Running: sweat, tears and joy
We often ask ourselves why we are so intent on feeling pleasure. I mean that there are ways of life in which we should not allow pleasure to become routine because, thus, it ceases to be pleasurable. Rather, establish a routine to let that same pleasure come without expecting it, that is, not a routine pleasure but a pleasurable routine. Then the surprise will become the unexpectedness of the pleasure.
One way to monitor our progress in this pleasant routine to know if we are indeed surpassing ourselves every day with each new step we take (where technology comes into play) is with something as simple as a watch to run on the wrist. It gives us access to more information from training and racing, such as knowing in detail the pace in running, average pace, cadence, total kilometres, VO2 max or an estimate of recovery time, or even the altitude measurement, which will be a perfect tool for every runner. But you have to know how to take advantage of all this data provided by sports watches to help you improve as a runner.
Garmin Ltd (NASDAQ: GRMN) has in its wide repertoire of sports watches, the Forerunner 955 model will delight runners. It incorporates the Garmin Elevate V4 optical pulse sensor that not only helps you keep track of your heart rate in real-time or during a race but also the variability of your heart rate, data that is used to make an analysis that will indicate your training status.
They include various “global navigation satellite systems (GNSS)”, such as GPS, GLONASS and Galileo, which offers the possibility to plan, download or even create routes or also follow training plans to finish from a 5K race to a marathon. In addition, they help to monitor VO2 max (cardiorespiratory capacity), blood oxygen saturation or the load of the last 7 days.
The important thing about all this is that the challenges become more palpable when we gather a mentality that crosses boundaries, those mental boundaries that we have in life; in this sport, what seems unattainable can become a reality.
In fact, the writer Haruki Murakami in his book “What I talk about when I talk about running,” mentions his philosophy: “For me, running is both an exercise and a metaphor. By running day after day, accumulating runs, I gradually raise the bar, and by surpassing each level, I elevate myself. At least that’s what I’ve been striving for day after day: to raise my own bar.”
Nike Inc’s (NYSE: NKE) NRC app is a great tool for progressing in fitness. When you open the app right off the bat, you can choose from a quick start (with running guides, from coaches as well as athletes). There are also running guide proposals on distances, times, or content from simple runs to interval training. The audio guides are customized for each geographical area. In the case of Spain, for example, the National Athletics Coach and Nike Run Club coach, Luis Miguel Martín Berlanas, collaborates and is the voice that accompanies the training sessions through these audio guides. In addition, you can choose from a variety of running guides and then save those races, consult all or by groups, such as the most recent ones.
Music is a fundamental tool in a runner’s routine; it could not be otherwise since it is the escape that allows many to stay focused during those long stretches with the rhythm that marks the music and the energy it gives to each step. So it is possible to listen to music from the device itself or from some platform, such as Spotify (NYSE: SPOT). When the trainer’s voice enters, the music goes down a little and comes back up when the trainer has finished speaking. All without the app user having to manipulate the volume while running: the app does it for him.
But this is not enough because running is not done without a mindset that allows you to reach your goal. Surpassing oneself rather than competing against oneself makes it clear that the end result is not just about winning but the journey. Vanity is left aside when the metaphor is not to destroy but to build, and in that construction are sweat, tears and joy. Did I talk about life or running? As I said at the beginning, making an analogy, talking about life itself, reflected and materialized in the running.