How to Train Smarter with a GPS Running Watch
Port City Plastic Surgery patients have told us that their active lifestyles quickly become their passions, something they look forward to. Running for example can become a lifelong hobby.
Dr. Widenhouse and his wife Cindy use an activity tracker called FitBit to keep tabs on their fitness goals, and find a little healthy competition through FitBit’s social component to be a motivating tool.
“One evening I found myself actually sneaking out to exercise!” says Cindy. “I couldn’t believe that my husband was so far ahead of me on the leaderboard that day.” We have found that activity trackers, when combined with support and encouragement from friends and family, are a powerful motivator for our patients to stay on the right track with fitness goals. See our post Fitness Tracking & Motivation: Top 10 Tips for more on FitBit.
After running my first few 5Ks, I became interested in running longer distances. Like many runners, my goal of “finishing”races quickly transformed into “finishing competitively,” and I searched for ways to work on improving my pace per mile. Imagine my delight when I found a GPS running watch under the tree this Christmas!
With a little online research, I learned that running coaches, marathon runners and physical therapists agree that controlling volume and intensity would be key to improving my running ability and avoiding injuries as a runner. One example is controlling the intensity of recovery-day runs. I had gotten into the bad habit of skipping any “recovery days” and running hard or at the same pace all the time. This led to a plateau in my pace – I couldn’t seem to improve it, no matter how much I trained. I also suffered fatigue and a knee injury that sidelined me for part of the summer due to too much volume – I was always running the same distance. To help prevent this, my new GPS watch provides feedback to keep me honest on my easy days, while motivating me to run faster on pace training days.
The biggest cause of injury among runners is a combination of too much volume (i.e. too many miles) or too much intensity (i.e. too fast a pace) too soon. A gradual increase of volume and intensity isn’t a guarantee to staying injury-free, but a sensible build-up is the idea. GPS watches make it easy to keep training logs help me pace myself in order to improve steadily while avoiding injury. Add-ons like a heart-rate monitoring strap can also help me stay in touch with what is going on with my body. While they’re not foolproof, these tools can help me train smarter, identify errors in training, and help me avoid repeating mistakes in the future.
If you’re into the idea but not ready to make the investment into one of these specialized running watches yet, start with one of the running apps on your smartphone! There are a variety of smartphone apps you can use to duplicate just about everything a GPS watch can do. Plus you get a bigger screen, the ability to play music, and integrative features with social media. But your smartphone is also a big, expensive, and comparatively heavy device that can be pretty easy to break. (Unfortunately I know this from experience!)
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Brian G. Widenhouse specializes in body contouring, breast surgery, tummy tucks, CoolSculpting, liposuction and more. These procedures can be an excellent complement to a healthy, active lifestyle, can help you break out of a rut and enjoy the activities you love even more.
So take some time for yourself and schedule your evaluation today. We are confident you will be thrilled with your results – and more motivated to stick with your exercise and healthy living routine. Fix problem areas that are resistant to exercise and diet. Contact us today.
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