You don't need to bro. If it's an easy run, run easy and enjoy the run. No need to let the watch get to you and speed up. If it's moderate, run within reason, maybe have a mile mark or check point to keep it where you need to be. If it's a workout, you probably are on the track or have some type of interval loop.
Only problem I have with GPS watch is a lot of people don't know it's not 100% accurate. It does awful on turns and can miss by a mile for track runs. Personally, I just don't care for the extra information. I rather just run by feel and time.
I know, true LR bros run by feel without wearing anything, like literally nothing, and run butt naked on snowed roads in negative Fahrenheit weather with no modesty necessary thanks to extreme shrinkage.
GPS watches also time accurately within 0.1 seconds just like the stopwatch. Plus they store the entire workout and upload it to your desired running log automatically. If you want to write it down in a paper log, everything you could possibly want to write down is stored in the watch's history.
I don't need it to be super accurate but I like to know my ballpark mileage as I am running. I just want to run 50-60-70 miles a week or whatever. My GPS watch is good for getting close to that.
But since I am old and slow, I can't really just "run by feel" because the efforts of my youth (and paces) don't line up with my current perceived efforts (and paces).
But you are right, I could just run by time and that would be fine too. I could do 30-45-60-90 minutes. I would be fine with that. But I grew up running my sessions based on mileage and I won't change that now after decades of running.
This was my approach in my early years of running. I have intentionally gone out without a watch on routes with a known distance, just so I ignore the time.
I often run with a Timex Ironman watch instead of a Garmin because I want to run by feel. However, I inevitably learn the average time I reach point A or B, and this can cause me to get caught up on how fast I'm running.
The real benefit of running with no watch or with a simple stopwatch, especially during longer intervals and tempos, is that you get better at calibrating speed in wind, heat, etc.
Also, I think it's better to run 4 X mile interval effort (for example) and figure out what that time is than to aim for a goal time on intervals. The same for figuring out 5k, 10k, marathon pace. You have to start with what your body tells you, then set your targets from there. At some point, you want to collect data, but you have to start with your body, not with the data.
Obvious as this sounds, I know lots of people who pick a goal pace and let the data drive their training and racing. This is how people end up tanking in a race because their GPS wouldn't connect on the start line, and they don't know how fast to run without it.
Listen, zoomer, there are other generations besides boomers, millennials, and gen z. Enter Gen X. We like technology but have enough experience to understand its downfalls. Consider the following points about technology and life experience:
-You can listen to a record or CD without having a company track and sell your information
-You can run without a company tracking your whereabouts for several hours a day
-Sometimes people who are older than you and have more experience know something that you don't
-Embodiment doesn't have to be a data-driven experience
-Boomers are very unlikely to say they don't need a car. They understand the freedom that comes with setting out on the open road in a car that one can repair with their own two hands
-Human history does not necessarily bend toward progress, and there may be benefits to doing things the "old way"
Runners with a decent amount of experience are pretty darn good at identifying when they are at lactate threshold. I have done enough lab testing using blood samples and RPE to see it. On the 6-20 scale most runners/triathletes hit LT around 15-17 and is very consistent for each runner. So yeah, you can sort of tell.