First, I want to say that I’ve been visiting this forum for a few weeks and really enjoy reading the posts. There appears to be a lot of knowledge and a lot of supportive, thoughtful responses.
My watch broke a couple of years ago and frustrated that the watch did not outlast the battery (The battery did outlast the warranty.), I haven’t purchased another. Because of an injury last spring, this spring is the first time that I’ve done hard workouts without the watch. I am finding that although I might like to have a better gauge of my progress as race time nears, I really like doing intervals without a watch (or a track for that matter).
I do both the hard effort and the recovery jog by feel. I generally pick a landmark to run to and then if I get there and am still feeling good, I keep going until suitably tired. Then, I recover by jogging and paying attention to my breathing. I start the next repeat as soon as I feel recovered enough. In this way, I think that the rest periods are shorter than if I were doing the run on the track where I tended to do equal distance of jogging after each hard effort.
Two years ago, my watch was one of my most prized possessions. Now, although I will likely buy a new watch some day, I am finding it easy to live without one.