|Endomondo: the friendly stalker?|
I confess I'm not that good with gadgets myself but I do recognise they do add interest and as you'll see below they can really help as a training aid.
So with Christmas lists being drawn up and New Year's Resolutions being pondered, here's a few suggestions of things to entice the new runner!
To help keep things in perspective, as many of these are quite expensive, please read my "wrapping up" at the end of this post.
1. Endomondo - GPS based app
This is a GPS app that can be downloaded onto GPS enabled phones or other devices such as Garmin GPS watches. Endomondo will track your run, cycle ride or any other distance-based activity and then show you the results just like the photograph here. Furthermore it'll show you a map with your route marked, just som you can see where you've been.
There are some advantages to this.... firstly it makes sure you take a mobile phone with you, so you have an element of contact and safety with you. Another thing is that it's completely free! You can, however, upgrade to a more detailed and enhanced version. Click here for their website.
2. Nike+ for ipod nano
From the Nike+ website
iPod nano is the perfect workout partner. It gives you some much-needed musical motivation and provides real-time feedback. Since Nike+ support and a pedometer are built into iPod nano, there’s no need to connect a receiver or use a shoe sensor to track your steps, distance, pace, time, and calories burned. Just grab your iPod nano and go.Additionally when you get back home you can review your results: distance, speed, calories and so on. There's plenty there to keep any geeky runner out of mischief!
Click here for the relevant Nike page.
3. Garmin forerunner 410
I almost talked myself into buying one of these earlier in the year and might yet be persuaded. This advanced sport watch is GPS-enabled and accurately records your time, pace, distance, heart rate, altitude gained/lost and more. It has an enhanced touch bezel that lets you quickly scroll and select features on the run, in all types of weather. When your are back home, had your shower, why not upload your data to Garmin Connect site when in range of your computer so you can go back and review your run on your own time. It works via ANT+ wireless technology and the USB stick that comes with your watch. No wires, no manual uploads, no sweat.
The forerunner 410 also features HotFix satellite prediction, which means it locks onto satellites quickly so you can be out the door and on with your run in no time. It also has a high-sensitivity GPS receiver to stay locked onto satellites, even near tall buildings or under tree cover. While the 410 can be worn as a watch even when you're not working out, you can also power it down completely in order to conserve battery life.
These cost £290 but can often be found for less on the net. I think having the heart rate monitor is very desirable.
4. Northface eTip goves
Well I guess someone had to invent this! With smart phones with their touch sensitive screens being everywhere, someone has solved the problem of operating them without having to take your gloves off - with some runs or other activities that is easier said than done.
They cost £30 (not bad) and it is claimed to combine warmth with dexterity.
5. Weighing scales with BMI calculator or fat analysis
There's quite a wide choice for these, ranging from under £40 to several hundred pounds. This is a good investment for the whole family to benefit from. Our own is many years old but frequently used and worth every penny. Definitely worth the extra step up from a basic weighing scale.
6. Klipsch headphones
Many people rate these headphones highly but they are not cheap. It is difficult trying to get something that will sound good, be sufficiently rugged and most importantly, not keep falling out of your ears as you run. These could be the right solution and obviously compatible with ipods and all of those gizmos so you're spolit for choice. An interesting upgrade.
Please, do you mind if I reach out with a suggestion here? Whatever you find under the Christmas tree, keep it in perspective and remember what Christmas is actually about. On their own these will not make you run faster or further, lose weight, grow taller, become more handsome or beautiful. Enjoy them, benefit from them but don't get totally pre-occupied with them either - if your Garmin has a flat battery, don't let that stop you going for a run!