Friday, March 16, 2012

Technology Schmechnology

Kacey and I have been preparing for the 8k at Virginia Beach's Shamrock weekend. We're planning to walk it with maybe some jogging thrown in. After several sedentary months, the last few weeks have been wonderful. I've been lifting with John on Tuesdays, and that has felt great. Kacey and I have been walking a lot, by ourselves and with good friends Justin and Denell. Slowly, we're also changing the way we eat. Not 100% "clean" but less of the bad and more of the good. Now I sound like Rain Man.

Technology has come a long way since I was young (I know, I know, my parents had to jog with portable phonographs, and I consider my life tough because all I had was a walkman). Right now we use the Nike Plus watch system, which does a passable job. Ours do not have GPS, and I'm hesitant to buy the Nike GPS watch since it's only for running and I want to get a bike again (ours were stolen supposedly, but I like to believe our bikes were spoke-crossed lovers who ran away to join the bike circus and live happily ever after). We're probably a long way from getting bikes, but I don't want to buy a $200 watch that only tracks running when there is a $250 watch that tracks nearly anything I would ever want to do. Having said that, if all you want is a GPS watch for running, I've heard great things about the Nike watch.

I've read arguments on both sides about whether to use technology while working out. Surely none of the options are 100% accurate. But I think they're accurate enough to show relative change when compared to your previous workouts. My brother introduced me to this Omron pedometer and I've been really happy with how it won't count a few steps at a time (and thus won't accidentally count when you shift in your chair or whip your hair back and forth).

There may be too much technology out there for purists, and there is an overwhelming number of options in each category. But the MotoActv comes closest to the perfect option for me: GPS for running/walking/biking/ etc, plenty of space for music, bluetooth for wireless headphones, Ant+ for a heart rate monitor and many other gadgets. Battery life is a major concern, though, and of course it still requires a chest strap for HRM. I hope it's successful and creates a new category, the all-in-one fitness watch. Imitators are welcome. Frankly, I wish Apple and/or Nike would go after this new product space, or perhaps Polar or Garmin. I want to see my progress. I want to have just one device when working out. I want simple yet extremely powerful. I want to be able to run and not worry about battery life or accidental shutoff. So please, fitness tech companies, make a product that will demand our money.

1 comment:

  1. I share your technology woes. I wanted to get a fancy pants watch, too. Brian would probable have a heart attack if I dropped that kind of dough on a watch. I improvised and found the Endomondo app. It will track whatever sport you like, with gps, automatic data saving, calories burned, distance covered, you can set goals and try to beat yourself or friends, and if you want to get the paid pro version you can hook up your heart monitor. I love it in an unhealthy way. Now I have my phone, music, and tracker in one.

    Also, read your last recent post. You're a really good writer, Drew. Keep it up!