I bewildered my family this holiday season. Not only did I actually go to brick and mortar stores to do my shopping (and even got stuff not on their lists!) but my own wish list this year included exercise gadgets. Two gadgets in particular I had my first chance to use today. The first is a heart rate monitor from Polar. It uses a chest sensor to detect my heart rate and relay it to a watch. That way I can track my heart rate during my run. I've been told that the best way to train is actually not to kill yourself. Go figure. Anyway, according to the documentation my target maximum heart rate (considering my age) should be somewhere around 195 bpm. Today during my run I was constantly over that mark. I was regularly hovering around 205, and on my last 400 meters stretched up into the 215 realm. It was neat to see how my body was adapting.
The second item was a new doodad for my iPod. Nike and Apple got together and created a special line of shoes as well as a pedometer and adapter for the iPod Nano. The shoes are made so that the pedometer can be slipped under the sole of the shoe. The attachment to the iPod picks up the signal from the pedometer and tracks my workout. In addition, as I was running a voice would come in over my music and let me know how I was progressing on my run. For my first run, I set a goal of going two miles. I've always assumed that the loop around our park is 5/8ths (0.625) miles, as that is what the parks office told me when I asked. So I typically run three laps and call it close enough. Turns out, I needed to go a bit farther to get my two miles in, according to the pedometer. The gadget worked, though. As I approached the end of the third lap, the voice came in and said "400 meters left to reach your goal". 400 meters? That's just one lap around a track. Surely I can finish my two miles. So I stretched it out and went the full two miles.
In addition to telling me my distance, the Nike+ attachment lets me know my current progress and pace at any time by pushing the center button. Tonight, after getting home from work, I plugged my iPod into the PC and it uploaded my run. It was really interesting to see the chart of my pace as I covered the distance. Turns out, I'm pretty good at holding a steady pace. The problem is my pace is too slow. I averaged just under an 11 minute mile pace for the entire run. I'd really like to push that under the 10 minute mile mark, so it looks like I have some work to do.
It's going to be really interesting tracking my runs with these devices.
Total Distance: 2.54 miles
Total Time: 32:32
Calories Burned: 443