How can I resist participating in today's TIART when the topic is Running Technology Tips? :)
I'm a geek and love data, so of course I use gadgets on most of my workouts--not just running, but biking too and sometimes even walking! I just love to be able to log every mile and see my progress. Below is a list of the gadgets I use now, or have in the past, and how they help me train.
When I started running, I used the Couch to 5K podcasts to get me through it. Once I finished the program, I ran with my ipod listening to music. That didn't last long. One day I yanked off my headphones out of my ears halfway through a run because I could hear them moving in my ears and I couldn't stand it. I thought I'd never be able to run without music, especially for long runs, but I went out and did it and loved it. I found that I was able to pay better attention to my body and concentrate on my breathing when I had nothing to distract me. Now I rarely run with music unless I am on a treadmill or in a funk and need to mix things up.
Mapmyrun / Google Maps:
Before I bought the Garmin, I still craved to know my millage, so I always mapped my runs and figured out my pace with a plain ol' watch. I've used various sites, but I think they are all based on Google.
Once I knew I was serious about this running thing--and because I got a tip of the Garmin 305 being on sale--I made the leap and never looked back. I love the instant feedback and analyzing the data after every run. I also love the virtual partner feature, even though I've only used it a few times, but it is neat to have someone to run against :) I also love it because it makes using run/walk intervals a piece of cake.
Every now and then I'll run without it and just enjoy it, but this is rare. Even if I don't care about my pace and don't look at the watch much while running, I almost always have it just so I can accurately log the run afterwards.
During my 1st half marathon, the Garmin refused to aquire a signal and I actually ran it without it. Jason was shocked when at mile 3 I threw my arm warmers, gloves and Garmin at him because he knew my obsession with this gadget and the data it provided me. Amazingly enough, I was not bothered by this and I think I had a better experience for it.
This is my latest obsession, er ... I mean find and where I currently log all my workouts. Even though I do not post here as often as I used to, I post there daily. So if you don't see a post here for a while, you can check my dailymile profile for an update. The site is much more than just a blog; it also provides social networking for support from other athletes, and I've made some great friends there.
I also post about my runs/rides and woes on twitter. I've met several local runners there, as well as some from other locations. It is nice to get support from those who can relate to not just running in general but to running in Orlando and our schizophrenic weather. A few of these I've met in person, and I know I'll eventually meet the others.
After I bought the race ready LD fitness shorts with pockets, I started running with my phone. This is mostly for safety reasons and in case I get lost (it has happened). During my 2 half marathons, I used the phone to tweet my splits and other highlights. It was nice to have live snippets recorded that I could use to remind me of the race and turn into a full race report.
Finally, there is this blog; but more on that next week :)