As the Official Comrades Marathon coach, I often encounter questions from novice runners about the role of technology in their training journey for Comrades Marathon. 

While gadgets aren’t mandatory for running the Comrades Marathon, they can significantly enhance your training experience. Tracking devices offer valuable insights into your performance, allowing you to monitor progress and stay motivated. Whether it’s a basic fitness tracker or a more advanced GPS watch, investing in the right gadget can complement your training regimen and help you achieve your goals.

In this article, I aim to explore the benefits of embracing running gadgets and provide guidance for newcomers on how to navigate the world of running technology.

Section 1: The Role of Gadgets in Long-Distance Running

  • Dispelling Misconceptions: Contrary to popular belief, running gadgets are not necessities for completing the Comrades Marathon. However, they can significantly enhance the overall running experience and provide valuable insights into one’s performance.
  • Practical Advantages: Running gadgets offer a range of practical benefits, including the ability to maintain electronic training logs, track runs, monitor pace, and analyze performance metrics. These tools empower runners to make informed decisions about their training regimen and progress.

Section 2: Choosing the Right Gadgets for You

  • Beginner-Friendly Options: For novice runners, basic running gadgets offer essential features without overwhelming complexity. Entry-level GPS watches and fitness trackers provide valuable data without breaking the bank, making them ideal starting points for newcomers.
  • Exploring Advanced Features: As runners become more immersed in the sport, they may find themselves drawn to more advanced running gadgets with enhanced features. Brands like Garmin offer user-friendly interfaces and comprehensive tracking capabilities, catering to the evolving needs of seasoned athletes.

Section 3: Maximizing the Benefits of Running Gadgets

  • Tracking Progress: Running gadgets enable runners to monitor their progress over time, tracking mileage, pace improvements, and other key metrics. By maintaining electronic training logs, runners can visualize their growth and identify areas for improvement.
  • Community Engagement: Running gadgets facilitate connections within the running community, allowing runners to share their progress, compete with friends, and seek support from fellow enthusiasts. Social features and online platforms foster camaraderie and motivation among runners.

While running gadgets are not prerequisites for tackling the Comrades Marathon, embracing technology can enhance the training experience and contribute to the overall enjoyment of the sport.


With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

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