Thursday, June 6, 2013

Social Fitness

By now we have all heard, read about or have used a personal fitness tracking device. Whether it be a Garmin, Polar, Timex, Motorola, iphone or android watch/unit that tracks GPS, heart rate, time, speed, distance, etc. to some of the newer products like NIKE+ Fuelband, Fitbit, Jawbone UP, etc.

These devices have revolutionized the way coaches, personal trainers and your average athletes have recorded, shared and tracked workouts. Gone are the days of the pencil and paper log, although, I wrote previously about how (along with the help of several different devices) I still keep a handwritten workout journal and know others who still do the same.

Once you have the hardware, you have a number of program options to use to upload data. What you use depends on what you want to do with the data:  training plan, route mapping, social sharing, etc. Many bundle capabilities but are stronger in one area then another. For instance, I use the following:

Hardware (I could use some upgrades here):
Garmin Forerunner 405 watch - running
Garmin Edge 705 computer - cycling
Polar RS400 - on my bedside table as an alarm clock and if I need a watch for swimming

Software:
Garmin Training Center - extract workout files from devices
Training Peaks WKO+ 3.0 & Trainingpeaks.com - training plans & data analysis
Strava - Social sharing and community
MapMyFitness - route planning & mapping


CNN Tech recently had a good article covering some devices and platforms.

While, until now, this has been a niche industry, we are now seeing larger adoption of the devices and platforms. Serious athletes are being joined by gym rats, fitness enthusiasts and weight loss seekers in the quest for more information to help set a plan, attain goals, share with trainers, friends, family and strangers, and be a part of specific communities.


The next wave is how does this translate/impact the workplace.

It is great to see and be a part of this innovation. While one device or one platform is not perfect for me and may not be for you either, it is fun to find a couple that do the trick.

One piece of advice: every so often, unplug, and run or ride without the distraction of music, data and computers - leave it all at home and enjoy the open roads and trails.

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