There are many reasons why people say to remove the watch, such as:
- Obsession with pace at all times takes away from running enjoyment
- Inability to self pace
- Complete reliance on readings from the watch, resulting in panic when watch isn't working correctly
- Self judging pace readings to determine how "good" a run is and speeding up to "beat" a time
- You can scare yourself into running too fast even though it might feel fine, preventing breakthough performances
- You know what pace you are running with one, which serves as a consistent metric
- Sometimes the mind can keep you from your potential and seeing numbers can be motivating
- Mental math is much easier when you factor in your current pace/distance vs nothing/guessing
- Properly pacing simulation workouts and/or races becomes much easier with a guide (the watch)
- Utilization of features such as uploaded workouts, virtual training partner, etc can enhance the user experience
- Recording workouts and tracking them on a regular basis ensures you are training most effectively
Now like I said, there are plenty of people who can just get by without this information. And that's fine. But I think that most people, especially those that are self coached, getting the numbers is an important part of training. Now with that said - if you don't USE the information, then it is just data. In order to get the value, you need to use it in a way that allows you to make sense of both the macro and micro elements to your training program.
In the end, we all have our reasons for using devices or for going without one. So when I don't feel like wearing one, I simply cover it up, but record the data. Because when the run is over, those numbers play a role in how my workouts are managed. Without that information, I'd be training naked...and nobody wants to see that!