Wednesday, March 5, 2014

run-walk-run vibrating timer

I am a believer in the run-walk-run method. I was diagnosed with asthma as an adult, and found that running for any length of time meant I would have problems breathing early on. Finding Jeff Galloway and his method was a godsend. Being able to take walk breaks made it easier to control my breathing, as it wasn't putting as much pressure on my lungs. By adding in frequent walk breaks, I am given a chance to catch my breath, before it spirals out of control.

For a while, I used the Half Marathon with Jeff Galloway app (which I loved for training), but I found it drained my phone battery. By the end of a race day, my battery would be dead or close to it (like I've said before, I am not a fast runner - if I ever finish a half marathon under three hours, I will be on cloud nine, which is actually a goal this year). Since I use my phone to connect with family and friends after a race, I started looking into other options.

I had noticed (or rather, heard) at other races the runners using their watches for intervals, and others using something clipped to their shorts/belts. My watch has the capability of using time intervals, however, I like to be able to control my run/walk intervals during a run and have the option to change them if need be. I like to know that if I need to slow it down for warmer temps or because my asthma/allergies have kicked in, I have the ability to do so without much trouble. Having to do that on my watch would mean ending the current program it was running, changing the intervals, and starting it up again, which would mean losing some data (unless I completely stopped, which is not something I want to do during a race). What a pain. I prefer the convenience of the separate timer.

My wonderful mom bought me the vibrating timer from Jeff Galloway's site. I wasn't sure if I would like needing yet another item to carry/clip on, but it turns out that it's not even a concern. It easily clips onto my FuelBelt, and I pretty much forget about it until it beeps and vibrates. It puts me at ease knowing that I can listen to music on my phone, but not have to worry about the battery being dead by the end of my long runs or on race day. She also bought the wristband, but I have yet to use that (I already have my Nike+ Sportwatch and roadID on one wrist, and my fitbit Flex on the other, so unless necessary, I'd rather not add more).

source for picture and product description:

This run-walk-run vibrating timer with stopwatch and clock easily sets up your run/walk intervals. Simple setup with dedicated set button. Large display. Low battery indicator. Rugged non-slip case. The timer can be set for any two different intervals from 2 seconds to 99 minutes & offers alarm by beep, vibrate or both. Has clip. AAA battery not included. This item is about the size of a pedometer. Note this item is not water-proof. Some runners use a baggie or purchase the wristband to prevent any moisture problems. Band not included. One Color: green.

I really like that you can adjust the length of the beeps from 1, 2, or 5 seconds (I use 2), and that you can use either beep, vibrate, or both. I was concerned that I wouldn't hear the beeps with music and other background noise, but when I used it for my first race last month, it was perfect. I also wasn't sure if the vibrating would be noticeable enough (as I often don't feel my phone vibrating in my pockets when I receive phone calls), but it definitely is.

I have to admit that I couldn't figure out how to set it up without reading the instructions, but they were easy to follow, as was the set-up once I knew what I was doing.

I would certainly recommend this product to anyone else that uses the run-walk-method. I haven't had a chance to use it for warmer weather, but I'll need to be careful that I don't get water on it, as it isn't water-proof. It's suggested that a baggie is used to prevent any moisture problems, so I'll have to give that a try if summer ever arrives.

How about you? Do you use run/walk intervals? What's your favorite timing device to use for your intervals?

*The timer and wristband were purchased by my mom, and I was not paid or compensated in any way for this review. It is my honest opinion and all thoughts are my own.*

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