While I love to run naked and free – of devices, gizmos and other “performance-enhancing gadgets” that prevent me from enjoying my run, I kind of understand why they can be beneficial. You see when I was in the desert doing my crazy race thing, a heart rate monitor would have significantly helped me because I wanted to know how hard I could push it in the heat of the day.
My Casio watch was brilliant at telling me the time but it didn’t help when I was running along with no indication apart from instinct as to when to ease off. In truth, I’ll never be one of those runners who lives and swears by their tracker. That being said, the Marathon des Sables has turned my attention towards heart rate monitors and how they can really help improve and monitor your running experience. So when Wahoo invited me to try their new TICKR X Workout tracker, I thought it’d be an opportunity for me to see how I react during training.
What is Wahoo TICKR X?
It’s a family of heart rate monitors that hook up with an app downloaded onto your iPhone or Android phone via Bluetooth. You wear it strapped around just under your chest – women can wear it just under the bra strap while men can place it just under their pecks.
What does TICKR X do (besides measure your heart rate)?
A multitude of different bits and bobs. At a basic level, it allows you to capture calorie burn, distance and heart-rate. You then go onto the next model which uses motion analytics to improve important stuff like cadence and how smoothly you bounce up and down. Finally, the super-dupa version comes with built-in memory. This means you don’t have to take your phone with you during your workout. It will send the info once it’s made connection afterwards.
So it’s a heart rate monitor that works with an app, AND?
Slow down there. Not only does Wahoo TICKR X work with its own app and several other well-known fitness apps (MapMyRun, Strava, etc.), it also teams up with the Wahoo 7-minute app, which will become your new BFF (Best Fitness Friend).
Seriously, the Wahoo 7-minute Workout app is a brilliant motivational tool for anyone needing a boost. Put simply, it’s a series of 12 power-packed exercises such as Jumping Jacks that you do one after the other for 7 minutes in total with only a 10-second break in-between. It’s pretty full-on and you need to concentrate a bit (no time for chat) but this ensures you whip through it in what feels like no time at all.
And then comes the science (or gadget) bit; you can sync with the TICKR X device and get an accurate reading of your heart rate. And the best bit of all is it’s not a super heavy app that will gobble up all the space on your phone. Even if you don’t have the Wahoo heart rate monitor, it’s worth downloading.
Come on, this workout only asks for around 0.7% of the time that you’re awake (try working that out when you’re working out using the 7-minute workout app).
So will I join the Wahooligans?
I have to admit that I found the stats and the 7-minute app really useful. It’s something that I could see I would use once I upgrade to my Windows phone to an iPhone or Android device. Let’s just say I’m a Wahooligan in the wings.
Now who’s using the 7-minute workout app?