First off, I want to congratulate my identical twin sister Julie on logging 2500 km of running on Nike Plus. Julie said that Nike Plus got her healthier and has kept her motivated for 4 years. Way to go Julie! My twin sister and this event have inspired the topic of this post; how technology has changed the way we run.
With the Internet of Everything, information these days is so accessible. As an. I. T. Tech., I have to admit that I’m surrounded with lots technology every day, and I love it! In this post, I reflect about how running in 1996 is so different then running 20 years later, in 2016 due to all the technological changes.
How I used to run in 1996
Back in high school and university, as a Track & Field athlete, I knew very little about proper nutrition, counting calories, my running analytics or even strength training. Today people have a better advantage at getting motivated and staying healthy because of amazing technology that is readily available to us.
Before this big boom of technology, I would go for a run wearing nothing but running clothes, good running shoes and my Timex digital watch (with a stop watch) to time how long I ran. I’d talk about my run/track practice with my twin sister on our ride back home. That’s about as simple as it gets.
How I run now in 2016
Times have surely changed. Today I find a good training plan on my iPhone. I like Adidas Train & Run (formerly miCoach), an iPhone app that helps me build a plan. I can plan my route ahead of time using another iphone app called Map My Run. I just have to enter the distance I want to run, 5 km, 10 km, 21 km, and it will find some possible routes for me.
I set my Vivoactive Garmin GPS watch to run and let it calculate time, distance, pace, lap distance, average heart rate, calories and even beers earned. I also bring my iPhone with me because if can play some music from my iTunes running play list and listen to it wirelessly with my Bluetooth iSportheadphones.
After my run is finished, I capture a quick runfie (run + selfie) with my iPhone and post it on social media sites, take your pick; Instagram, Facebook or twitter because we all know that if you didn’t post it on social media, it never happened. First, I have to enhance the photo using FitSnap, yet another iPhone app, which allows me to display my stats, such as the duration and the distance of my run on the image before I share it.
After that’s posted, I can sync my watch to my phone so that the data can display not only with Garmin Connect, but also other apps, such as MyFitnessPal (which helps me keep track of calories going in and out), Nike Running (so I can compare how I’m doing against Julie’s and other runners) and the iPhone Health app (just because I can).
If I’m not running, I can still collect stats for other workouts such as swimming or biking with my Vivoactive GPS watch. But, if I don’t feel like running, biking or swimming, I have the luxury and convenience of On Demand fitness videos such as such as Booya Fitness or the iPhone app Nike Training Club that I can pretty much do anywhere I can get internet connection.
Then I could (if I had one) keep a close eye on my weight with my “smart scales”. It can also sync with iPhone apps to keep track of your weight daily (and yes, I’d love one).
When I have 5 minutes, I’ll browse through websites and select stylish running clothes to build my wardrobe. I especially love the aesthetically pleasing Pinterest as my go to place for inspiration. While I’m on the site, I’ll look for healthy recipes, fun motivational memes, more training plans, tips on running or swimming faster, and what other technology is available.
And after all that, I sit down at my laptop in the evenings and blog about running. I do this because I hope to be able to inspire you to stay active.
I still have a lot to learn when it comes to training, nutrition and running in general, but I do believe I have learned a lot because technology gives us quick access to all the information we need. Tell me, how has technology changed the way you run?
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