Thursday, 13 September 2007

Me and my iPod

Before coming to Europe I decided I should find a way to keep fit without having to lug around a lot of equipment or join a gym. As fate would have it, I had won an iPod nano (original 1GB edition) in a contest after joining a job search website. I didn’t actually expect my iPod to turn up after being notified of the win, and indeed it went missing for many weeks before finally arrived in a very beaten up box.

When I first got the iPod I was unconvinced I would use it since I could already listen to music on my phone. However, at some point I wandered into an Apple shop and spotted the Nike+iPod kit which lets you use your iPod to track your jogging progress. Now of course you need to buy a new set of running shoes to use with the Nike+iPod kit (the sensor goes in a dedicated spot in the sole of your shoes), but I didn’t let this deter me from my goal and new shoes were purchased too.

After arriving in Italy I didn’t actually make use of the kit at all, and the iPod only got pulled out for long train trips to and from Switzerland. However, since arriving in Switzerland I have decided it was time I started running again, if only to maintain the semblance of fitness I had built up walking all around Italy.

So in Ecublens I started running again, at the local running track which was nice and springy to reduce the risk of injuring myself. The running track also allowed me to finally calibrate the sensor, since you need a known distance (eg: 400m around the running track) to do the calibration and for this reason I had never gotten around to doing it before.

Since calibrating the sensor I have also changed modes of running, so now I set a distance (currently only 5km) and run until I hit that goal. This is a very motivational mode of running since the iPod announces various milestones; 1km, 2km, half-way, 400m to go, 100m to go. Also it records run history and personal-best times so you can compare your runs with previous efforts.

Now I am in Nyon I have not yet found a running track, which makes the runs a bit harder. I’m sure there must be one nearby as Switzerland is somewhat sports/outdoors obsessed. It also remains to be seen how motivated I will be to go running when the temperature hits freezing point in winter!

1 comment:

Mnementh said...

I reckon Mr Jobs can singlehandedly take the credit for millions of people getting fit. There's so much made of the whole obesity epidemic (and I'm not saying it isn't a major issue) but to me there seems to be this untold story about lots of people staying fit by running, jogging and walking, thanks to the hours of entertainment provided by the iPod. Tis tops!
I don't have your very groovy setup tho - I use a great site called You can map your route and it'll also give you a calorie count (not sure about calorie counts personally, but it's still nice to have). Still, very cool.