Every year, I make a resolution, be it to each as local as possible (check!) or visit five provinces in five weeks (check!) This year’s resolution? I want to be able to complete the Dopey Challenge within four years. The Dopey Challenge, you ask? The Dopey Challenge, as per Walt Disney World rules, require runners to complete four races in four consecutive days: Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, the 10K on Friday, half-marathon on Saturday and marathon on Sunday, for a total of 48.6 miles or 78.2 km. Now, it’s been awhile since I ran. With a cantankerous hip injury from high school, it’s only recently that I’ve been able to run at all. However, I’m determined to complete the Dopey Challenge for 2021 - heck, I want to be able to run the 5K and the 10K by next year. To build my stamina, I’ve compiled my list of apps and health tech that are going to keep my journey from couch potato to runner on track.
While the price is not for the faint of heart, Cubii is one of the most affordable portable and office-compliant, digitally-connected elliptical. It’s small, quiet design fits under your desk, between your couch and your coffee table, or practically anywhere else. The best part of Cubii, however, it is how it is connected to your mobile device of choice. While it has its own application, it connects with mainstream fitness tracker applications, like Fitbit, making this is the gold standard for office fitness tech solutions.
Speaking of Fitbit, this wearable has been my favourite for over a year now. Both my husband and I love our Fitbit Charge HRs, and we’ve been carefully eying the new Charge 2. Now, as silly as it is, my prime reason for not upgrading to the Charge 2, besides the fact that the major upgrade is the screen size and a few mobile device integrations that I am not needing yet, is that isn’t a pink option for the Charge 2. However, the Charge 2 is fantastic. Much like the Charge, the Charge 2 monitors your heart rate, automatically recognizes select activities, does all day tracking of steps, heart rate, distance, active minutes, floors climbed and hourly activity, tracks your sleep patterns and connects with your mobile phone. Unlike the Charge, the Charge 2 also does guided breathing exercises, has location-based and cardio fitness levels tracking, along with a hi-res tap display and interchangeable bands (no pink ones, alas). With both currently available, the Charge and the Charge 2 are both fantastic choices for wearable health tech.
So you have a Fitbit, you’re doing the office elliptical thing and now it’s time to actually to hit the pavement. Couch to 5K (or C25K as it now known) is a program designed to get you running a 5K in eight weeks through three runs a week at roughly 30-40 minutes long, inclusive of a five minute warm up and a five minute cool down. There’s an audio coach who tells you when to run or walk, along with how long you are in your current run. An integrated app, C25K is compatible with music apps on both Android and Apple devices, GPS apps, HealthKit, and MyFitnessPal to name a few. The integration with music apps is especially amazing as you can listen to your own music while using the audio coach. You can switch songs and playlists in the app itself, making it a seamless element in C25K.
Don’t you hate it when you get into a rhythm in your workout or run and the pace of your music throws you off? Spotify Running recognizes the number of beats per minute match your current pace, matching music to your pace. This is fantastic as you don’t have to sync up your own playlist as Spotify looks for music to match after your select the type of music that you want to listen to, be it Top 40, hip hop, electronic dance music, or classical.