(Pocket-lint) - Technology can help us in a number of ways, but with more and more of us trying to get fit, we turned to Rebecca Cox, a personal trainer and running coach, to find out whether you can use technology to help improve your fitness.
A marathon veteran, Cox set up lifeafterdeskpt.com, and has run all over the world - including the notorious Marathon des Sables, 156 mile race across the Sahara. She also once ran 100 miles in 24 hours around a 400m track - crazy huh?
How can someone use technology to help improve their fitness?
Technology can be a great way to improve fitness. Predominantly it allows people to set goals and monitor their progress, but I think even more beneficial is the fact that apps and gadgets can act as your own personal trainer and really help with motivation.
Can you recommend any apps to help them improve their fitness?
The two that stand out to me are the Nike Training Club and The Couch to 5km apps. They’re both like having your own running coach or personal trainer with you. They give your sessions good direction and keep up with your development.
Can you recommend any gadgets to help people improve their fitness?
It’s easy to hit a wall with your fitness, so a good GPS watch for running will keep you progressing and improving, especially a watch such as TomTom's new GPS watch that covers swimming, cycling and running. I also think a heart-rate monitor is a must. Training to heart-rate zones is the best way to ensure you are still pushing yourself as you get fitter.
Can you give us five quick tips for improving your fitness?
1. Set Goals - Goals for each training session. Goals for each month. Goals for each race.
2. Strength - It's not just about the mileage. Functional muscle makes you faster and stronger.
3. Pace - Pace yourself. Races are won or lost on pace. Know your pace, stick to it.
4. Fuel - You are a machine. Food is fuel. What you put in is what you get out.
5. Rest - Rest is as important as training. Rest is part of your training.
What's the one bit of technology you can't be without?
Can I have two? GPS and my MP3… If I leave for a run forgetting either of these I panic. Seriously panic. I think I forget how to run.
Should we trim down on gadget use to better fulfil our goals?
Maybe not trim down, but have a better understanding of what gadget is right for you. For example a Nike Fuelband is great if you are getting into exercise from scratch and you want to move more, but if you are pretty fit and train for sports I don’t see what use it has. if anything I think it can be counter productive to training (it doesn’t cover intensity or quality of the exercise).
It’s important to use the apps and gadgets that will keep you motivated and push us to progress, but don’t waste money on things that we can essentially do ourselves.
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