Fitness Running and Mobile Applications: A Good Way to Get Started and Stay Motivated
Seasoned runners will tell you about that runner’s high. That surge of endorphins that overcomes any fatigue, or pain, and that inspires these athletes to keep hitting the road. Some even claim that the endorphin blast is better than any drug. Those stories, and the physical superiority of the runners who share them, is what inspires many people to take up running as a way to stay in shape. However, many soon feel that they have been lied to; they feel like they have been duped: where is that runner’s body? Where is the endorphin blast? For those of us who aren’t natural runners, or those who are new to the routine, running for physical fitness is as much pain, suffering, and mind games as it is eventual joy. However, if a person sticks with it they will find a sense of accomplishment, pride, and an increase in their levels of physical fitness.
The biggest obstacle is sticking with it, especially when you are just getting started. New runners, rest assured you are not alone in your pursuit of that runner’s high and that runner’s physique. There are some fantastically motivating applications for the apple and android networks that can help to keep you lacing up those sneakers and hitting the road
Couch to FiveK
There are many different versions of this popular application. The one that seems to be most popular in the apple iTunes store is the couch to Fivek program created by active.com. In addition to its availability as a mobile application for the android network and through the iTunes store, a simple Internet search will provide details about the workout programs. In short, the couch to Fivek intends to do exactly as its name indicates: take those bodies off the couch and train them to become 5k runners. The program is very specific with daily schedules. Interval training guides users through intermittent stages of jogging and walking. It paces the new runner and develops the endurance slowly. The program will instruct users to stretch and rest. The mobile application will run alongside playlists. A voice will interrupt the music to provide information about time and distance. It will also instruct runners through interval speeds to build endurance. This program removes one of the biggest obstacles for new runners: their own misperception about their abilities. So many new runners want to jump right in. They picture themselves as the veteran road runners they drive by everyday. However, as many who try to go it alone discover, just getting out there and pushing yourself too hard can cause unnecessary soreness and even worse, injuries can occur. The sensible regiment helps to provide a pacing guide and, if the new runner sticks with it they will soon be out on the road inspiring others who drive by them.
Once you’ve become that road runner, the one whose out there experiencing those endorphin blasts, there will be times when you will also experience a lack of motivation, and for some even boredom. The Nike+ Running application, which is available for android devices and is also available in the apple iTunes store, can help a runner to get a new boost of inspiration. The application is similar to the couch to Fivek, but it allows the runner to determine the pacing and the schedule. Competing against themselves challenges runners. As they run on the course that they specify, whether indoors on a treadmill, or outside on a variety of possible terrains, they can listen to their playlists that are interrupted by a voice providing updates about distance and time. The application runs using GPS navigation and it follows your course and maps your route for you. The updates about pacing can really push the seasoned runner to increase their time. In addition, the distance mapping can be very motivating for the runner who may be encouraged to slowly add distance to their course. Despite the control the runners have over their own workouts you can choose to not go it alone.
When you begin your run you can choose to post your start to social networking sites like Facebook using the “cheers” feature. As you’re running you can be further inspired by messages of encouragement that your friends may post on your page. You can also choose not to use this feature if you find it too distracting. The link to social media does not end there though. As you complete your run you can choose to post it to a variety of social media sites. With the posting you can indicate how you felt during the run, the terrain, the map of your course, including distance, and average time. This makes some runners feel even more accountable, of course not wanting to post an embarrassing time and/or distance. As with the “cheers” feature you can choose not to post to social media. The application tracks your progress and compares it to your other distances and runs. It accumulates all your runs and provides the overall distances run since beginning the use of the application. Lastly, the use of the application also then allows runners a user id and access to the Nike+Running website where all their information can also be stored and tracked. So, for the runner who is looking for a little competition to keep them going, compete against yourself and then choose how accountable to your social media friends you want to be.
It's up to you!
Although new technologies including applications and social media can help a new runner get started, or help the seasoned veteran to stay motivated in the end it is up to the individual athlete. You must lace up your sneakers and put one foot in front of the other and hit the road.
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