5 Ways To Improve Your Running With Wearable Technology

Girl Running

As any experience runner will tell you, shaving time of your personal bests can become an obsession. Now, millions of runners around the world are turning to wearable fitness trackers to drive down their times and boost their performance.

If you are a keen runner and you are looking for a way to chart your progress and achieve better times, here are a few ways that wearable technology could work for you.

Come Up With A Schedule That Works
All runners work better when they have a schedule to follow. It's human nature. Running is hard work, and it is easy to become tired and disillusioned with your fitness project. If you set out a clear plan with goals and rewards, it is much easier to visualize success.

Fitness trackers usually work with smartphone and laptop apps that incorporate detailed scheduling. They can tell you when you need to increase your distance, and when your run is complete. With calorie monitoring functions, they can also give a good idea of how much energy you have burned. If you know that you are burning fat, keeping a running schedule going is much easier.


Use Heart Rate Monitoring For Optimal Performance

When you work-out, your heart rate inevitably increases. The trick is to know your maximum heart-rate during runs. Using a fitness tracker, you can create tables and graphs of your pulse at every stage of a run. It should be simple to work out where your heart rate peaks, which you can use as an approximate measure of your maximum rate.

In future, you can use this as a reference point. If you want to run for longer to build up stamina, keep your heart rate at 50 to 60 percent of the maximum. Using a good heart rate monitor, you should be able to keep track of your pulse. Below that level, you won't be getting enough benefit from your work-out. Above it, and you'll struggle to maintain a steady pace.

 Many runners like to invest in chest straps with built-in monitors. These devices can hook up via Bluetooth to smartphone apps, giving you instant read-outs. It's all a question of what makes you feel comfortable.


Use 3D Imaging To Analyze Your Stride

The most advanced fitness trackers on the market go well beyond simple metrics and schedules. There are now affordable devices that can create beautiful 3D models of your running stride.

If you hurdle, these tools can show you where you are losing momentum. If you run long distance, detailed images of your feet can help to avoid long-term damage and improve your efficiency. Sprinters can see exactly where they are transitioning into their full stride, and where they are losing power.

 With this level of data, you can work with physiotherapists to iron out any nagging muscular problems. It's the only way to get a feel for your basic running form, and by fixing problems now, you can avoid injuries in the future.

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Sock It To 'Em To Improve Your Form

Some firms have introduced what are known as 'smart fabrics' for runners to use. For example, you can buy socks that have the feel and quality of elite running gear, but also include pressure sensors to monitor your foot-fall.

These pressure sensors communicate directly with smartphones, allowing you to see where your technique is failing. You can tell quickly how long it takes before your form starts to suffer during a long run, and take steps to deal with it.

If you couple the data from smart fabrics with technical advice offered by the manufacturers, it all adds up to a powerful way to diagnose any technical issues.


Maintain A Steady Pace With GPS Tracking

Some of the most advanced fitness trackers offer high resolution GPS tracking with their products. In the past, the GPS function of fitness trackers has struggled to meet the standards that serious runners need, but the new generation of wearables really measures up.

With GPS tracking, you can chart your routes and speed with extraordinary accuracy. If you are running marathons, keeping a steady pace is vital. With a good GPS tracker, you can tell exactly how disciplined you are, and whether you need to sharpen up in any areas.

GPS equipped trackers can even provide data on whether runners 'bounce' too much during their stride, and how much time their feet spend in contact with the ground.


A New World Of Running Technologies

When added together, runners have more tools than ever with which to measure and improve their performance. Whether you are a couch potato seeking to work their way up to a 5km run, or an experienced marathon runner, new wearables are being introduced every month that can improve your fitness. It's just a question of using them as effectively as possible.

About the author: Brian Carroll is the CEO of Pivot Insurance and holds CLU & CPCU designations. He has been part of the life insurance industry for over 30 years. He is also an avid runner and has participated in many athletic endurance events. Brian established the anonymous life insurance quote process here at Pivot and takes pride in the caring and professional staff. You can reach Brian at 1-800-651-1953 or bcarroll@pivot.com.

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