Training Tools

If you have read any of my previous blogs, you may already know that I love to train and keep myself as fit as I possibly can. It’s not just a job, it’s my life, it’s what I’ve always done and what I’ll continue to do until I physically can’t anymore! Weight training has always been very high on my list of priorities and over the last eighteen months running has featured more and more in my training routine. I’m a firm believer that you should use anything you can to make exercise as enjoyable as possible and recently I have found the perfect training tool to make my training fresh and more fun!

Over the last year I have got into a routine of running 2-3 times a week for 10 miles at a time. My times have improved dramatically and a lot of that goes down to challenges I have entered that keep me pushing myself further and becoming fitter. All the challenges were from the same source, the ‘Nike+ Running’ site.

After entering the ballot for the 2012 London Marathon I decided to run a couple of test runs to find a pace I think I can sustain for 26.2 miles. The problem I had, was that slowing my pace meant smaller strides, therefore the distance the Nike+ sensor recorded was dramatically wrong. Being a perfectionist, I found it very hard and quite annoying trying to judge a pace when the recorded distance seemed to be wrong every time I ran a slower, longer run. So, after asking a few questions to some running friends of mine, the unanimous decision was to invest in a watch that would be more accurate for recording my training.

That is when I bought the Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS watch. Since that day I no longer have a problem with inaccurate readings, such as distance and times, and it also shows me in detail every second of my run, from the route, speed, distance, to the heart rate throughout the run and even the elevation. It also connects to the Nike+ running site so I don’t lose out on all the challenges that are pushing me to bigger and better things! For me, this is the tool of all training tools. It makes running long distances fun and seeing the results recorded on my computer for every step of my run, is incredible. With this new watch I can now train hard and enjoy the results!

Training doesn’t have to be a chore. Think outside the box and find something that can make your routine more fun and enjoyable. One thing’s for sure, if you are enjoying what you’re doing, you will get better at it and want to do it more and more. Why not try a few of the following if you want to freshen your training up:

  • If you have a friend that trains in a similar way you do, why not set a challenge between the two of you as a bit of friendly competition. We all like to be winners and even if it’s friendly, I guarantee you will push yourself harder just to beat your friend!
  • If you do the same exercise over and over again it starts to get repetitive. Try mixing it up and doing something different, your body responds better to variety and when you return to your old routine you will start to enjoy it again.
  • If you train alone, try training with a friend for a change. By having someone training with you with similar goals that can help push you along when it’s tough, it can really motivate you when you need it most. Also a little conversation can make the time pass quicker and stimulate the mind a little more.
  • A lot of people already do this but if you’re not one of them, listen to some upbeat music when working out. Design your own playlist of all your favourite music and see what happens. You’ll be surprised at how much energy you have when one of your favourite song comes on just as you’re starting to struggle.
  • If you train with a friend, how about setting mini competitions each session where the loser does a forfeit, such as an extra sprint or 10 press ups etc. You’ll be shocked how well you step up to the challenge.

There are many ways of keeping your routine fresh and enjoyable, just think about what makes you tick, add it to your routine and keep working hard. As I always say “play hard, work harder!” and you will see the results.