Well, at least the Gymboss makes the timing of intervals easier…
I am a huge fan of the Galloway method for beginning runners. I made a lot more progress with my running when I incorporated the run/walk pattern as opposed to my previous method of “run until you get tired and then walk for a while until you realize you’ve been walking for who knows how long so perhaps it is time to run again.” (Plus the run/walk method is a lot shorter say or type than that other method.)
I don’t use the run/walk method now, but I have heard of Amby Burfoot leading runners to a 4-hour marathon using the run/walk method and that really intrigues me. I think sometime I’d like to try doing a race again using a run/walk pattern just to see how it pans out.
One of the bigger challenges of this method is making sure you keep your timing down, and that’s where the Gymboss can come in. Just set your intervals on the device and clip it to your shorts. It will beep a short beep, a longer beep or vibrate (or combination vibrate/beep) to alert you when the interval is up.
But you don’t have to use it for just a run/walk method. You can use it for speedwork intervals. I set it for intervals where I would do a faster sprint for a minute, then run easy for 4 minutes. You can use it for stretching, I’ve set it for two minute intervals and held various stretches for each interval. You could use it for weightlifting apparently, but I’m really bad about doing strength training. But I do follow the 100 pushups, 200 squats, 200 situps programs… so the timer could be used to take care of your rest period between sets.
The first time I tried to use this on a run I set it to just vibrate… and I missed every single interval change. I wanted to use vibrate because that sounded appealing to me. Have you used the interval beep on a Garmin? I swear the thing starts beeping a good 30 seconds before it’s time for the interval (BEEP… BEEP… BEEEEEEEEP)… that gets really annoying when you hear it all around you in a race. But alas, the vibrate on it’s own wasn’t enough. I then set it on the shortest beep alert possible, that worked perfect for me. I think if you used it frequently and got used to the subtlety of the vibrate, then eventually it would probably be fine to use only vibrate.
I have taken this device to a few different coaching engagements with beginning runners and they’ve all liked the convenience of not having to look at their watch or cell phone to time their intervals.
I really did find this to be a handy little tool. It’s about the same size as a pager (if you’re old enough to remember pagers… and that’s crazy that I say that because it’s not like I was a kid when pagers were popular! They had a short shelf-life). It has a clip on the back so you can hook it on your shorts, race belt, hat bill or wherever else you can find to clip it to yourself. It’s not heavy so it doesn’t weigh you down much. Granted, if you’re already running with several gadgets, it does add one more thing. It’s all a matter of figuring how what items are the most important to you.
Thanks to the folks at Gymboss for letting me test this out. I’m already recommending it to a lot of people because it is kind of cool.