Little Rock Marathon -Technology Keeps Training on Track


The registration deadline for the Little Rock Marathon is coming up, Feb. 26, with the race being held March 5-6.

Anyone planning to run the full course is already well into their training. But for those wanting to tackle the 5K fun walk/run or take on the 10K this year (both on March 5) or those who want to compete in the full or half marathon next year, wearable technology can help keep training on track.

During a recent visit to a local Verizon store we found several tech options that can enhance a runner’s training regimen.

The FitBit Surge or Garmin Up are souped up fitness trackers made with the runner in mind. Each uses GPS technology to track speed and distance during a run. These are important features, said avid runners Stacey Shaver and Meghan Lewis who are employees at the Go! Running clothing/equipment store in Little Rock.

“It helps you keep pace and tracks your distance,” said Shaver, who plans to run the full marathon on March 6. “Pace is important because most runners have a goal – a time they want to run a race in.”

Lewis – who plans to run the half marathon – agreed adding another reason why pace is important. “You also want to make sure you’re not going too fast too soon when you’re running a race,” she said.

For those runners who want to stay connected while they push through the miles, the Moto 360 Smartwatch (available in colorful sport versions and classically stylish options) allows a wearer to review Facebook posts and read email messages and texts with just a glance.

The watches have ample battery life, wireless charging and a water-resistant design. They’re versatile, too, operating on Android Wear™ and compatible with smartphones that use Android 4.3 or higher and select iPhones running iOS 8.2 or higher.

Most runners will experience a mental drag at some point. Music can be a helpful inspiration in those times. The LG Tone Active or Powerbeats 2 headphones are sweatproof/waterproof and provide excellent sound quality.

“Music helps me run faster,” Shaver said. “If I’m feeling low or having a difficult time getting through the run, music can help me get over that hump.”

For those who may not be committed enough yet to purchase a wearable device, the Runtastic app can turn your smartphone into a running coach. Runtastic monitors workouts and offers pre-programed interval workouts, maps of routes across the globe and paid training plans built around specific time goals for all the major distances.

Whatever the fitness level, there’s technology that can help a runner reach his or her goals. Lewis also recommends a good pair of shoes and good socks and one other bit of advice:

“Set realistic expectations,” she said. “If you’re just starting out expect that it’s going to feel foreign, it’s going to hurt a little, but set realistic goals and don’t try to do too much too fast.”

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