So it’s been an interesting first training week as ‘The Face of Vitality’ for the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon. It’s been hectic to say the least but so enjoyable.

On finding out the news that I had been chosen I was keen to get started and have been training hard and have documented my key moments of the week.
This week I managed to achieve:

• 5 training runs this week totalling 35.63 Miles
• I was lucky enough to have a masseuse visit me at work for a shoulder and back massage, I work for a great company – Fit workforce = Higher business performance
• I ran my fastest 5K this year at my local Parkrun in 19 minutes 23 seconds only 13 seconds outside my PB
• I Volunteered / Marshalled at Junior Parkrun this week where my son Marco ran his 6th Junior Parkrun

Along with working a full week it’s been busy but I love that, I usually run very early before work as it sets me up for the day and makes me feel a step or 10,000 odd steps ahead of the rest of the world before breakfast. Why wouldn’t you? It’s incredible!

So. What about all this technology these days? How has it both positively and negatively affected my running? Well it has done exactly that and I will explain why.

MUSIC

When I started running I downloaded a few of the ‘top running Trax’ type compilations and found they kept me going but I soon became tired of them and it was only when I switched them off and ran ‘free’ did I find that my mind started to think and develop whilst out running. For me it’s about mixing it up, sometimes I like Music, sometimes nothing at all and sometimes audiobooks or podcasts. I do find running to music hard at times, I know that’s weird to say but the natural rhythm of running is hard to match track after track.

AUDIOBOOKS / PODCASTS

Listening to audiobooks or podcasts whilst running has seriously changed my life for the better. I’m running close to 40 hours a month these days, that’s a lot of time to get even more out of my training and I have found that listening to books has seriously increased my knowledge. I used to only read occasionally and made the excuse of having no time but whilst running there is all the time in the world and you can listen with the clarity of your thoughts. Just think how much knowledge you can take in, in 40 hours a month. It’s quite a few books. Podcasts also, there’s some great motivational tools out there to tap into and best of all podcasts are ‘FREE’!

NOTHING AT ALL / RUNNING FREE

Quite often I will run without any tech at all (apart from my watch) and it’s made me feel closer with the planet we live on, I find that whilst running my senses are heightened and as such by getting out and away from the hustle and bustle of life by completely switching off on occasion it has massive benefits. I see, feel, touch, taste and smell the world, the animals, the weather and it feels great.

I currently run using a TomTom Runner Cardio Watch and auto sync it to the ‘Runkeeper’ app. I’ve tracked every run I have completed in training and races using this technology and it has given me massive benefits on being able to set and complete goals through running. It’s made me accountable to myself to keep pushing the boundaries of my abilities and given me the hunger to do bigger and bigger things in running. I also have clocked my weight over the last 2 years using these tools and have managed to lose 23 kilograms, over 1/5th of my body weight. Day by day I can see my weight increase and decrease depending on what I eat and how far I ran and that has taught me much about my body’s nutrition requirements.

The next step for me is to start documenting running with video and have just recently got a ‘GoPro’ which I used today whilst running the trails around Hampstead Heath in London at 6:30am before work for the 1st time. It was weird having something strapped to my head but it stayed in place and did the job well, now I need to work on my editing skills.

Technology is changing everything we do and helps massively to achieving success whilst running. We and the world are evolving, technology developing massively and as long as you have balance with it, it enhances the running experience.

It’s now only a little over 3 weeks until the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon, so get out there, get your miles done. Get techy to help you on your journey.

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