fitbit


I have never needed much motivation to go running. I enjoy running even on the days when I feel aches and pains during the run because it feels so good when I stop. And I also feel this great sense of accomplishment.

I have never needed much equipment to go running, either. As long as I have a good pair of running shoes, I don’t need much of anything else. As far as running clothing, I wear running shorts, but I have also run in cutoff blue jeans and any old t-shirt or tank top will do in the summer. In the winter, I wear layers under a good running suit.

I have never run with music because I like to travel lightly. Besides, I really enjoy the view as I run. Although I usually run the same daily route, I try to find something new every time I run. I like greeting other runners whenever I encounter them, especially in the winter when there are less of us out there braving the elements. I enjoy running for what it is in all its simplicity, without any other distractions like music. Well, it’s not so much the music, but the delivery device that I have to wear that restricts my freedom of movement. I like to concentrate fully on running and not on which song is playing or how do I skip to the next one. I want to be fully aware of my surroundings. I want to be one with nature because if I’m not, I might get hit by a truck and become one with the pavement.

Anyway, last year for my birthday, my wife Beata bought me a fitbit for my birthday. She got a fitbit through her health insurance and if she walked 10,000 steps she would get points toward her health plan. Then, she decided that I also needed a fitbit. I told her that I was pretty sure that I walked and/or ran at least 10,000 steps per day, but she didn’t believe me. It’s been a year now that I have this little fitbit and for the most part I do log in 10,000 steps per day, except on rest days when I only log in 5,000 to 7,000 steps.

This fitbit is a tiny little device, so I decided to give it a try. I normally don’t like to carry anything when I run because I don’t like to feel that extra weight on me and it always impedes my running in some way. I once measured the circuit I run with my iPhone 2 and I didn’t like carrying it because I was so self-conscious of it during the entire run. I was afraid I would drop it. I did the same last year, measuring my new running circuit, only this time with a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Even though it was cool enough to wear a running suit, the size and weight of the phone in my pocket made for some very uncomfortable running. But I wanted to have some idea of the distance I was running.

Well, the fitbit is so small I carry it in my pocket all day long. When I run, I clip on the waistband of my shorts or put it into the pocket of my running suit during colder weather. I hardly notice it. However, I’m not so sure that it’s very accurate. Last summer when I increased my mileage, I found a comfortable and enjoyable running route. As I was increasing my mileage for the first time in years, my pace was excruciatingly slow. With time, my running form and endurance improved, and so did my pace. I noticed that on my fitbit the nine-plus miles I ran gradually became less than nine miles as my running improved even though I was covering the same distance. I believe this happened because fitbit counts steps and not distance. The number of steps also declined because as my running improved my stride lengthened a bit.

Overall, I think I would still be running the same distance and with the same motivation even if I didn’t have this fitbit.  I don’t really need it. Perhaps some runners need it and that’s fine. I know my wife enjoys the encouragement she receives from fitbit and she runs more often because of it.