Watches are useful for checking your heart rate.
Besides the metronome, which is a key tool in ChiRunning and ChiWalking, the next important accessory is a good watch. We recommend a digital watch with a chronometer, a single and double countdown timer, and a 30 to 50 lap memory. As you get to know what your watch can do, you'll find that you'll be able to create workouts that are fun and interesting to do.
Here's a list of the things we use the watch for during the day and while walking
- 50 lap memory to note the duration and date of up to 50 runs or up to 50 splits
- Countdown timer for form or speed intervals
- On-the-hour beeper for a reminder to body sense or check posture
- Measure heart rate
If you keep a running or walking journal, the 50-lap memory can keep the duration and date of up to 50 individual workouts. That can come in very handy if you want to keep track of how often and for how long you are running. If you remember to use it each time you run, you don't have to go to your journal right away. You can transfer the information off your watch into your daily running or walking log when you have the time.
It is very important to know this information for any program upgrades and to make sure you are not over-training. We highly recommend keeping track of the duration and frequency of your runs. Over time it will help you keep consistent and see where there are issues in your training program.
The 50-lap memory can also track splits within one run or one race (or 10 splits in five workouts). If you're doing a track workout, you can start a new split at regular intervals (every mile, every quarter mile or whatever you want to track) and see if you are actually going faster or slowing down as you do more splits. In ChiRunning, we recommend that you start slow and increase your speed as your body warms up and you begin to relax. The lap memory is a great way to see if you are getting faster as you relax.
While running a race--such as a marathon--it is great to keep track of your mile splits. In ChiRunning, we get great feedback about runners being able to go faster the second half of the race. This is a good sign that the runner isn't going out too fast, is getting into a good rhythm, and is relaxed and comfortable in the second half of the marathon. Keeping track of your splits will tell you a lot about a race or workout.