Have you ever felt to “just stopped trying” because you figure the little walking, running or cycling you do is a waste? It may be that if you had a clue just how much you were, are, or could achieve with that little, you would never give up on our resolutions to regularly walk, run or cycle.
(An Old But) New Found Passion
In the past month, my own commitment to running has gone from random, hit and miss morning struggles with the ground, to a more deliberate, informed, and consistent hammering of the asphalt.
I go out now around 5:00AM, three days a week and I am experiencing a passion for running like never before. I ran 10.5 miles last week (plus climbed up and down Jamaica’s Blue Mountain midweek, about 7 miles high). I am also now confidently training for my first half-marathon.
I owe much of my happiness to one lovely free resource, GMAP Pedometer.
What’s A Pedometer?
A real simplistic definition; a pedometer tracks distance. The term is usually associated with a small device or watch that is worn by fitness enthusiasts throughout the day to measure steps taken and distance covered. You can get the benefits of a pedometer however without buying a fancy device.
Why use a pedometer?
The fact is, you will be much more encouraged to run from home to the 5th light post on the street, if you know the distance is equivalent to a mile, than if you just go outside aimlessly. That is exactly why runners spend as much as USD$500 sometimes on the best distance running watches.
If you, like me, want a free resource that does almost the same thing as the big fancy Garmin watches, then you will find G-Map Pedometer and other sites like Map My Run to be amazing resources that are pretty easy to use.
What are the benefits of measuring your work out?
You will get an immediate boost of confidence.
This is so because you will be amazed at what you actually can do already. Most of us will be surprised that we can walk well over a mile. You probably will not know that or believe me until you check a familiar route for yourself.
You will be able to approach exercise with a sense of seriousness.
You will be able to set targets for yourself. “Ok I will run 1.5 miles on Monday and Tuesday and 2 miles on Friday.” The seriousness comes from knowing each day, no matter how you feel, that what you are setting out to do is not harder than you can manage.
You will be better able to commit to improving able to see yourself improving.
Once you commit to a manageable target – walking a half mile three days a week – you will be more consistent in the intensity of your work out. Consistent intensity, leads to increased ability; pretty soon, you will feel comfortable enough to go further – three quarters of a mile, and then a mile.
You will be better equipped to fight complacency.
Some of us think we are doing a lot better than we are. Knowing your true position is critical if you are to shake off complacency.
This is resource is definitely not perfect and as you increase in seriousness you may probably have to invest in a pedometer device sooner or later. For the average and amateur runners and cyclists however, this is an exceptional alternative. Check it out and let me know what you think.
What do you think? Do you think an online pedometer like G-Maps Pedometer or Map My Run will help you to set S.M.A.R.T goals and boost your exercise routine?