Archive for April, 2014
Friday evening I had dinner with a group of friends who are in town for the Boston Marathon. At some point our discussion turned to technology in the fitness/health and wellness world. In particular the FitBit and heart rate training.
Devices such as the FitBit and Jawbone are great because they help track general movement and sleeping patterns throughout the day. The question posed was, “How accurate are they?” I could be sitting in a conference room, using my hands to help with speaking, and it shows great amounts of movement even though I am sitting in a chair. Or I could be wide awake with my body completely still, and it believes I am resting peacefully.
While these are a few dilemmas to their accuracy, the overall concept is beneficial. They are used to help the general population have an idea of how much they move (or don’t) on any given day. With the way technology concepts are growing, it is easier for fitness professionals to track their client’s behaviors.
Take the Garmin Connect for example. I recently started using the Garmin 210 Forerunner watch. It helps to track my distance, elevation and heart rate. When I download it to the computer after a run, those I am “connected” with can see exactly what I did. This is a great tool for professional to have. The more information we have about our client’s, the better we can create individualized programs.
Tracking goes beyond the technology of heart rate, steps taken in a day, and sleeping. Nutrition plays a large role in our overall health. I am excited to be part of an organization that will soon be using blood markers to help identify performance. Most doctors will tell you whether you are low, high or normal. What we will be able to do is pinpoint your optimal zone. For example, if you fall into the normal zone for cholesterol, based on certain criteria, we will be able to determine what is your specific optimal zone for performance.
Using tools where professionals and clients are able to connect with one another helps to build a stronger, more sustainable and results driven relationship. Have that discussion to see what is best for you.
This morning marked my last training run before I take on the Boston Marathon a week from tomorrow. I have spent the last several months preparing for this journey, on all levels.
As I look back not only for this particular marathon training, but my whole athletic career, I question, “Was I born to run?” Put a stick and ball in my hand, no doubt I will do extremely well. I’m not being cocky. The hand-eye coordination sports always felt very natural to me. But leave me alone with my own body, it is a another story.
Watching others running along the trails, they seem to float by with very little effort involved. Maybe it’s their mechanics. It could be their body type. For many, it could be years and years of practice. I know myself. I am a heavy footed runner. Breathing can be difficult. The mind likes to wander. For a long time, running always seemed like a big struggle.
On the surface, the two pictures taken just about a year apart, may not seem like a big difference. But some things have changed. Transformation has happened. The first thing other people notice is how my body shape has changed. My legs are the strongest they’ve ever been in the last 15 years. I have a more controlled heart rate, my breathing pattern is less erratic and I have better core strength. What I choose to eat/drink and how much I sleep have improved. These are all great benefits to help me along for any distance of running.
But the biggest transformation I have noticed is with my mind. Dread and struggle are no longer words that first pop up when I think about lacing up my shoes and heading outside. I now find running to be meditative. I now find running an opportunity to learn something new about myself. I now find running enjoyable, just because.
While I will likely never run a sub four-hour marathon, I was born to run.