“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” ~Oprah Winfrey
I have previously been a real advocate for the C25K program. It helped me learn how to run. I really thought I could never do it. But now I can. I’m not great, but like most things, it is something that you gradually get better at (but not without effort).
I had settled into a nice little running track, but I couldn’t see my improvement so much using the C25K app. It gave me overall run averages for the specified “Run” times all combined. This was ok while I was just trying to learn how to run for more than 2 minutes at a time.
Now I want to improve my pace and I also want to get a bit of kudos for my hilly running track! For this I have found Strava to be really useful. It uses GPS to track your run. It also tracks the elevations and at the end of your run it will break your run into km sections (or you can pin point segments on your track that you want data on) telling you about the elevation, your speed and even an adjusted speed taking into account the hills. This is all free by downloading an app to your phone.
I believe you can purchase certain brands of heart rate monitors that will connect with your phone and interact with the Strava app. You can also purchase an upgrade that I believe helps you improve your min/km by telling you to speed up a bit when you fall behind your desired pace in certain sections (I might be needing this).
You can choose to have a public profile so that other people can see your run data, or you can run other people’s tracks and compete with their times. While this is a really great idea (I’m aspiring to do a certain segment of my run at something near the pace my friend does it in) other people can see your run routes….other people know exactly where you run, maybe even when you run (stalker alert!!).
I get a bit paranoid about the internet sharing a little too much of my info, but I don’t really want people knowing where I live exactly. To combat this, I don’t turn on Strava until I have jogged about 1km from my house.
To people who haven’t yet started jogging, this probably doesn’t sound very interesting/useful. I admit, my husband told me about Strava months ago, but I told him that I was happy with C25K at the moment. Which I was. But now I have gotten past my inability to run for any length of time and now I am on to the part where I get excited about my improving min/km.
Crazy talk. If you had said to me 18 months ago that I would go for 5km runs 3 times a week (more if I could) then I would have laughed in your face……never say never, hey?