Where fitness tracking really comes into its own though is when you strap on a pair of running shoes and head outside for a jog or a run.
In fact, if you’ve only ever run without a fitness tracker previously, you’ll find that this completely changes the effectiveness of your training and you’ll wonder how you ever survived before.
When using a fitness tracker on a run, you’ll want to use it to measure several metrics:
To help you recognize what some of this means, your pace effectively tells you how fast you’re going in terms of minutes for each mile or each kilometre. So the lower the score you have for your pace, the faster you’re going.
Your split meanwhile is the time that you completed a specific mile. This is useful because it can show you how your performance improved or worsened over the duration of your run and it also lets you try and burn more calories in a set amount of time.
Of course knowing the distance you’ve run is also useful because it lets you aim for a specific target, which your calories and heartrate can also do.
Finally, with GPS switched on, you’ll get more accurate readings for everything else and you’ll also have the fun of being able to see precisely the route you took and the laps you made. This is not only useful, it’s also just a bit of fun – if you ever go on holiday and go for a run while you’re out there for instance, you’ll be able to see logs your activity in other countries!
The Difference When Fitness Tracking
Depending on what you’re trying to improve, you can aim for different scores and figures in different areas. For example, if your focus is purely on losing weight, then you can go for a run with the aim of burning X number of calories and just come home once you’ve done that. On the other hand, if you’re training for the marathon, then you might be more interesting in watching your average pace and your splits. You can use this data in order to see how well you’re performing and how quickly you’re completing your different legs. You’ll also know how to pace yourself for maximum performance across the distance.
More interested in improving fitness? Then keep your heartrate at a certain level and monitor the ‘fitness benefit’ suggestion and how your VO2 max is improving. All of this information is useful for running and it makes a huge difference.
Before fitness trackers, how would you go about using a run to get fit? Simple: you’d head out for a run, you’d jog randomly around a track or a large field and you’d come home when you were tired. Sure, you could use other tools like Endomondo or MyRunKeeper on their own, but this involves a lot more effort and work. If you are serious about running, then a fitness tracker with built-in GPS is a very good idea.