Training for a marathon can be an intimidating project. By using the Sports Tracker app as a training aid before, during and after your training runs not only will your speed and efficiency increase but the whole experience can turn into a fun challenge that you’ll look forward to each week.
Before you run
One of the coolest things about the Sports Tracker app is how you can plan a route before hitting the trail. By mapping your route out beforehand you can save loads of time and guesswork when your goal is to run a specific distance.
How does it work? It’s possible to create a new route using your phone (Android only at this time) but I find it easier to open up my laptop and go to the Routes page on the Sports Tracker website.
Once there, click Plan a Route at top right, select the appropriate map view by clicking the drop down menu at top right on the map (I find Outdoor the most useful for trail running) and start clicking waypoints. It’s super intuitive and surprisingly addictive so don’t be surprised if you burn through a couple of hours designing a variety of routes.
When it’s time for your run, go to the Sports Tracker home screen on your mobile, hit Start, click Follow Route.
The app will take you to your My Routes page where you will find the routes you have created as well as routes you have already run. Select a route, click Continue, then Start and you’re off with the map showing the route and your current location on it. Brilliant.
During your run
Without a doubt, the most useful tool of my training has been the audio feedback feature that lets me know how long, how far and how fast I’m going. When I’m out on long runs my mind tends to wander – one of the things I love most about running! – and when that happens I slow down to ‘run forever’ mode. Using Audio Feedback to report on my progress every half kilometer keeps my head in the game and my speed up and since using it I have seen my average speed increase dramatically.
To activate Audio Feedback from the Home screen, click Start and then select Audio Feedback. This will take you to the screen where you’ll be able to customize things like how often you’d like a report, lap time, current speed, distance, duration, energy used, current speed, average speed and heart rate (if you’re using a Sports Tracker heart rate monitor).
After your run
OK, call me a geek but one of the things I’ve started to most look forward to following my run is stretching out while reviewing the data to find out where I did well and where I can improve on my next run. By clicking the Diary tab at the bottom of the Home screen I can select the workout that I want to deep dive. By clicking on Laps at the bottom of the screen, I can select the distance that I want to break my run into – .5k, 1k, 2k, 5k or manual – and get a breakdown of speed, time, meters of ascent and meters of descent for each increment. A gold star indicates your fastest kilometer. Click Chart at the bottom of the page to see a really cool visual comparison of ascent/descent and speed.
By using the Sports Tracker app before, during and after my training, my speed has improved well beyond what I thought it would be at this point and my runs are much more efficient and enjoyable.
But I’m always on the lookout for new ideas so if you have other ways you use Sports Tracker to improve your training, then don’t hold back.
Share them with the rest of our community in the Comments section below!