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Running in a technology age

Published: Friday, June 21, 2013 11:54 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, June 21, 2013 11:54 p.m. CDT

For years, runners have called upon technology to aid in their runs.

That support usually came in the form of a GPS watch. As with almost anything in life, technology continues to advance by making tasks easier, better and faster.

Upgrades are made each year to GPS running watches, and now there is more competition in new and exciting gadgets.

It starts with your phone. If you don’t mind (or maybe you can’t go without it), start running with your phone. There are pleny of options for a running app.

Two popular choices for your Smartphone are MayMyRun and RunKeeper.

Both apps track your pace, distance and location, which are key elements in training.

Added features to these apps include maintaining an online logging system that allows you to share runs with your friends. Many people find a virtual support system by posting running accomplishments to social media sites like Facebook.

I have fallen in love with the Nike+ app for my phone.

It does everything that my Garmin running watch ever did, and $200 for a watch versus a free app on my phone wins in my book every day.

According to Apple’s App Store, it is the most popular running app on iTunes.

After each run, I am able to see a map of my run, pace throughout the course and calories burned, and then compare that run to previous runs.

No, Nike didn’t pay me to say all of these great things about their app, but I encourage you to check out the many exercise apps out there if you are looking to incorporate technology into running.

All this being said, technology has yet to create a waterproof Smartphone and, thus, you may turn your trust back to the GPS running watch.

Whatever route you take, I encourage you to do your homework and find a plan that fits you best, keeps you accountable and provides a motivation that makes your running shoes your new best friend.

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