I’ve always been a fit and healthy guy. Sports throughout my childhood and teens with some on and off weight training into my 20s. Running though? “Nah, not my thing” I’d always say!
Well, I’ve turned that around and I mostly have tech to thank for it.
On a hike with some friends, we got chatting about fitness and exercise. They insisted that I give running a real chance; that I’d love it and all of its benefits. I was skeptical to say the least as I stood by the stubborn notion that “I’m just not a runner.”
That is until they told me about the Nike Running App. That’s where it all changed.
I was to find out about this smartphone app that tracks your runs, provides training programmes for certain distances and has a social feature to add friends. All very nice, but the real kicker was when they showed me the Social Leaderboard.
Now I know full well what gamification is but man, am I still such a sucker for it! The leaderboard is where the total monthly distances of all your friends are displayed, instilling a strong sense of social accountability and competition. It was this incentive that got me running consistently by appealing to my competitive side.
Come the first of July and I was out the door on a 6km run – all so that I could take an early lead on my competition. And really, the rest was history.
I now have some friendly competition with a good group of friends where we all encourage and push each other to greater heights.
To combat the boredom I felt during my runs I downloaded the “Zombies, run” app. It’s an incredibly well produced and designed app that puts you in the shoes of the “runner” for a survivor outpost in a post-apocalyptic zombie world.
I’m now a happy, healthy, tech-inspired runner coming last on the leaderboard – for everyone to see!
UPDATE: Here’s the screenshot of where I ended the month on the leaderboard.