Before, I used to go out and run and get a rough estimate of how much I am doing. Now, I have my iPhone with me that tells me exactly how much I ran, and what my pace was at every certain spot (although I don't think it's too highly accurate with the pace at a given point). On my iPhone, I use the mapmyrun app which tells me what I think is the most important thing. The distance, and the time spent on it, and the average min/mile. Every time I go for a longer run, I bring the iPhone with me, and it helps me keep track of everything I do. Now when I do strides or sprints, I don't think the iPhone is as effective, but when using it to figure out average pacing for running a longer run, it really helps me figure out what my fitness level is.
Knowledge is valuable, but can only be valuable if you use it. What good is it to know things yet not utilizing the knowledge? The iPhone is a valuable tool for me to figure out how fast I'm running and exactly how long I'm running. As I know how I feel, I can figure out what intensity level I'm at, and compare it to the measured data the iPhone gives me. The mapmyrun app is really important to me because it collects my data and keeps account of all that I put in. Now, it doesn't put in EVERYTHING that I do, but to me, the most important thing is to see how my running is, and I utilize the tool by collecting and understanding the data I receive.
This morning, I didn't have too much time to go run, but I ran 4.76 miles in 32:24, an average of 6:48 min/mile. Using my iPhone, I can tell the exact number of miles I ran as well as the minutes and figure out my average pace. Knowing that I was semi-pushing myself to get this time, I can see that I'm still a ways from getting to where I need to be. The iPhone also calculated the amount of calories burned (610 in this case) which is a pretty good indicator of how much energy I need to intake in order to balance it out.
Tools are meant to be used. Tools help us with the gathering of data. It's important to utilize these tools, but at the same time, we ought not to completely depend on the tools in order to work with our data. Some things are hard to measure.
After working today, I ate, and took a nap, and then played soccer. Soccer is a sport that really works you out, but gives you enough of a break... it's a sport that is really hard to gather any data from. I didn't bring my iPhone with me because I knew it would be pointless. I use soccer as a way to work on my speed and continue to become faster, having my body get used to the bio-mechanics of running faster.
I enjoy having my iPhone because it really does help me understand my body a lot more. Having a tool like that helps me understand where I am in my journey towards my goal.