It's raining in Great Britain – a real deluge. Enough to water every farm in the country and film enough rom-coms to fill Netflix for good. This rain came at the perfect time and dissolved several weeks of painfully hot summer.
A side effect of this unexpectedly terrible summer (in the UK we like to complain that it's too hot when the sky is blue) is that hardly anyone gets into exercise – nobody wants to do an activity that gets you hot and hot Sweaty just being outside has the same effect.
I'm one of those people – while I needed to exercise badly to stave off this weight gain, it was difficult to do in the heat of summer. I had almost given up hope of training when I found a feature in the Fitbit Versa 2 that saved my summer training.
I'm not a fancy athlete – my technique is to run until I get tired and then rest for a few days until I'm not tired. I just do some other type of exercise to check different modes in watches that I check, never for fun. In the heat like the UK, exercise to me basically just means running to the end of the street and back.
My running technique has an advantage in my work – the smartwatches and fitness trackers I test all have different running modes, but they all have a generic running mode. So I can always use this one mode and easily compare the results on different devices.
Like I said, it doesn't really work in the summer so I gave up training for the most part (it's a tough life, I know). Well, I did for a while, but as those lockdown pounds built up, I knew a change was needed. But I realized that if I wanted to exercise at all, I would have to try something different from my usual routine.
(Photo credit: future)
My usual running watch is the awesome Honor Magic Watch 2, but none of its modes really inspired me to run. Likewise, the mere options available to me in the Moto 360 (it uses Wear OS, so all of the Google Fit tracking options) kept me from looking at all. Then I found the Fitbit Versa 2.
I didn't give up on the Fitbit Versa 2 long after the first test – I found its battery life to be subpar and never got the notification handling to work. But as I flipped through the list of options, I found one that caught my eye: interval training.
Before I found the Fitbit Versa 2, I always had the idea of interval training in the back of my mind – quick bursts of action followed by breaks felt perfect for the hot weather so you never work too hard for too long. I would do my favorite thing over and over – that is, stop running!
I probably should have checked to see if experts agree or if there is a better way to run in the sun. I should have done it but didn't.
When I saw the interval training mode in Fitbit, I realized that certain training modes like this one on smartwatches are pretty rare (without dedicated running watches, of course). Watches and fitness trackers have many modes to keep track of what you are doing, but too few to tell you exactly what to do.
I was glad I looked at the different options – finding this interval training mode inspired me to finally go for a run.
Run Fitbit run
I quickly googled "interval training" to check what it was (to avoid nasty surprises) and then headed to my new running area, London's Highbury Fields, for some exercise.
Google search found that interval training consisted of three minutes of hard work and three minutes of rest. I was very surprised when after 30 seconds of sprinting the clock buzzed and told me to take a rest. Already? Well, I figured maybe this was a warm up.
Then, after about another 20 seconds – buzz – time to walk again. It was much earlier than I expected and I had to stumble into a sprint right in front of a bunch of confused spectators.
(Photo credit: future)
This is how the workout went – it felt like the clock was buzzing and telling me to rest or run at random intervals between 20 and 40 seconds. In fairness, it could have been just as long before my sense of temporal reality was distorted by my arbitrary training and all the cute dogs in the park.
I'm sure I got a bizarre sight – a guy who ran, stopped for no reason, and then broke into runs again. I was trying to look at my watch when it was buzzing to signal people that my watch was telling me to do this, but for all they know, the watch could have shown me bad news, from whom I wanted to get away: “Tom, did you remember to put out the trash can? & # 39 ;.
Two is a lot
The Fitbit Versa 2's interval training mode lasted approximately eight minutes. After that, I was sufficiently energetic, tired, and full of adrenaline. My technical experience of finding a new way to play sports had paid off.
Except I wasn't too tired. I could probably go again. Maybe I should adjust the settings so that the interval training took a little longer?
I had previously set interval training timing based on distance, but this time I decided to set a calorie goal instead. It's probably worth noting that I don't really know much about calories because, in hindsight, it seems 600 was way too high.
(Photo credit: future)
The Versa 2 got me back on the road, but this time it was worse – much worse. The workout took a lot longer than before, more repetitions of stopping, sprinting, stopping, sprinting, soliciting the confused looks of people taking a nice walk or picnic.
After doing about as many intervals as on my first lap, or maybe a few more, I wrapped them up – I could feel the skin melt on my face and my legs explode. Like Frankenstein, my experiments with new technology had gone too far and made a monster.
After a few more runs with the Fitbit Versa 2, I stopped using it and switched to a different technology – not because the Versa wronged me, but because I had a smartwatch that I had to test out, which is my new running companion has been.
The most important thing, however, is that I kept running. Versa 2 mode encouraged me to keep exercising in hot weather, even if I didn't have to use Fitbit.
The next time I don't feel inspired by my usual running routine, I know I can jump into the Fitbit Versa 2 or some other fitness watch that I have lying around to find something that encourages me to exercise in other ways work out.
I will also have to test this theory very soon – as the introduction to this article suggests, the UK version of the monsoon season has only just begun. Running in the hot sun is bad, but trying in storm winds and rain? Time to open this technical drawer …
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