 2009, 7:34 pm

    Amazon.com has better pricing on the Garmin's. I got mine for around $170.00. Best money I have spent in a long time.

    I will say that the Garmin also cripples you. The downside is you forget how to run pace, etc. I rely on it for pace, distance, everything.

    I can't go without one now. I am currently getting into heart rate training so I am glad that I went with the 305. If you are not going to do heart rate training specifically, you really do not need the 305.

    Good Luck!

  • Lara July 22, 2009, 2:39 pm

    I have a Garmin but I never use it, it's just so big. Plus I like not obsessing about my pace etc.

    I do however wear a stopwatch… I am NEVER without the stopwatch!

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