Those of you who know me well, know that I am a geek. I’ve been into technology and computers for a long time and have even made a career out of it. I’m not going to name names but I’ve also, on more than one occasion, provided tech support for various family members (you know who you are). Every family needs a doctor, a lawyer, and an accountant. These days they all need a computer guru as well.
Now that I’m living 3000 miles away from family, tech support isn’t as easy. So, I thought I’d post occasionally about technology and how I’m using it in my daily life. Many people think technology is a great time waster and I’m certainly guilty of spending a little too much time online. But, technology can also bring value. Plus, a blog about my life wouldn’t really be complete without the occasional bit of geek thrown in for good measure.
While I’m generally fit (at least according to my recent physical), I’ve always been my most fit and most motivated when I have a goal. I’d like to say I’m one of those people who enjoys exercise purely for the sake of it as a healthy lifestyle choice, but I’m not. Logically, I know that I need to exercise to stay healthy, but I need measurable goals to get myself motivated and off the couch. Yes, I know that’s pathetic.
So how is technology helping me with this? My latest goal is to run a 10K next month, the Oxford Town and Gown. A distance that’s achievable but not one that I’m regularly running and frankly, since I haven’t been regularly running for over a year, I need a little help with a training plan and staying on track so that I can actually finish the race.
Enter miCoach. What is miCoach? It’s an app (and a web site) for the iPhone that created a training plan for me based on the deadline of the race date and my assessment of my current level of fitness. It’s created a running schedule that syncs with my iCal and it tracks my progress and gives me groovy little charts. It has voice prompts during a workout that tell me to speed up or slow down as it uses GPS to keep track of my pace. Now, it’s not perfect. Like when the woman tells me I need to speed up but doesn’t recognize I’m running uphill in a headwind, I want to punch her in the eye.
There are loads of iPhone apps out there for tracking your fitness and running so why miCoach? Honestly, I just happened to pick miCoach because it’s on my shoes and it’s free (good marketing adidas). But I say if you’ve got an iPhone, put away the pedometer and take a stroll around the App Store to find something even better.
So today, because I had miCoach to tell me exactly how far I’d run and how fast and because the theme tune from Rocky came on exactly when I needed it the most, I pushed myself just the couple extra minutes that allowed me to break the 6 mile barrier. Now if I can just find an app that tells me to stop eating junk food I’ll be set.