Data & ‘Dorphins

Everybody (ie. some people!) know that no workout really happened if it isn’t recorded on Endomondo, Strava, MapMyRun or other fitness apps. So with this running lark that I’ve started, it was apparent that my Polar FT7 just wasn’t cutting it, and I didn’t want to be carrying around my phone to record each step. I’d also been using Samsung Health on my phone during the day which had been counting my steps. I’d found it strangely motivating seeing the number of steps going up, and I asked the power that is Facebook for advice about GPS enabled fitness trackers. Having considered FitBits in various guises, I finally settled upon the Garmin Vivoactive. I won’t bore you with the technical details, but it buzzed at two points today to tell me I hadn’t moved enough, and both times I got up walked down four flights of stairs and back up it, just to reset the “MOVE!” word that was all over the screen. It really is strangely motivating, and much better than my phone because I have it with me all the time. It counts the calories I burn in daily activity as well as when training and thus enables me to manage fuel with much more accuracy. It tracks swimming and cycling as well as general workouts. It’s early days for the relationship with me and my Garmin but really enjoying it so far!

And … it recorded this:

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This was the first “essential run” of the Lady Bugs training plan and I’m so pleased that I got out to do it. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to take on the intervals, but I did and I found it alright. Sure, my dodgy legs and feet were uncomfortable as usual but it was easier than I thought it would be.

And so much data – for a statistician, this is why the Garmin appeals to me:

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So much data!

Now I appreciate that this little interval set isn’t much. 1.3km isn’t exactly a massive distance. But for me, it’s absolutely huge, and I’m really pleased that I can do this and I am doing it!

I’ve been convinced that I can walk pretty much as fast as I can run, but I recorded this workout in two sessions: first, the run/walk section which is above, and then the walk home. And when you compare the two, there is a real difference, especially bearing in mind that there was still more walking than running in the “run” session. So there is a point in learning to run, it’s quicker!

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And, given the endorphin rush that I got, even after this short run, it’s way much more fun!

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