The guesswork has gone out of training. Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to train for a race. In today’s episode of “Getting in Gear with Josh and Erin”, Fargo Marathon Director Mark Knutson gives our runners pointers on the best high tech gadgets to use.
1) Fit Bit – This is the latest “it” product. Sales are booming for the Fit Bit, a tracking device worn on your wrist or hung on your body. It doesn’t just measure your progress when you exercise. Users wear them all day to track steps taken, distance walked, calories burned and stairs climbed. It even tracks how many hours you sleep. The information can then be shared with your smartphone or computer. They start around $60.
2) GPS Watches – the forerunner to the Fit Bit, GPS watches enable you to track where you’re running and how fast you’re going. In addition, some models track your heart rate and calories burned. Knutson says while the first GPS watches were “the size of my arm,” newer models are more streamlined and information downloaded to your computer or phone. The industry leader is Garmin which offers an entry level watch for about $130 dollars.
3) Apps – You might not have to buy anything if you run with your smartphone. Apps such as “Map my Run” or “RunKeeper” work as personal trainers, helping you plan a route to run, as well as giving you instructions to you as you run. After you run, the programs give you the option of saving your latest workout so you can keep a running log of your progress. You can also choose to share your latest run with friends on social media.
4) Compression socks – the least high tech of the options, but among the most important for serious runners. Knutson says during a long run, leg fatigue can set in, in part because of decreased circulation in the legs. Compression socks stimulate blood flow to the legs which refreshes and regenerates the legs. Knutson says if you don’t wear the socks while running, even putting them on an hour after a run is beneficial. He also says if you’re running the 10K or less, you probably don’t need compression socks.
Next week, what to look for in a running bra and the hottest trend in men’s running shorts.