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Abstract

International Journal of Exercise Science 6(1) : 74-80, 2013. In their roles as coaches, the authors have observed that first-year collegiate distance runners often have difficulty running at prescribed training paces during lactate threshold (LT) training runs. Previous research has validated the accuracy of global positioning system (GPS) devices in providing distance and velocity feedback during running. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of using the Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS watch (Garmin) to reduce deviations from prescribed training paces during LT runs with first-year collegiate runners. Participants were two groups of varsity cross country runners who completed a three-week LT training intervention either with (n = 5) or without (n = 6) a Garmin device. Prescribed training paces were based off an initial time-trial. In both the pre- and post-test runs, in which all runners ran without a Garmin device, differences were calculated between the prescribed pace and actual pace. The comparisons revealed a significant difference between the training groups in the post-test. Those runners who trained with the Garmin device had a significant decrease in pacing variability. This suggests that GPS pacing feedback appears to be an effective tool at improving LT pacing in first-year collegiate distance runners.