Since I hadn't been running hardly at all during 2014 I haven't used MapMyRun in a long time. Back in December I opened it up again and started to log some workouts and treadmill jogs. A years worth of updates meant that I had to re-educate myself on how to use the darn thing. Aside from a variety of new functions and social networking capabilities was the addition of group challenges.
Companies sponsor, as advertisement, an opt-in fitness challenge. Britta, for example, challenged you to log 50000 steps per week and, of course, record how often you hydrated. Each challenge has it's own exercise and nutrition goal. While the social networking aspect of MMR is nice, it sort of requires that you have lots of friends using the app. I don't have very many, so the buddy training aspect of the app is a bit lost on me. By contrast, these large community challenges I find a bit more engaging as you can get a percentile rating for your progress relative to all MMR challenge users. If you're really into competition there is a leader board you can check for each challenge. It's nice but I call a little BS on it at the same time. After one day of a challenge this guy had logged five 30 minute workouts and 8 supplementations. Come on man, you worked out for 2.5 hours, probably a run, and ate your vitamins for the day plus maybe a shake or something.
The running total for theses different target goals I like as well, keeping track of different variables each month is more fun than just checking off 'workout' in my planner. It's not like you are married to the thing either, the Britta challenge for example didn't really work for me since I couldn't find a way to log my steps all day and sync to the app. Oh well, I still checked my steps anyways and entered my hydration stats as well. I know I did better than the app was able to record and that was good enough for me.
In February I changed to the MapMyFitness App to more accurately record my workouts since Kettlebells aren't in the MMR list. MapMyFitness still records runs the same way including all my old routes, accesses the challenges, and links to your friends just like MMR.
Lots of folks use the wristband things, but I find them pretty limited in capability. The MapMy apps, I feel, are more comprehensive in what you can do with them plus there are all kinds of add ons if you pay to become an MVP member (I am not). There is a whole family of MapMy apps and I recommend that you check them out to enhance your workouts.
Almost forgot, oranges are good for you but don't really enhance your running much. MapMyRun is better than oranges.
Me and my iPhone
Working on 45 minutes continuous jogging right now. Hope to be close to an hour by April. My buddy Jack is running Bloomsday for the first time so he's been running a little bit with me. That should be fun and will also keep me from pushing too hard for a goal time this year.
The iPhone is tired of playing the same playlists. Need some new stuff badly. suggestions are welcome.
Every so often, I get asked as to what the ‘best’ exercise is to do. In many of these hypothetical (or not) situations, time for exercising is in short supply. Other times, It’s just a matter of making some addition to a workout regimen already in place. This can mean that it’s possible for there to be more than one “King” depending upon your specific needs or desires. In general each royal movement will provide benefit for a majority of its subjects.
This month, the Ruler of All Gyms will be, the Goblet Squat, using a kettlebell.
Requirements: The bodyweight of one human person (self)
Squatting is one of the fundamental patterns of movement that we need all our lives. As such, it is important to maintain the ability to squat properly and safely as we develop and age. A primary benefit of good squat form is keeping the knees and hips healthy. Even compromised joints can derive positives from a good set of squats.
The Goblet squat is a great way to add resistance AND flexibility to the body weight squat pattern. By focusing on the specific body position throughout this variation one can improve several facets of their movement competency. Much of the following comes from my Dragon Door HKC manual.
Beginning - The kettlebell is held on the sides of the handle or horns at the chest with both hands.
Move A - You shall maintain a neutral head/neck/spine as you drop the hips towards the floor.
Move B - Noting that the heels and big toes are firmly rooted to the ground, a grunt is expelled forcing exhalation and activating the abdominal wall as explosive force is driven through the feet.
There are many benefits to be derived from this exercise. Hip mobility and a disassociation from the lower back is a good thing. Having hips which move through its designed range of motion limits the amount of wear and tear the lumbar spine has to endure This affects everything from sitting posture to a golf swing.
Carrying the kettlebell creates strength and stability in the shoulders and thoracic cage. This improves and focuses attention on posture for better performance in a variety of activities.
Quadriceps strength and power are improved from the explosive nature of the movement. This challenges the lower extremity to generate forces it may require in a host of activities from walking to running to biking.
Consider the Goblet Squat as the sole exercise of the day. The King has Spoken!!