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Evaluating fitness websites: numbers prove it happened… but whose?

Strava heart rate data chartI’ve been doing a fair bit of running lately. I’m taking a clinic at the Running Room, but apart from that, I run alone. Some people get motivation by running with friends, other runners. Numbers motivate me. Compared to the Timex digital watch I used to use to time myself when I was in high school, modern electronics are tricorders. But they really want an external application, to crunch numbers, analyze data and draw pretty graphs.

In the zone, as they say

My first effort to slow down went pretty well I think. I started out painfully slow. The “low heart rate” warning beep came about one minute in, and I thought I could maybe pick it up a little.

Slow down to speed up

I went for a run today for the first time in a bit. I thought I would skip the Running Room regimen and just see how I was doing. I ran the 6.6km loop along the canal between Bronson and Pretoria without any pauses and at pace.

And now I have a heart rate monitor

I’m about to become insufferable. I apologize in advance. I have abiding love of performance metrics. And maps. GPS units make me positively giddy with excitement. And have recently been schooled on the meaning and import of heart rate when it comes to getting exercise.

Heartbeat

This Running Room clinic has really opened up my eyes to a whole world of technicalia around running. Heart rate, specifically. I bought a heart rate monitor with my bike GPS. And I used it a few times just to see what sort of numbers it gave me. And I didn’t see the point of it. Until now.

Lactic acid

I’m taking a “learn to run” course at the Running Room these days. It seems silly, yes. After all, I have been running – off and on – most of my life. And most humans – if they’re able – learn to run pretty early in life. But there is, actually, an awful lot to learn.