London Marathon 2018: How much more do runners care about tech in a year?

A whole year has passed since my 2017 marathon diary (surprisingly) and 365 days ago I asked the members of my running club St Albans Striders, with hundreds of members, what their attitudes towards technology were.

Well, I thought it was time to spread the word to other enthusiasts to see what they thought about the role of technology in the race, and although things are quite similar, there are some small, but noticeable changes in attitude.

While everyone is still wearing watches and headphones for jogging, and no one has bought a pair of smart glasses (since they do not really exist yet): brands change and the desire for technology to help is changing as well.

What technology do you use when you run, and why?

"I've been using the Garmin 735XT, since I wanted something that covered running, swimming and cycling, since it was on sale, so I went from Garmin 235 to Garmin 735XT, mainly for the swimming element," he said. Mike Dando.

The Garmin theme is incredibly strong in the running club: each bar of the bar uses a device of that brand, showing that it is the upward trajectory and the low price of the older models is having a strong effect.

"Recently I upgraded from the Nike Apple Watch series 2 […] to the Garmin Forerunner 235. My main problem with the Nike Watch was the battery life, since it did not last in my long runs, that's not something I want in my first marathon, "said Magdalena Petrus.

It's interesting to see this as an update: the Nike Apple Watch is much more expensive, but for the serious runner the lower runner and Strava's lack of mainstream integration the application is a hindrance.

"I use my iPhone for music / podcasts, and the map feature is useful when I get lost!" Says Jenni Johnston. "The Find My Friends app is useful for my other half to know where I am, or use it to track me in the long term, and then he and the kids appear as a squad of mobile cheers on the way!"

It's interesting that this is used, since Garmin offers a LiveTrack mode to do the same, but Find My Friends does not have to be activated every time, so it could be seen as a more friction-free option. And not everyone is a Garmin fan, despite continuing with the brand:

"I updated from a Garmin 920XT (although it is not very old) to a Garmin Fenix ​​5s, mainly because I wanted a change and could not He will not bother to return it, but Garmin's online support is useless, "says Kather Caris-Harris.

Do you like the idea of ​​technology being used in a race?

"There is a danger of being too dependent on technology and not just running to feel, but I like Strava and know what everyone is doing," says Jenni Johnston.

Many people do not like the idea of ​​technology when they run, it gets in the way of pure enjoyment of activity, and it does not allow them to experience the world around them.

The feelings about this were mixed in the club, but compared to last year there is definitely more acceptance of the technology used to help run.

"Technology definitely helps me in terms of tracking progress, which helps me try to control my time for longer careers, I also like all the data offered through [Garmin Forerunner 735XT] the application and links to Strava ", adds Mike Dando.

"I've always been one of the first to adopt sports technology, and I like what you can do with today's equipment for monitoring, testing, evaluation work and the social aspect," said Rav Dighe. , triathlon coach of Aloha Tri. It also uses the Stryd energy meter, but mainly for professional evaluations: it will be interesting for more people to start using them in the next year or two, especially since they can also be used with Zwift Running on treadmills.

"It's a blessing and a curse knowing how fast (or more usually how depressing is the slowness!) I'm running," says Helen Cartlidge. "I like to have a training record, but even in the previous Garmin Forerunner 220, there are many geek statistics that I do not care about.

" My rule for racing is that I can only look at my watch at a mile or kilometer, so I do not control the time in Parkrun (a 5km weekend race in which many participate) "

But shout here for some 2004 technology:

" I remember being very excited when a friend He received a Nike Triax early, since you could set a beep to divide it, so he knew if he was in rhythm. We did a lot of track training, so we used it then and it looked like the coolest thing we had ever seen! ", Says Jen Conway.

" Since I got injured last year, I deliberately did not use my watch to control the time / control the pace during the races, this was going to be until I got back in shape but I'm leaving to stay with him as much as possible.

"I see the benefits of speed marking for a half marathon or a full marathon, but I think that after years of running without a watch, I caught myself using it a bit and discovered that I could do it if I saw a division of km that I was 10 seconds away from the desired pace. "

What would you like to see invented to help you run better?

<img src = "" alt = "The training load indicator in this last Garmins would attract many [19659026] Load indicator training in the latter Garmins would be attractive to many

This section is always the most enlightening of the survey: discover what people would love to see in the execution technology, and then realize that it is already can find (at least in part) for sale already.

But the points of marketing or price are too prohibitive, so it only takes years to discover these interesting news.

For example …

" I would love to see (or listen more specifically) a little technology that can give you some guidance on rhythm, effort, etc. instead of just a rhythm alert, "says Tony Barr.

" Some kind of artificial intelligence, which would be more like a virtual trainer. Keeping in mind that the watch knows the heart rate, the cadence, the rhythm and the gradient, I should be able to offer reasonable advice and guidance. "

It seems that the LIfeBeam team needs to make better publicity on their Vi headphones. [19659002] "My Garmin tells me that, according to my training data, I should run a 3:15 marathon. This is fantasy sadly! But since I have not executed one for several years, it would be great if it could give me a realistic expectation since then I could plan my career strategy accordingly, "says Caroline Bailes.

This is something that has been repeated throughout the survey and it's the biggest flaw in Garmin watches: when you take your VO2 Max score, which runs through the heart rate, the predicted times are very inaccurate.

If you train hard and get close to your predicted marathon goal, then your Physical state increases and time decreases It is very difficult to approach him.

And here is something interesting about Jen Conway:

"I would love a clock to plan a route of a desired distance when you are in new areas, and help you find your way back to your hotel when you get lost. "

This is already possible with the RunGo application on the Apple Watch, although there are not a lot of executions there for free, and talking about things that exist …

" Something to tell me when my form has deteriorated and what to do to solve it, "adds Jen Conway, which is, again, in the current range of Garmin watches, with their training
load giving an indication of whether their physical condition is increasing or not.

And finally, this note from Colin Baybrook, taking her to the old school:

"Can you imagine the London marathon (or any great race) without timing? Going back to the old days of having to convince people, it took minutes to cross the line of departure. "

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