Posted by & filed under Fitness, Health, Inspiration.

Meet Ripples, the designer of Milkshake Boards and her dad, Glynn Turquand.  Together they designed the (Yoga) balance board for children and adults you can see in the image below.

Ripples demonstrating the Milkshake Boards Yoga Balance BoardAt SyncMetrics we are always looking at what others are designing to help people get healthy or stay healthy, when we came across Milkshake Boards we got so excited we decided to order one with a customer SyncMetrics design!

Additionally, we have launched a design competition on 99designs for the custom design of our own Milkshake Boards Yoga Balance Board.

Although it doesn’t have an API and won’t sync with SyncMetrics, we still can’t wait for this neat addition to our gadget collection.

If you want your own Yoga Balance Board check out the their campaign on Kickstarter.

 

Posted by & filed under Tech.

1030752_40132850The recent uptick in interest in self-tracking devices and apps comes as no big surprise to fitness and health experts.

The internet today is practically crammed with information that anyone can browse, and one of the more popular topics of late is that of the Quantified Self and how it relates to actual efforts to gain and maintain a healthy outlook in life.  As the Quantified Self movement advocates the monitoring of daily activities to derive numeric values, devices and apps that help track and record these numeric values are bound to become in demand among the public.

This surge in interest and desire to purchase these devices and apps, however, begs the question; what does one get to really maximize on self-tracking efforts, and ensure that it does go the way of other such trends, which is eventual obscurity?

Here are a few questions you may need to ask yourself about a potential self-tracking device you are planning to get.

Do you think you can wear it always?

For the device to be of actual use, it has to be worn as much as possible, since self-tracking does involve gathering and monitoring data about yourself every waking moment.  This why is is imperative to pick one that you think you could wear most of the time, if not always.  This may prove to be not much of a problem since most self-tracking devices today are designed to be lightweight and not cumbersome in any way.

This means that the question of wearing it frequently becomes a matter of choice.  With numerous variants and selections out in the market today, be sure to find one that appeals to you the most, and would seem that you can wear it all the time for purposes of accurate and on time tracking.

Does it really motivate you?

Many of these devices are fashionable, and are not much of a bother to wear, but beyond that, does it really serve its purpose?  Even more, does it motivate you to continue doing what you are doing?  Far from just being a flashy paraphernalia you get to wear whenever you want to, whatever device you pick to help you with your self-tracking should also serve to motivate you in your efforts.  Is the data you need being displayed in a manner that encourages you to do better?  Is it quite easy to discern just how much progress you are doing?  Is it easy to upload the data for comparison and long term tracking?

Some devices actually allow the easy sharing of data over the internet through an app that displays your progress straight to any social media account you might have.  The benefit of this is that you are able to partake of the social motivation.  By seeing the progress of others, and allowing others to see yours, you are able to encourage each other to to further and better efforts.

Do you see it playing any other part than being a data tracker?

Most devices on the market today are designed to be worn like wristwatches, mainly for purposes of convenience.  This being the case, does your device do anything other than track your pertinent data?  Does it have any other utility to it?  It is durable enough to be used in practically any activity you would want to participate in, regardless of intensity?  Is the design something that allows you to wear it wherever you may be, be it in a casual or rugged setting, or even when you have to dress up and look formal?

Lapses are things that sometimes cannot be avoided, and the sometimes the best excuse not to wear your self-tracking device is that it “clashes with what you are wearing”.  This being the case, it would be prudent to either get something that you believe can go with anything you wear, or if you really must go without it, find some other way that you can track your needed data even without your usual tracking device, like from an app on your mobile phone, or something similar.

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Posted by & filed under Fitness.

1390010_30845487The effort to get fit can vary from person to person.

For some, it could be quite effortless, since they already have a predisposition to being active, staying healthy, eating right, and getting into exercise often.  These people may have even come up with their own version of the practices of Quantified Self even before the phenomena became popular with people, since healthy people do like to keep track of their success.

For others, however, it is not always this easy.  Some have resorted to some “short cuts” which are decidedly not healthy or correct, justifying the action as being fast and really “effective”.  The problem here is that these misconceptions, empowered by the inability of people to understand how wrong they are, coupled with stubbornness and arrogance, are really dangerous lies that people keep on repeating and doing.  Here are a few of these lies about fitness.

“I’ll make up for the exercise I didn’t do today some other day”

People have a rather silly way of dealing with instances where they are unable to follow through on a routine.  The immediate response, and justification, is that they would just simply make up for it some other time.  The problem with this is that whatever they do, they really won’t be able to make up for the lost session by exerting themselves twice over in just one other session.  They will just make themselves extra tired for that day.

Even worse is the fact that because they continue to believe in this lie, they tend to do it often, completely ruining their fitness efforts.  What they should have done is simply continue with what their usual routine, even if they do miss out on a few sessions.  What is important is that they stick to the intensity and frequency that they maintain as they monitor their progress.  People should remember that missing out on a few sessions could lead to a gradual decrease in interest and desire to continue.

“I can eat anything I want today regardless of my diet because it’s my cheat day”

Everyone who has ever tried any sort of diet would know the importance of having a “cheat day”.  The sole purpose of having a “cheat day” is so that a person on a diet gets a much needed break from the diet that they are doing.  This usually means being able to eat food that someone on a diet would not normally have on a regular day.

The problem with this is that just like with every other indulgence, there is always a great tendency to overdo it, and this is never a good thing.  Because the body had been deprived or been given very little of certain foods people stay away from during a diet, the body may not be able to handle a sudden and large dose of it during the “cheat day”.  One example is sugar.  People stay away from sweets during the regular day, and then binge on it during the designated “cheat day”.  What they don’t realize is that their blood sugar levels have dropped to normal or even slightly below normal levels because of their diet, and the body may not be able to handle the shock of a sudden influx of large amounts of sugar.  While it is called “cheat day”, moderation is still key in this instance.

“I can lose weight any time I want to, I’ve done it before, I can do it again”

Some people have had remarkable success in being able to achieve their ideal weight when they want to.  These people usually flaunt this fact by letting themselves gain weight, and then suddenly lose that weight in a less time than expected.  This is actually not something to be proud of.  The human body was not built to handle such drastic weight changes over a short period of time, and this is self-tracking goes hand-in-hand with proper weight control.

Drastic and excessive weight changes over a short period of time can cause significant shock to the body, altering some bodily processes and harming major organs as well.  Any significant change to the body should come with an acclimation period, allowing the body to adjust to the changes, or risk either injury or serious complications.

“I’ll sleep away my hunger (and wake up starving and eat twice as much as I should)”

As uncomfortable as it may sound, there are those who think that a person can actually sleep away hunger as a form of a diet.  These people believe that by not eating anything at night, they actually stand to lose weight because they argue that the body does not work while sleeping, and therefore, does not need food.

The only problem with this is that upon waking up in the morning, one of the most immediate sensations to hit a person who did not eat anything the night before is a great hunger.  Unless this person has phenomenal willpower that allows them to eat a normal serving of breakfast, there is a good chance that they will more than what they usually do at breakfast, because of the intense hunger.  What makes this worse is that eating a massive amount of food can disrupt the normal eating habits of a person, causing them to crave food much later than they should, and when the schedule does not allow them to eat when the hunger strikes, they again overindulge when they finally have the time to eat.

At the very least, a person should have a small amount of food to stave off this kind of “revenge hunger” the following morning, which causes them to overindulge in food.

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Posted by & filed under Fitness, Health, Tech.

1346874_96916526Marketing has always been a great influencer of society.

While there are many consumers who claim that they know better and no amount of clever marketing is going to get them to look for, buy, or talk about certain products, they do, inevitably find themselves in a situation where they are doing just that.  This is because the best forms of marketing are those that make people believe in the message, in the promise, or in the concept of that which is being marketed.  Some have even likened it to an act of faith.  Regardless of what others may say about a belief, people who believe in it still stand to get the best out of it than those who do not.  Such is the case in the Quantified Self movement.  Many are talking about it, but lack the actual belief that it can and will work for them, which is why they may not be maximizing on what it can really do for them.

Having said this, what do people need to believe in order to get the best from their Quantified Self efforts?

Believe that you will get used to it

Starting something new is never easy.  Getting used to something you have never done before is ever harder.  For people who are not particularly fond or used to making sure they monitor and track things on a regular basis, self-tracking is definitely something that takes getting used to.  This is why anyone wanting to get into this should really start believing that the effort it takes to get used to self-tracking is well worth it.  From the belief comes the will to continue doing it, until it becomes second nature and eventually effortless.

Aim for believable goals

Anyone who has ever had to learn anything from other people were taught that to really accomplish what you had set out for, you have to have a goal.  In many cases, people who don’t have a clear cut vision of what they wanted to accomplish “borrowed” goals from other people, just so that they had something to look forward to on the horizon.  The problem with this is that more often than not, the goals, being just “borrowed”, weren’t really suited to the one that borrowed it.  This is why when making goals, one must always make sure that it something that they themselves know, believe in, and are familiar, otherwise it would all be just a waste of time.  Create and envision goals that are believable and actually achievable from your perspective.  These goals need not be ambitiously high one, as these usually take much time to achieve, or much effort to do so.  Aim for very realistic goals, and then increase these goals a little at a time.  This way, as achievements increase, so do the encouragements brought on by it.

Believe in your victories

Comparison is often something many do to inspire themselves to strive harder and better, challenging themselves to do better than the perceived accomplishments of others.  The problem with this is that because the basis of the accomplishments and efforts have to do with others, many also hold the opinion of others in high regard when relating to their own achievements.  It is not uncommon for people to disregard of undervalue the accomplishments of others, which is why depending on others in this aspect is not really advisable.  Self-tracking means you are able to challenge yourself with achievement you did yourself, meaning, if you do better than your previous record, you create a new best record for yourself.  Learn to believe and value this, because this is an accomplishment that no one can ever undervalue or disregard.

Find devices and apps you believe in

The great thing about self-tracking today is that you have a multitude of choices in apps and devices to help you.  The important thing here, however, is to find the ones that work best for you, and believe in their ability to accurately monitor and guide you in your efforts.  This is because there are those who do get devices and apps for their self-tracking efforts, but end up not following any logical or orderly pattern or routine because they don’t really believe in the data they get.  This is usually the case when the one doing the self-tracking got the app or device only upon the advice of others without actually making sure it is suited for them as well.

Believe in the figures

Many sports brands and products have messages and tag lines that actually help propel a person to do better in their efforts to get and stay fit.  The problem is that there are also some messages can be misconstrued or taken in a different context and not really help others.  One example is an ad campaign that maintains that “age is just a number”.  While this is actually a good inspiration for those who are of advanced age and would still want to keep fit, it also sets a precedent in others to disregard the correlation of numbers that are vital in aspects of self-tracking.  Age is also an accurate indicator of the body’s capacity to endure stress and exertion and cope with it.  There are those who believe age is not an important factor in keeping fit and resort to activities which are not ideal for their age and their body’s ability to cope.  Certain fitness programs are suited to certain age groups, and these were made with considerations regarding a body if a certain age and its ability to cope with such exertion.  Self-tracking was intended to help keep people fit and healthy in a very safe manner, hence the dependency on numbers.  If one does not really believe in these numbers, they are not only no maximizing on the Quantified Self movement’s ability to help them, they may also be putting themselves at risk of injury.

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Posted by & filed under Tech.

Self-tracking is almost everywhere today: in the way people go about their daily lives, the way they eat, how they plan their schedules, and in many other aspects of their daily routine.

It has actually gotten to a point that almost everything in a person’s day-to-day existence can be measured in one way or another, thanks to self-tracking.

That is all well and good when one is looking to good time management for personal betterment and everything, but what about the business aspect of life?  Does the Quantified Self practice of self-tracking and monitoring hold some hidden benefit for those looking to make it work for business as well?

Apparently, it does.

For the Business.

Self-tracking enhances efficiency 

Getting into the habit of self-tracking means making a routine out of several things.  One of these things is making sure that you know what you have done at any given time of the day.  This means you know when you checked your email for tasks, just after you took that two-minute walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.  Knowing what you did at certain times also means very little detail is lost from your memory, as you associate tasks with time of the day.  You know when you submitted the needed report, since you know what time it was due, because you plotted out your day by the hour for better tracking.

Self-tracking improves time management

Everyone who has ever worked in a hectic job will agree that time management is something very essential at work.  Most of these people will also admit that while they do need it badly, they hardly know how to go about it, or do it properly.  Because it is decidedly centered upon numeric measurements while tracking, self-tracking can act like a crash course in time management, allowing you to prioritize, plot out, and arrange all you need to do during the day into a logical plan of action, which you can track as you do it.  Best of all, self-tracking in this manner allows you the side benefit of knowing how long it takes you to accomplish a task.  Should it be something routinary, the data you get here could be indicative if you are doing it efficiently enough, allowing you to finish it on time or in a short period, or if you need to improve on your skills a little more, as it takes you a long time to finish it.

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Encouraging further acquisition of information

While many are indeed getting into the habit of self-tracking and closely monitoring their data as part of their drive to get into the Quantified Self movement, many still don’t realize that it is not just about getting all the numbers, but also about how the number correlate to getting healthy and fit.  One example is how many people forget to keep themselves hydrated after doing endurance training and cardiovascular exercises, such as running and biking.  There are certain formulas that generally apply to everyone, regardless of age, weight, or frequency of training, who do these kinds of exercises, such as fluid intake.  While it is advised that fluid intake should be regulated during exercise, it should also be noted that it should not be prohibited, or risk some serious physical repercussions.

You can open a hydration station business along the more popular exercise routes such as parks or paths, and while selling bottled water or energy drinks, you can offer them some insight as to just how much fluid they should get to replenish how much they lost during the exercise, without having to worry how it affects their weight loss program.  Such insights can increase their drive to seek more information about the proper ways of keeping fit and going about it the correct and safe way.

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Posted by & filed under Tech.

People like to think that most things, if not all, are very easy to get into and eventually complete.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile there are a few for whom this may be true, there are even more for whom this is not.  These people like to be get in on a trend, try it out for a short time, and then fall off due to some real or imagined reason, never to try it out again because of the failed attempt.  Others would only like to get into certain trends, like the Quantified Self, only for the things that come with it, such as the necessary self-tracking devices and apps, so that one may say that they are “with the times”.

People fail to realize that for any endeavor to actually be successful, one must take into account there are certain preparations that need to be done so as to fully appreciate what must be done, help them get through it, and eventually appreciate that they actually stuck it through to finish it.  Here are some of the more important preparations that people need to understand about getting into the Quantified Self movement.

Conviction

Do you really know why you are getting into it?  If your reason is because everyone else is getting in on the Quantified Self bandwagon, then don’t expect a really productive experience from doing it.  Conviction is the fuel which propels people into an endeavor, makes them conquer all contingencies and issues that may arise, and aid them in reaping the best results from doing it.  In many cases, most people don’t have a really clear goal to help guide them through what they are doing, but those with conviction have a clear mind and path that they have set for themselves, and this is often more than enough to allow them to see it through to whatever goal they may perceive.  Know what you want to achieve when you get into the endeavor, and hold fast to it to create this conviction.

Curiosity

It is said that people who are always curious are far better off than people who profess and act like they know everything there is to know about everything.  This is because the curious ones stand a chance to actually learn something.  Maintaining a curious outlook on things also gives a person a greater chance of becoming better at a certain endeavor than most, because they will always want to know more about it, as well as they underlying reasons for the concepts and aspects of the endeavor.  Understanding more is always a good thing, and real understanding only comes with the willingness to learn, and nothing demonstrates this willingness more than curiosity.  Curiosity also helps greatly in overcoming a person’s natural cynicism.  Being cynical cannot be helped at times, since there are practices that many grew up with, and when they learn later on that what they grew accustomed to for a long time is actually wrong, or there is a better but different way to do it, acceptance is not always forthcoming.

A challenging mindset

In many instances, people are often please with the typical and expected outcome of a certain activity or task they accomplish.  This is because they either don’t know that it could have been done better and therefore yielded better results, or they simply did not care to exert more effort to see if a better result could have been achieved.  In the case of the Quantified Self, achieving a good measure of fitness is something you can see, measure, and appreciate.  Self-tracking is based on numeric data, and this is data that corresponds to something real that you did, not something hypothetical.  You immediately know that what you did corresponds to a measure, and in so doing, you have a very real gauge to know if you can actually do better than the expected result.  While conviction may help you get over the expected, and maybe a few unexpected, contingencies or difficulties in the endeavor, having a challenging mindset will allow to test the limits of what you can do.  The best part of this is the fact that those with a real challenging mindset often discover that the term “limit” is actually relative, since the measure can always be exceeded, if one is challenged enough.

Willful Prioritization

There is really so much talk of prioritization and how best to achieve this, but the truth of the matter is that although the process may be quite understood, it is still hardly successful.  This is because during the prioritization process, some tasks or activities will come up every now and then that forces the person to bump up or even off certain activities or tasks from the schedule in favor of something deemed “more important”.  In many cases, exercise or fitness routines are often bumped off the scheduled with the thought that they would just “make up for it tomorrow”.  Should this promise be fulfilled then there would really be no problem about it, but more often than not, it isn’t.  Which is why one must be willful about including creating priorities.  Important things will always come up sooner or later, and at a frequency which is near impossible to handle, but one must remember to not give up certain priorities that require frequency to become effective, such as fitness activities.

Posted by & filed under Status.

Current Service Issues:

 

2/17/2014 – RunKeeper Syncing is not working, we are aware and are actively working to resolve the issues.

Updates on 2/28/2014 – We are still working on resolving the issues with RunKeeper, for now we have resumed some limited sync functionality for weight data and data coming from RunKeeper to other sources. Syncing to RunKeeper remains disabled for the time being.

 

Past Service Issues:

1/14/2014 – Fitbit Sync not always working – Resolved

2/18/2014 – Garmin Account Setup and Syncing not working – Resolved on 3/12/2013 – Note: If you changed your Garmin password since the issue started please disconnect and reconnect your Garmin Account by clicking on the Garmin Icon on the Garmin Sync Settings Tab.

 

 

Posted by & filed under Fitness, Health, Tech.

To the everyday person, the word quantify could mean something that has to do with hard science, a lot of numbers, and processes that the general public might never fully understand.

This assumption is not entirely true, since all it takes to fully appreciate the concept of quantifying is the knowledge that if you know more, you get to be better because of it.  This is the basic underlying notion behind the Quantified Self movement, and while more people are getting into it lately, even more want to more about it.  Questions like why should people get into it, and does it really do anything good for anyone pop up continuously everywhere.  The good thing about the Quantified Self movement is that it was designed to answer questions, even to those that people have yet to ask.

1415400_13156971Self-tracking, a major aspect of the Quantified Self movement, involves far more than just weight watching and calorie counting.  It involves monitoring, tracking, and even doing some major research on vital information about yourself all done from biological testing and measurement.

Genes do not lie

DNA testing has always been one of the best resource for biological testing, lineage verification, and genetic identification all over the world.  It has largely helped people trace their ancestry and the authorities solve cases wherein very little evidence may be found.  DNA, however, being a very accurate indicator or sorts, thanks to all the genetic data encoded in it, is also a very good resource when it comes to self-tracking.  By having a person’s DNA tested against the likelihood of developing a disease, one may be given ample time to seek preventive treatment for it.  Studies show that certain diseases may be tracked and linked to ancestry, with certain generations having an increased disposition to develop it.

Predictive and preventive numbers

The great thing about self-tracking and monitoring is that it gives quite a clear picture of a person’s condition, and how it changes, and how it may change, over time, thanks to some comparative numbers.  One example is amino acid testing.  This gives a wide array of results regarding various changes, or lack of it, in the body.  The data may be interpreted by doctors as indicative of a potential condition or change in the body, and in cases of something serious, it is always a good thing to know what might happen rather than it already happening before anything preventive could be done.

Moods affect everything and everyone

Even those who claim that their decisions and actions are all governed by cold, calculating logic is not exempt from the quirks brought on by certain types of moods.  Mood swings have a real and powerful effect on how the body and mind can function at a given time.  These mood swings can cause even very level headed people to do very questionable things or affect how they handle a relatively simple situation.  While most, if not all, of these moods are near impossible to conquer and prevent from affecting you at all, knowing about what particular mood might strike can dramatically help in making sure a mood swing does not put you in a rather regretful position.  Certain apps and monitoring devices can predict when certain moods may strike, and knowing about this could help a person by giving an early warning about it, allowing them to avoid putting themselves in a compromising position when the mood strikes.

Sound sleep through study

There are many instances when interrupted sleep can drastically affect a person’s health, thought processes, and behavior.  There are many who actually invest large sums of money in sleep therapists and specialists who try to study why interruptions and disruptions occur in a person’s sleeping habits.  For the most part, these therapists and specialist try to quantitatively measure how much, or how little sleep, a person gets, and then they try to isolate factors which could contribute to it.  Self-tracking one’s sleeping habits may sound near impossible, given that it is quite difficult to monitor one’s self while one is sleeping, but thanks to developments in technology and other innovations, comprehensive sleep monitoring systems can answer many of the questions which need to be addressed to fully understand why a person cannot enjoy a full night’s sleep.

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Posted by & filed under Tech.

People today are all buzzing about the great things they have read or heard about the Quantified Self movement, and how people who are into are all getting excellent results from their fitness efforts.

What many fail to realize, however, is that the entire concept of the Quantified Self is also hinged upon a good amount of self tracking, and monitoring a number of numeric values tied in to aspects of keeping fit.  In short, a lot of tracking is needed to really reap the benefits of the Quantified Self movement, and here are a few of the important things that need tracking.

Track your mood

Mood, apparently plays a huge part in a person’s ability to engage in their preferred form of fitness activity.  While there are those who argue that people who succumb to this “mood-dictated fitness habit” will never be fit at all, this is still a reality: most people will continue to do what they do either limited by or enhanced by mood.  This is it is important that one tracks their mood.  Unless affected by chemical changes in the body, by medication, or by exposure to emotional stimuli from the outside, the type of mood one has can be quite consistent.  Try to determine the time when mood is optimal for exercise.  What’s good about this is that once exercise is being done, a person’s mood changes dramatically for the better.  Because of this fact, what some people do is they tend to hit the gym or run or go cycling to improve their mood, although it is not always as effective for others.

syncmetrics_1Track your activity

Apart from monitoring the amount of exercise and exertion you are are doing, self-tracking is also a good indicator of current limits.  Exercise and fitness regimens have a way of actually increasing a person’s ability to exert themselves, but this is a gradual process.  In cases where people take on too much too soon, injury is not uncommon.  Torn or twisted muscles and ligaments can result from pushing one’s self beyond their limits too soon.  The entire point of self-tracking is to determine how much one can do so that it can eventually be surpassed, but it is also important to know that this is not an instantaneous process.  Athletes and professional sports figures did not get to where they are in a day.  They spent time practicing and training, measuring how far and how long they could go, and tried to beat that record a little each time to get better.

Track your vitals

Professional runners make a habit of checking their heart rate before and after doing a run.  Sadly, most people do not follow this essential practice of monitoring their vitals before and after any regimen.  This practice cannot be stressed enough, as there are people who do make a habit of getting into endurance testing regimens, but also happen to have a condition that requires particular monitoring.  This is true in the case of diabetics, as physical exertion has a great toll on their blood sugar levels.  People with heart issues also need to pay close attention to their heart rate, as there are some who cannot exceed a certain threshold, otherwise they risk serious complications.  Should you be the type with a chronic condition, or one that could be affected by prolonged physical exertion, self-tracking is definitely something you need to do consistently, or risk serious injury.

Track your schedule

It is quite important to remember that fitness routines need not always leave you drop dead tired, but neither should it be left at an unimproved level.  Leaving the determination of the amount of exercise done to just a “feel” of it is not always the best way to do it.  In most cases, that feeling of being tired can immediately be resolved by taking a brief break, after which one may resume the exercise.  This is because the body does not have any other gauge to base being “tired” on.  If one resorts to self-tracking, you make a mental and unconscious “agreement” with yourself to complete a certain level before you actually give in to feelings of being tired.  Doing the fitness routine immediately after work is not always a good thing for a few reasons: the concerns of the day is still fresh in your mind, the body has barely had any time to rest, and other such concerns.  This is why it is important to track one’s schedule and plot out a logical time frame to engage in the exercise, one that gives you ample time to rest, put aside any concerns still carried over from work or some other endeavor, and prepare yourself for the exercise.

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Posted by & filed under Fitness, Tech.

1175306_55941078Exercise has always had a way of coaxing people to push harder, run farther, swim faster, and propel one’s self even further.

This is why there are so many marathons, bicycle tours, and other endurance-testing events around the world that have become annual events, participated in by hundreds of people, and sponsored by the largest names and brands in the industry.  People who are into the Quantified Self movement, exercise enthusiasts, and even those who just want to see if they have what it takes can be typically seen at these events.  These are people who are not really in it to compete with others, but rather to compete with themselves and see the event to its end.

This drive to push one’s self further is encouraged even more with recent developments in self-tracking apps and devices, such as newly introduced Half Marathon Training app from ACTIVE Network, and other such developments.  These innovations help people to improve their overall ability to complete an endurance routine by tracking their progress in relation to health goals they had set themselves.

Many of those looking to get in on this worthwhile endeavor, however, do wonder: how does one even begin to train for an event as daunting and as trying as a half marathon, let alone a full length marathon itself?

Set a Goal

As with any project one must undertake, to be able to achieve any kind of good result, one must first set a goal.  This is to lay down a working plan to get to the good result, since one must know what direction one is taking, to get to that direction.  These goals need not be the kind that will inspire anyone with just its sheer ambition.  More often than not, goals that are incredibly ambitious and inspiring are also near impossible to complete.  Set a goal that is still high up on the list of challenges, but still within your ability to complete.  Once the goal has been set and a clear direction has been established, everything else will fall into place.

Preparation

Unless you are the extremist who is always willing to pit yourself against every obstacle in your way, making sure you are prepared to achieve the goal you set is always a good thing to do.  Check your gear if it is ample or good enough to get you through your paces.  You will necessarily need to engage in a lot of self-tracking to see if you are making any real progress, so make sure you have devices or apps you may need to monitor yourself and track your progress.  Have you picked out your “road to glory” yet?  You need to establish just where it is you will be running to train in preparation for your half marathon.  Are there resources at hand to help you recharge and recover as you continue your training?  Remember that you are bound to sweat as you never have once you are well underway in your training, and you will definitely need to rehydrate to keep your stamina up.

Select the plan that works for you

A little research can yield very helpful information for your training.  Some apps have plans counted in weeks when you plot out your training schedule.  Before you pick a plan, try running the course you have picked for your training.  Once you have gotten a “feel” of the run, including how long it would take, how tired you would be after it, and other things, try to see if it is possible for you to pick a consistent schedule for the training, as any training would be best if done in an uninterrupted routine.  Once you have figured all of that out, then select the plan that works well with all considerations you have plotted out, and stick to it for the duration of the training.  Many attempts at training end in failure because of the inability to stick to the selected plan.

Pace yourself and do realistic “pushes”

The kind of training seen being done by professional athletes is decidedly not for everyone, particularly for those who are just beginning to get into it.  The problem with inspirational shows, movies, and programs is that when viewed by an ordinary person willing to get into a fitness program or endurance training, it all seems so easy to do, even during the “breakthrough” scenes where the someone pushes well beyond their physical capacity just to achieve a goal.  This is a sure way to injury, and injury is a sure way to dash any hopes of ever competing in events that demand physical exertion.  Once you get a feel of the routine, you can start doing “pushes”, or trying to exceed the usual routine you have set.  Self-tracking can help with this, because it allows you to monitor and record accomplishments in real numbers, which you can then try to exceed when you feel you are up to it.  Trying to achiever superhuman feats of endurance and strength at an early stage will only not increase your chances of completing your training early, it will only increase your chances of getting hurt, and not being able to achieve any of the goals you have set.