So I got this Garmin device that does GPS in hopes that it’d make me run more. So far it’s been successful. The GPS and Google maps mashups on their activity summary web app are super cool (see full example):
Over time, if you keep up with it you can see improvements in different categories:
- Distance – you can run more as you get in better shape
- Heart rate – peaks and average should normalize
- Time – you’ll improve your time (ideally!)
Since I’m not a running super-beast and I’m not very fast, I have been pretty interested in the heart rate! I’m also interested in it because the first few runs were pretty tough because I’d run for a bit (at the speed I remember running at) and my heart would go nuts and I’d have to walk for a bit. For a while I’d have to keep doing that, and my heart rate chart showed why.
On my first run in about 2 years, I was getting owned:
After waking up this morning at 430am and going for a crazy morning run (which, if you knew me, is something I never do), I was happy to see this:
I still have to walk a bit in the middle of a 3 mile jog, but while I’m running my heart rate remains constant and it never felt like it was going to explode. I’m now able to sustain for longer and I also have less movement between 180 and 200 bpm (Note that the top graph was 1.5 miles and the bottom one was 3 miles).
As I was writing a blog about browsing statistics and how they can improve how we use the web, it made me think of this little Garmin watch and how knowing more about my own body can help me improve my life.
Data is good, knowledge is good. By itself, not so much — but if you use it right it can make all the difference.