Category Archives: iPhone

Fine-tune your workout with audio alerts

Everybody responds to coaching and motivation a little bit differently.  Did you know you can adjust your audio alerts to match your training style?

Not only can you choose the voice of your coach (Alison for a female voice and Jim for male), but you can also decide when and how often you hear alerts.  By default, you’ll get two notifications in addition to the standard “run” and “walk” commands.  There’s an announcement when you reach the halfway point of the workout and another indicating that the last run is coming up.

The halfway alert is an especially handy feature during “out and back” runs when you need to know when to turn around and start heading home.

Notifications can be toggled on and off through Settings under Audio Alerts.  There you can also toggle a third option, “Run time left,” which will let you know when you have 10, 5, 2, and 1 minutes left in a running interval (or continuous run).

New Alerts!

Some people like to lock their screen and power through a workout without thinking a lot about how much is down and how much is left.  On the other hand, if you thrive on keeping an eye on the clock and knowing exactly where you stand, hearing how much run time is left might help you focus on running without glancing down at your screen.

A solid in-between compromise is to activate only the halfway alert, so that you can zone out until your trainer tells you it’s time to turn around.

Whatever your running style, it’s definitely worth taking the time to tweak your audio alerts to make sure they’re working for you.  If you’re unsure of the best way to go, experimentation is the only way to find out what you like best.

Consider changing things up for your next workout.  Even if you’ve been pretty happy with your alerts so far, adjusting these settings can help keep you on your toes.  Mixing it up a little is good for your mental conditioning and — who knows — you might fall in love with a setting you’d never considered.

New Features for GPS Users!  

Following our recent update, the halfway alert can now be set up based on distance.

In addition, new custom run distances allow you to choose a distance and count it down to the end.  Distance alerts will count down your miles from six remaining, plus final reminders at a half mile and 500 feet left.  Kilometers will count down at 9, 8, 6, 4, 3 and 1.5km, with a final reminder at 200m remaining.

If you haven’t opted for the GPS upgrade, there’s more reason than ever to give it a try.  As always, please let us know what you think!

Free your mind with Screen Lock

I don’t know about you, but in the heat of a workout, my brain and my fingers aren’t always to be trusted.

Especially with most of our mental and physical resources devoted to a high-intensity run, it can be easy to mis-tap the phone screen and cause some serious grief.  If you’ve ever tried to check on how many seconds are left on the clock and inadvertently hit the “DONE” button or tried to skip a music track only to accidentally fast-forward through an interval, you know what I mean.

Did you know you can lock the workout buttons to keep this from happening?  If you’ve ever been betrayed by your fingertips, pop into Settings to find the cure.  Simply switch “Lock Buttons” to “ON” and the next time you start a workout, you’ll notice little red padlocks appearing over each of the vital workout buttons.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t use them, just that you’ll need to double-tap to activate the locked buttons.

You’ll still be able to advance your music and adjust volume as always.  Screen lock will simply protect you from accidentally tapping any of the workout buttons.

Of course you can also protect against accidental button presses by using the “lock screen” button on your phone, but using the lock feature within the app allows you to still check the display and adjust your music as needed.

Give it a try if you’re looking for a little insurance against an ill-timed interruption to your workout.

Mix up your running mix

Let’s be honest – portable music players are the best thing to happen to running since shoes.  There are probably a lot of us who would rather run barefoot on gravel than without tunes.

Like all creatures of habit, most runners gravitate towards one type of training music or another; something that gets them going when they work out.  Sometimes it’s a trusty favorite band.  Sometimes it’s something out of left field that was downloaded exclusively for the workout playlist.  (Often it’s a well-kept secret: if the neighbors only knew what was blasting in those headphones…).

Either way, remember that a little variety is always a good thing when it comes to a training routine.  Mixing up something as simple as a music selection can cut down on boredom and keep you out of a dangerous mental rut.

Trying out different music can do wonders for your workout, too.

I don’t mean just throwing on something super intense when it’s time to get pumped up.  Experiment a little with different sounds, different styles, and different tempos.

If you usually listen to something energetic and fast-paced, try slowing things down a little and see how it makes you feel.  Remember, just because you slow the music down, doesn’t mean you have to slow yourself down.  Take the opportunity to really feel your body, to breathe and relax as you run.  Let yourself think about your posture and move with those long, smooth strides that get you the most speed for the least effort.

If your music is usually more on the reserved side, download something crazy.  That’s the beauty of digital downloads.  You can grab yourself a handful of new songs for a few bucks and see what works.  If you find something that would be a guilty pleasure if it was blasting out of your car with the windows down, you just might have hit on a good workout song.

Consider this a challenge.  Next time you want to spice up a workout or are having trouble getting motivated, try switching up your music and listening to something that has never made it to the workout playlist before.

But first, a question: What song gets you pumped up that others might not expect?  Leave a comment sharing any reliable favorites or hidden gems that our readers ought to try on for size.

Coming Soon To Our Apps: Use  your iTunes playlists within the app! Stay tuned for more details on this upcoming addition.

Hitting the wall? Keep your chin up!

(No, seriously.  Keep your chin up.)

We’ve all hit the wall.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned runner struggling to keep pace newbie feeling new levels of pain with 40 seconds left in a 90 second push.

Tough spots like this are part of the experience.  They’re what being a runner is all about.

But that doesn’t mean you have to take them lying down.  Battling through the most challenging part of a workout doesn’t have to be about gritting your teeth and holding on for dear life.

As we get tired, our form starts to break down.  We spin our wheels, working just as hard for a fraction of the speed.  Attitudes turn sour and we start working against ourselves.  It’s a perfect storm of bad energy.  The next thing you know, you’re running in quicksand.

Next time you hit one of those tough spots, try smiling.  And I mean literally smiling: ear-to-ear, mouth open, big goofy grin.  You’ll feel the endorphins kick in.

Lift your chin while you do it.  Your silly smile will make you feel better, right away.  Your lifted chin will help you breathe better, big time.  Your posture will improve.  You’ll be able to lengthen out your stride and go faster while spending less energy.

Give it a try next time you feel the wall building in front of you.  Or if you’re usually a pretty positive, steady-as-you-go runner, take that smile for a test drive when your headphones tell you to get ready for the last run of the workout.

It’s amazing how much good a little smile can do.  Just be warned…you might look like a bit of a maniac in your finish line photos.

iTunes gift card giveaway – Week 1

The winner of the first week of $25 iTunes gift card giveaway is @kaztx and this was the winning tweet. Congratulations @kaztx! You can add new music to your workout playlist or use the gift card to buy some cool iPhone apps.

Everyone else, better luck next time! Remember, the real benefit is getting fitter and healtier, the iTunes gift card is just a little extra.

Happy running!