Spartan Race Training Plan
Gadgets don’t make a runner, but they sure can help one out! In today’s oversaturated market, many products are being promoted as necessary, which is far from the truth, of course.
In my running career, I’ve utilized many such tools to become a better athlete, and I believe that you can too. No matter if you’ve taken up running to lose weight, achieve a fitness goal, or any other reason, here are some phenomenal gadgets that you could find very useful.
Armbands are not everyone’s favorite, but they are your best option if you want to bring your phone along on your jog. Shapeheart Armband is unlike any other because it also has the ability to measure your heart rate.
This product has a detachable optical heart rate sensor which monitors your heart beats and sends the information to a running app of choice (Strava, Nike+, etc.). Knowing how fast your heart beats while running can be very helpful as it can guide you in finding your perfect pace, or knowing when to slow down/speed up. So, if you’re going to wear an annoying armband, why not get one that can do two things?
Besides all of this, the band is quite comfortable, and its magnetic case allows you to take out and put in your phone effortlessly.
Every once in awhile, there comes a product that revolutionizes the fitness industry, and ShapeScale just might be it.
This scale measures your body’s parameters like weight, body fat, and muscle mass, and also creates a photorealistic 3D model of your body that you can use to track your progress visually.
You’ll be able to see the model on your smartphone, and the best part is that it will change as your body changes! If you lose weight, the model will show you just how much fat you lost and which body parts were affected the most. You’ll see all the essential biometrics and how exercise is affecting them.
This is the ultimate tool for the obsessive fitness analyst, but also for anyone who has a hard time finding the motivation to run or workout. Once you’re able to see in detail the progress that you’re making, you will not want to stop!
3. Lumo Run
Runners who are serious about improving their form, or should I say, taking it to perfection, must not miss out on Lumo Run sensor. This lightweight device (25g) attaches to the back of your shorts/tights and then records the following:
- Steps per minute
- Pelvic movement
What it then does is send this data to the Lumo app conveniently located on your phone, and shows you how you’re moving and what could be improved. What’s even better is the audio feature that gives you live coaching as you run, telling you what aspects of your form you should pay attention to. However, the latter feature is only available if you bring your phone along.
Do you like listening to music while running? Or perhaps, a podcast or an audiobook? Whichever it is, you know how annoying regular earbuds can be because they keep falling out as you bounce.
AfterShokz is no ordinary pair of headphones, as it is specially made for runners. It is powered by a battery which, when fully charged, can last up to six full hours. If you’re an audiophile ultra runner, I bet you’re grinning right now. Moving on, the headphones weigh only 30 grams, they’re sweat-resistant and are shaped to fit a human ear perfectly.
Now, if you’re concerned about a car hitting you because you couldn’t hear it coming, fear not. AfterShokz have an open-ear design, which means that you will hear things in your environment perfectly fine.
Who’d ever thought that a smart shoe would be a thing? Well, it is now, and Altra Torin IQ is a shining example.
These trainers have small sensors built into them, which collect information about your stride. Like all such devices, they will forward this information to a smartphone app where you’ll be able to see what’s up.
The purpose of this data is to help you improve your running technique and thus run more efficiently as well as to stay injury-free. You will learn about how your stride changes with elevation, whether you land on your heel, mid, or front foot, and so on.
The shoes are very comfortable, and the sole has no drop so you can be sure that they’re fully optimized for running. Also, the real benefit of such a product is that you don’t have to carry any devices with you; they’re all inside the shoe.
6. Halo Sport
Bio-hackers are going to love this one. Halo Sport is a pair of headphones that uses electrical impulses to make you run better. It sounds a bit freaky, right?
Don’t worry, it’s all supported by science, and here’s how it works. You put on the headphones and start doing a 20-minute warm-up session. During the session, the headphones send electrical signals to the neural pathways which control movement to help them fire more easily.
This is also known as neuro priming and is meant to help you reach a state where your movement neurons are so fine-tuned that you can get much more muscle control. The ultimate goal is to help you run faster and more explosively, and according to a test done with the San Francisco Giants, it seems to work.
Tracking one’s heart rate during exercise has a lot of benefits, and the most precise way to get those measurements is by using a chest strap. The only problem is that chest straps are uncomfortable, and many people don’t like them, so your next best bet is the Wahoo TICKR Fit.
It looks like a watch, but it isn’t; it’s an armband that uses optical technology to scan your heartbeats, then records the data and sends it to your smartphone. The armband is worn on the forearm because that’s where it can have a good grip and will not allow any airflow between it and your skin as this could skew the sensor.
All in all, TICKR Fit is as accurate as a chest strap and as comfortable as a wristwatch, so you can get the best of both worlds.
8. Stryd Sensor
If you paid attention in physics class, you should have learned that watts are a unit for measuring power. Many cyclists know this very well as this is one of the main parameters that they measure during their rides. Runners have been slow to catch up, and finally, we have a power measuring Stryd Sensor device.
Now, why power? It’s quite simple – your form, muscle stiffness, cadence, and all other factors that you usually measure work together to create power output. Stryd Sensor records all of the above mentioned and converts it to one single number – wattage.
Say goodbye to complex analytics as just knowing your power output will help you find your optimal pace and thus improve your running efficiency.
A wise man once said that everybody needs coaching and I agree, but the problem is that you can’t have your coach with you all the time. Think again, as Life Beam’s Vi is the ultimate AI coach that can transform the way your workout.
The product consists of special earbuds and a smartphone app. The earbuds have sensors that record your biometrics, which the app then uses to give you audio advice about your training. For example, it can tell you when to slow down/speed up, what you’re doing wrong, and based on all of that, offer workout plans to tackle your weaknesses.
Besides this, it will track your movement as well as the weather to give the most relevant advice for your current location and conditions. This kind of device can help you a lot if you’re a beginner and want to attempt something like a couch to 5K run.
10. Jaybird X3
On a list that’s full of sci-fi products and cutting edge technologies, it might seem boring to read about a pair of headphones. Well, if you use music as running motivation, then I’m sure that you’ll want to learn more about Jaybird X3.
These neckband in-ear headphones are comfortable, small, and sweat-proof as they were specifically designed for running and working out. They connect to your phone via Bluetooth and have a battery life that’s well over 4 hours.
Truth be told, all of this sounds pretty unexciting, and it might be for some. The point of these headphones is that they produce an amazing sound, stick well in your ears and come at a decent price. That’s more than enough for me.
11. Marc Pro
Runners who do a lot of volumes surely know how important recovery is. Some would say that it is as important as the training itself, and I couldn’t agree more. With that being said, meet Marc Pro, a device that’s going to help you recover faster and get at your next training session fresh.
Marc Pro is a muscle stimulator which uses electrotherapy to help the body get rid of metabolic waste by letting more oxygenated blood into the tissues. Translated into everyday language, this means that your muscles are going to be more flexible and loose after a short session with this device.
Just stick the pads to the part of the body that you wish to treat, and let Marc do its magic. Do this after each hard running session for best results.
Ultrarunners who don’t stop after dark or folks who enjoy running at night will probably be interested in a product like GoMotion Synergy Hydration light vest.
I don’t need to emphasize the importance of staying hydrated now, do I?
Since it’s a giant hassle to bring water bottles to your run, some smart folks came up with hydration vests. This simple yet ingenious vest is compact, comfortable, and can store up to 1 liter of water that you can suck up through small tubes. What sets GoMotion’s product from others is the light that it has on the chest strap.
The battery-powered 100 lumens LED light will shine the way for you ensuring a safe run even in the darkest nights!
Passionate trail runners will hit the hills regardless of the weather but, running in wet conditions is tricky (especially on trails) because one might slip and fall easily. To prevent this from happening you can wear Yaktrax Traction cleats.
The cleats are made from durable rubber straps and carbide steel spikes which also happen to be replaceable. They literally take seconds to put on/take off, and once they’re on, you’ll forget that they’re there. They cover all angles that your feet might get in, and are suitable for all kinds of weather.
Runners who are trying to challenge themselves in a new way absolutely have to check out the Training Mask 3.0. The mask, besides making you look like Bane, will help you condition your lungs for more endurance.
It simulates elevation training by limiting the amount of air that you’re inhaling and thus forcing you to breathe consciously, deeply, and calmly. The airflow can be adjusted so you can make sure that you’re always training in the sweet spot – not to easy and not too hard.
The mask isn’t too cheap nor expensive, so anyone genuinely committed to their training will certainly be able to afford it.
Last but not least, I’m going to introduce you to another device that aims to help you shorten your recovery time. Hyperice Vyper 2.0. is a vibrating foam roller made by the renowned fitness company Rogue.
It can be used before the run, to make the muscles fire up better, or after, to help you loosen up those tight tissues. The vibration, combined with the pressure of the roller, helps to penetrate your muscles deeply and break up the tight spots.
You can set the vibration anywhere from 45 and 92 Hz so you’ll be able to find a setting that feels most comfortable for you.
So that would be all for today, and now I’d like to leave you with some final words. None of the above-mentioned gadgets are a must-have, but, if used correctly, every one of them can enhance your running game and make it more enjoyable. The most important thing is that you fall in love with running itself so all the other additions will be the icing on the cake.
Author: Matt Cross
Author Bio: Matt is the man responsible for EmpowerYourRun, a health&running-oriented blog which will help you make this amazing physical activity your regular dose of self-improvement. Furthermore, he addresses all the problems a runner may face, runs various tests and recommends the best gear.
Spartan Race Training Plan