Kristen Lodge: Using technology for a new personal record

Kristen Lodge / Sports and Adventure
Grand County, CO Colorado
A screenshot of the Ski Tracks app on Byron Hetzler's iPhone from a ski day earlier this season.

When I started writing this column two years ago, I wrote a story about mountain biking at Winter Park Resort and my love of maps. I refused to use a GPS. I was proud of being old school. I didn’t even want to wear arm warmers while road biking in chilly spring weather.

Everything has changed.

I now run with imapmyride iPhone app and listen to music on an mp3 player. I wear a heart rate monitor strapped around my sternum as watch my heart rate rise while running hills in my neighborhood. I ski with the Ski Tracks app on my iPhone and post results of elevation, mph, and miles skied to my blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

I monitor distance, heart rate, mph on all my workouts then log and post stats on my account so I can track my progress. I read Running Times on my NOOK Tablet.

The downside of no longer being old school is the people who knew you when you were call you out on it. A high school friend on Facebook commented about my new technology decisions.

“I thought you were a purist. Reading books electronically. What would Thoreau think?”

I hate to disappoint my friends, but my triathlon friends support this change in philosophy. I have convinced many of them of the benefits of wearing compression socks after racing or hard workouts.

My co-worker Byron Hetzler is addiction to technology and Apple products, too. He introduced me to Ski Tracks in November by saying in the office , “Hey look at this new app.”

I purchased and download my first iPhone app at that moment.

He bought his iPhone in March and in November discovered Ski Tracks.

“Ski Tracks makes it so much more interesting while skiing limited terrain.”

But primarily he likes to see what he can do in the course of a ski day: number of runs, miles per hour.

“Last weekend while I was recording my ski day, at the bottom of the trail, I saw other skiers stop and check their phone for stats.”

He also has downloaded imapmyfitness app that has functionality for logging activities such as biking, hiking, and running. He saves routes to track progress.

This is Hetzler’s first experience, too, with GPS functionality and we both agree that it is a fun way to hit the ski slopes or run faster just to see progress.

When I first started racing long course triathlons, I just wanted to finish. Now I want to get faster. This year I am surrounding myself with technology for inspiration to get faster and motivation to train consistently.

By monitoring and logging all my workouts (including skiing – it’s a workout) will allow me to set a new PR (personal record) in 2012. I might even buy arm warmers this year.

You can sit around and get fat watching reruns of Cheers on TV Land while eating a holiday fruit cake, or you can get off your behind and let technology inspire you.


Coming next week

Be sure to read my column next week where I talk to Fraser resident John Kacik about his personal evolution to fitness and a healthy lifestyle pairing Cross Fit and the Paleo diet.

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