I like running for the sole reason that you can do it anywhere. I ran in foreign cities, taking advantage of this time to explore the alleys and lesser known monuments. In total, I completed 13 marathons, including Boston, New York and Chicago. I even ran the Beijing Marathon in China.
I felt alive hammering the sidewalk day in and day out, running with like-minded friends. But two cross country moves and a few kids later I was running solo and not having fun. I gave up and joined the local gym.
When the pandemic hit, we bought a Platoon. I had never taken a spin class before, but wanted a way to exercise at home that wasn’t boring and boring. Joining the Peloton universe was accompanied by an application. One that I ignored for at least six months.
After a few days with my parents at Christmas, I needed to let off steam. So I grabbed my sneakers and headed for the door. I opened the Peloton app and found a 20 minute outdoor run. What the hell, I thought. Why not give it a try?
A voice spoke in my ear as a rhythmic song played. She had me do some stretches and gradually picked up the pace, calling for 20-second sprints and 1-minute recoveries. Before I knew it, the class was over and I had run harder than I had in a long time.
The combination of pop music and advice from the merry Briton left me thrilled. Sweat was running down my face, my heart was pounding and I couldn’t wait to do it again. Connecting with the right app provides a low-tech solution to the most common exercise problems – knowing what to do and when to do it, and having the motivation to go out.
There are several guided run apps like Peloton’s, from freemium to subscription, including Apple Fitness +, Nike + Run Club, Garmin Connect, Strava, and Aptiv (to only cite a few). There’s even an app called Zombies, run! where the zombies are chasing you and you have to outrun them. Each app offers a variety of challenges while tracking your mileage and pace for a monthly fee. In addition, some offer coaching and training programs.
“I started running with an app called Sofa at 5KSays Jeff Barton, editor-in-chief of The runner’s life. “It was the catalyst that ignited my passion for running because it provided step-by-step instructions and took the guesswork out of developing a training plan.” Virtual trainers helped him stick with it, which led to him winning an age-group award in his first race.
After Couch to 5K, Barton switched to the Nike app because he liked tracking his daily stats and no longer needed the training plan. I tried Strava, which offers a dynamic social networking component. You can upload photos and share your workouts with friends. I liked a lot of features and the free version is fine for most, but as an introvert I didn’t use the social component.
The power of the playlist
A new study, published in the Journal of human sport and exercise, confirm what I experienced. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that runners who listened to a motivational playlist after completing a series of mentally demanding tasks ran at the same pace and level of perceived exertion as when they weren’t. mentally exhausted.
Researchers believe that running towards a motivational reading list is a great strategy for getting the most out of your workout when you’re mentally exhausted. I am okay. The right music can turn a training chore into a much more enjoyable experience.