In order to keep track of time, intervals, and cadence, you’ll need some gear. Below, I list three items that will make it possible for you to keep track of time, cadence (leg strikes per minute) and intervals.
Interval timer: You’ll need an interval timer that can be set with two different times and a number of repeats of the set. In the beginning, if you’re at the very beginning, Week 1 of Walk to Run, you’ll just be doing run/walk intervals with a walking quantity of only a number of steps. For example, you might do 15 steps running alternated with 2 minutes walking. You can use the stopwatch function on your phone for this or a $20 chronograph watch. In a few weeks, though, you’ll be alternating some period of minutes of running with some period of minutes walking. For that, you’ll need an interval timer. I recommend either a phone app, Simple Interval Timer is a good one (SIT) or a Gymboss, which is a device that clips on your shorts and beeps or vibrates at the end of the interval.
Now, you’ll only need to do two of these things at the same time. For example, if you’re using the stopwatch, then you won’t also be using the Gymboss, but no matter how you look at it, you will not be able to rely on your phone for two different things and still be able to focus on your workout.
You can download apps to do all three of these things, but it won’t work well to try to use it for two things simultaneously. You can’t use your phone, efficiently, for timing and for listening to a metronome app or for timing intervals while using a metronome app. You’ll need to either buy a metronome or a Gymboss, and I say BUY BOTH. You won’t regret it.
Quick Gear Overview:
- Stopwatch – You will need some means of keeping track of time. All smart phones have a stop watch feature, but you can also pickup a cheap chronograph watch for $15, but you’ll probably want to buy a running watch before too long.
- Metronome – I like the Seiko DM50. You can order one here or download a free app for your phone. I suggest using the app for now; you can always order the better one later.
- Gymboss – In a few weeks, when you transition from counting running steps to running a minute or more, you will find a Gymboss helpful. However, you can also use a free phone app. A Gymboss is a small digital interval timer that clips on your shorts. Info here.