Q – How do you know if someone has run a marathon?
A – They tell you.
It is end of August and I have marathon on the brain. On October 26th, I will, along with over 30,000 other runners, participate in the Marine Corps Marathon. And, like 74% of marathon runners, I am relying on wearable technology to make sure I have the training to make it 26.2 miles.
Like many other runners I use an app on my smartphone to track my progress as I run. There are a number of them out there but I use RunKeeper to keep track of how far I have gone and, just as important, my pace. When I am out of town, I love Map My Run’s great database of routes, which are sortable by location and distance. It saved my bacon last year when I was in Nashville for the weekend and I needed to find a route for my 20 mile run.
But the assistance of these apps goes beyond what I use during my run. Getting in shape for a marathon (or any race) means more than just running. I use MyPlate, a diet and fitness calorie counter, so I’m not bringing in more calories than I burn. To make sure I’m getting a good night’s sleep, I use Sleep Cycle. Strength training is important, so I use 7 Minute Workout which provides instruction for high intensity bodyweight workouts every morning.
Apps that I used before I started running marathons have taken on a new life. I use Find My Friends to allow friends and family to track my progress and know when to head to the finish line to see me, and AccuWeather to get minute-to-minute insight on the weather.
And to make sure that I am active not only during my runs but all through the day (especially on my non-running days) I use the Withings Health Mate app connected to a wearable Withings Pulse. Since it tracks the total number of steps during the day, I can see when I have been too sedentary and make sure to try and get up and walk around every hour. The competitive side of my personality wants to meet that WHO recommended 10,000 steps per day!
These are just a few of the amazing apps and wearable devices that runners use. So, whether you are looking to train for a marathon or just trying to stay healthy, motivation and help can be found right on your phone. Try new apps and wearables and if you find some more good ones, send them my way. I’m always looking for a way to improve my time and beat Oprah!