Ditch the Distance – Go for Time

If you are training for a distance event, or just training in general, it is important that you work out properly and are prepared for any set of circumstances that come your way. So many things can affect your performance. The weather can be unpredictable, your body can respond differently; so many variables come into play on any given day, especially set race
days!

Prepare for anything and make your training Mother Nature-proof by training with duration and intensity instead of distance.

A recent blog post by noted endurance training expert Joe Friel argues that one of the more common endurance training mistakes is focusing on distance instead of duration. While most people use distance when training because that is the measurement races use (it’s called a “5k”, not a “30 Minute-er”), the best way to combat variability is training using duration. Friel went on to explain further:

“With rare exceptions, the workouts I suggest athletes do are based on duration, not distance. The reason is that the intensity of a workout is specific to its length in time, but not necessarily to its distance. For example, if there are two runners in a 10-km race and one finishes in 30 minutes while the other, also working as hard as he can, finishes in 60 minutes, their intensities were not the same. The 30-minute finisher was working at a much higher intensity as a percentage of VO2max. If they were to both run as hard as they could for 30 minutes they would likely use almost exactly the same intensity; one would simply cover more ground than the other”

Therefore, if there are adverse conditions on race day, you can use your intensity training to alter how hard you push it in order to make sure you complete the race. Friel continues:

“The bottom line here is that intensity is inversely related to time. This means that as one increases, the other decreases. As the time of a race or workout gets longer, the intensity at which you are working is reduced. It’s obvious. You can’t run a marathon at your 5-km pace. You run slower in the marathon because you have to run for a longer time. A 30-minute 10-km racer and a 60-minute 10-km racer are, essentially, not doing the same race, and they shouldn’t train the same way either. In the same way, if the bike race will take longer due to wind then you must race at a lower power.”

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Fitdigits on iOS has all of the tools you need to both create and track duration based workouts with a focus on intensity. Fitdigits Custom Workout Routines allows you to not only create workouts specialized to you, but also gives you in workout feedback if your intensity (i.e. Heart Rate) is too high or low.

Create a Structured Workout Based on Duration:
  1. On the Home page, choose the icon of the workout you wish to create the workout for (most likely Running)
  2. Tap Workout -> Workout Routines
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap New Time/Distance Routine
  4. Add a Name, Time and Zone. Longer workouts should be in lower zones, while shorter workouts should have a higher heart rate

 

You now are ready to start training! It is up to you whether you wish to add Auto End Routine and Auto Recovery to your workout.

–Read Joe Friel’s blog post Train for Duration or Distance?

Come race day, make sure you are prepared to monitor your race and make it to the end injury free. Use Fitdigits Fitness Assessments to set custom Heart Rate Zones, VO2 Max, and Lactate Threshold.

 

 

Josh Lost 200+ lbs With the Help of Fitdigits!

Testimonial by Fitdigits User Josh L.

I am an unabashed Who Dat (New Orleans Saints fan, to clarify for those who don’t know what that is) with a very French last name that has South Louisiana written all over it. I love being from the bayous of Louisiana, and I’m proud to be part of such a rich culture. The history, the people, and the football are all things we are extremely proud of down here. But if you polled the rest of the world, the one thing that would stand out as our claim to fame would have to be the food. We learn at a very early age how to make gumbo and jambalaya, boil crawfish, pot-fry rabbit, fry seafood and just generally excite your salivary glands. Whether it’s tailgating at a Saints game, or feeding a camp full of folks, we do food.

All this attention to food served me well in my younger days while I was still a participant in the sport I grew up loving, football. I weighed about 320 lbs at the time and, as a lineman, it was welcomed heft. But as my days on gridiron ended, and I kept my heft-centric diet, I got bigger, and bigger. I topped out at over 400 lbs. about 2 years ago. I got to a point where I felt concerned about my health (duh! I know, but down here I was just another big guy…which has a lot to do with why coronary artery disease is so common here). So I made a commitment to myself: we are going to drop some damn poundage!

As I followed through on this commitment to myself, and weight began to come off, I began to feel better, lighter, even athletic. And, I wanted to use this rediscovered athleticism. But how?

My wife and I spend our weekends in New Orleans. We love being in the city, and there is a race there called the Crescent City Classic (a.k.a. The CCC) that appealed to me. But it’s a 10k! That’s 6.1 miles! After some initial trepidation, I sold myself on the idea that I could get it done. This is when I began searching for an app to help me get started. I went through several, but couldn’t find one that really satisfied me once I was past the initial phase of starting. I didn’t know what I wanted, I just knew what I had wasn’t it. Then, one day I downloaded Fitdigits.

Everything about this app I liked! The dashboard was brightly colored, and easy to read mid-run. I loved the voice that would talk to me to let me know how far I had been, how many calories I had burned, how long I had been running, and my current and average pace. And the fact that I could customize how and when she (my Fitdigits voice is female, also a choice) spoke was just another thing I didn’t realize I wanted, but once I had it I loved it. This was awesome! Having these tangible results helped me to really hone in on the specifics of how my new body was performing. In tracking and reviewing my results, I was able gauge my gains in running. I barley finished that first 10k, but I did, with a time of 1:50:00.

As the pounds came off, I wanted more. And having these results enticed me to research, and compare myself to runners who do it for a living, just to see. In doing that, I had a food epiphany: if I want my Fitdigits results to get better, I should adopt the plant based lifestyle that every single runner I read about has. And being part of a heavy-drinking, heft-inducing culture, this was difficult to say the least. But Fitdigits was quantifying my efforts, my results. And as I saw the results get better and better, I wanted to be a runner even more! It dawned on me that I could, at the age of 34 be an athlete again. Football is not the only sport on the planet. Blaspheme!, right? I know, but I was changing my whole everything. I could still enjoy my football as a spectator in the New Orleans Superdome on Sundays, and be a actual participant in my new sport, running, the rest of the time.

My new nutrition and lifestyle, along with the tangible results I have recorded with my Fitdigits app., have made me into a runner. I no longer resemble that 320lbs 10k finisher hopeful, or that 320lbs lineman of my youth. I am now a lean, mean 204lbs athlete (I feel more like an athlete now than I did in college playing football) whose new participation sport is running. I completed my first half-marathon on October 12th this year with a time of 2:13:10. In my training for that half-marathon (the Jazz Half, btw. The results are on their website- and my Fitdigits app, of course.), I have inspired others by sharing my Fitdigits results on social media to begin running as well. The first thing I usually say is “get the Fitdigits app, and just start running” when someone asks how to get started.

Being able to quantify my efforts, share, and exhibit marked improvement along the way has been priceless for me in this journey. I am training for my first marathon now, and I post my results of my runs almost daily. One can just flick through my Facebook page or Instagram profile and see from where I’ve come. Fitdigits has empowered me in ways I never thought an app could.

Thank you!

Comprendo CEO, Dean Hovey, Runs a Half Marathon

Comprendo CEO, Dean Hovey, Runs a Half Marathon

“I knew I was in trouble.”

The stakes were high. With all the best intentions, life’s twists and turns got the best of me. As race day approached an untimely mixture of frequent travel, a nagging cold, and a grueling work schedule had all taken its toll on my training regimen. Instead of running the prescribed 22 – 30 miles per week I had put in less than 12 on average. I knew that I was in trouble. Either my ego would be shattered, I’d end up hurting myself, or both. Read more.

 

Fitdigits and Marathon Training

Testimonial from Fitdigits User – Robert C.

I have been using Fitdigits with a Garmin heart rate monitor and foot pod on my iPod touch for 6 months while in training to complete a marathon. Fitdigits gives me heart rate, pace, distance and a map of my run.

I am 60 years old and have not trained seriously for 20 years. My training goals are to follow a prescribed training plan of increasing weekly mileage to push my endurance without a “deal breaking” injury. So far, Fitdigits has been a great help in achieving my non-injury/endurance goal while giving me a side benefit of making my runs more enjoyable.

Fitdigits heart monitor helps me smooth out my workouts by allowing me to continually monitor my heart to self reduce both the rate and variability. By staying calm with controlled breathing, I can lower my heart rate (about six beats per minute) which reduces the effort as I cover more miles. This I believe has helped both avoid injury and improve recovery time from the predictable aches and pains.

Also, my workouts have become more enjoyable because I no longer watching the clock. Now I am tracking my heart rate against distance and continually making the workout a better experience by staying “smooth.”

Another related benefit is the ability to share my workout summaries with my doctor in my physical exams. He avidly supports my efforts and is delighted to see that my heart is strong.

I will continue to use this tool as I move beyond the marathon training.  I believe its uses and benefits will only increase for me.

I recommend Fitdigits for other Baby Boomers who are active and want to improve their physical stamina.

-Robert C., Fitdigits User
(Waukesha, WI)

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