Use Your Watch to Walk Better
Single Countdown Timer
The single countdown timer is a great tool for simple intervals. You can set the beeper to go off every two minutes as a reminder to check in with the form focus you are practicing. As we all know, it is easy for us to get off focus and let our mind wander. The countdown timer is a gentle reminder to focus on your body and on the form focus you want to work on. I'll work on one form focus such as leveling my pelvis. When the timer goes off, I'll either do it again or relax my shoulders, or pick up my feet rather than push off. If you don't practice your form focuses, your body can easily revert to old ways of running. The countdown timer is a great wake up.
Danny uses the singles countdown timer in every race to drink every 10 minutes. When it goes off, he faithfully takes a drink to stay hydrated. This is a crucial part to the workout.
Dual Countdown Timers--Intervals
The dual countdown timer lets you get more sophisticated with your form focus practices and is an essential tool for intervals.
There are several kinds of intervals. Many people use intervals to develop cardiovascular strength or to develop speed. We also think intervals are a great way to work on your walking or running form. You can set the first timer for two to three minutes and the second timer for one minute. Then, work on your form focus for two to three minutes and take one minute off to relax.
This also works for building cardiovascular strength. You go a little bit faster for two to three minutes. Get your heart rate up, then take one minute at a recovery pace to let your heart rate slow down. Then, increase again for two to three minutes and so on.
Speed intervals are similar, but the focus is specifically to build your speed. As with ChiRunning, we feel you should only focus on speed once you can keep the ChiRunning form over a good distance. Speed comes from working on form and learning to relax.
However, lots of runners are very interested in speed. ChiRunning is a great way to get faster, and your watch will really help.
The ChiRunning recipe is to build your speed while intervals and the overall workout. The goal is to make your last interval your fastest interval. In many training programs, you go all out in the first interval and each interval then gets slower. We have found that if you practice good form and get more relaxed as you run, the relaxation will give you the speed.
With your dual countdown timer, you can set your first timer for two to three minutes or whatever interval you choose. Then, set the second a timer for a one minute recovery. Another goal is to reduce your effort while you run faster.
You can also use your 50-lap memory to do intervals by your number of times around the track. You can time yourself to see if you are going faster or slower per interval.
Remember: gradual progress. Start out slowly and build speed with good form and deep relaxation.