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Best Running Tips Newsletter, Issue #038
-- The Many Ways to Use the Gymboss Interval Timer
April 24, 2012
Alright, so last week we had a quick Facebook contest to win a
Gymboss interval timer. Winner was Fraser
who provided an original idea to use the Gymboss timer. More about that
A few others had great ideas as well, but unfortunately there can only
be one winner.
it? Well that should teach you to open my newsletters... :)
always make sure to let the newsletter subscribers know about these
contests, because I wouldn't want you to miss out.
Don't know what a Gymboss interval timer is? What, have you been living
under a rock?
Check it out here:
The Gymboss timer is a really handy device. And it can be yours for
So, what were some of the ideas that people had about how to use a
#1. Running intervals
was the most popular and logical answer. Most of us would use the
interval timer for their intervals. I do too. I love how intervals can
help make you
faster. I hate doing them though. The Gymboss helps to make them a
little bit easier.
great way to use the Gymboss is when you are doing a run/walk program.
Set your running time, set your walking time and get out of the door!
is a special type of high intensity interval training. It consists of
20 seconds of work alternated with 10 seconds of rest. You do eight
rounds, so that is four minutes of exercise+rest. Then people usually
somewhat longer break (e.g. two minutes) after which they do another
round of Tabata.
You can do Tabata intervals with many different
sports. Running, cycling, boxing, rowing, jumping rope,
dumbbell exercises, bodyweight exercises etc.
The sky is the limit.
types of interval training
others suggested some type of interval training to use the Gymboss.
used the Gymboss last weekend with settings of 1 min exercise, 15 sec
Exercise was jumping rope, alternated with various bodyweight exercises
like squats, lunges, push ups, mountain climbers and crunches.
So 1 min of jumping rope, 15 sec rest, 1 min of squats, 15 sec rest, 1
min of jumping rope, 15 sec rest, 1 min of lunges, etc.
Three rounds of that (30 min exercise time) was enough for the day!
As said previously, the sky is the limit with this type of exercise.
There are many different workouts you can design.
suggested using the Gymboss timer to time their yoga poses. A smart
it takes away the distraction of having to count. You can just fully
concentrate on the poses themselves and let the Gymboss take care of
Some more creative uses:
#6. As time-out device for the kids
"LOL, Oh the uses I would put this to. Time
outs for the kids (separate time outs and different times depending on
how mad I am!) but for me, for running, for cycling (high cadence easy
gear and mashing); and for my own version of boot camp - switching up
my exercises. I think the Gymboss would give me a boot!"
#7. Stand up and walk time when working with the laptop
"Running, kayaking and cycling intervals but also standup and walk time
when doing laptop time (both day job and Facebook)."
#8. Give away to a friend
"My 13 year old niece is just getting into running. She's a natural and
has a lot of potential. Loves to wear my gps timer but it's too
complicated for her to operate. She would be able to use Gymboss on
her own. It would be a great 'passing into grade 8' gift for the
#9. In the
There were actually two people who suggested
using this in the bedroom for "mummy and daddy time".... :)
Not sure about this. Stop, start, stop, start, hmmm....
won't claim to be an expert on the subject, but I think that a long
distance run the Kenyan way is a more appropriate analogy. Kenyans
start their long runs generally very slow and go up a gear every five
or ten minutes or so. The end is done at top speed... hmm, okay, time
to move on to the next one....
#10. To silence co-workers or running partners
"For all I do: Holding yoga poses to build strength; jump rope
intervals; sprinting; tabata training & if only it were
(hint, Gymboss) I'd use it for open water swim training ...but ideally
& most importantly of all I'd like to use it for the secretary
our office..."When you hear the beeeep, SHUT UP"!"
thought of another use - for 'talking breaks' - beep every few minutes
that signals my talkative running partner to zip it til I can get a
#11. At work
"What an awesome tool! I could not only use it for running, but also in
my work as a therapist. Sometimes we either use a timer for work time
vs. reward time (hence the benefit of two timers) or for data taking
vs. observation. It could be beneficial in all areas of my life!"
#12. As a trainer
"As a cross-country/track coach this device would free up my time to
work with different groups of runners. I could assign group leaders to
take the Gymboss for hard/easy intervals. This way, the faster groups
wouldn't be impeeded by the slower groups and I could run with the
slower groups to talk about form, breathing, etc."
#13. The winning entry - to time oven chips
was actually the first entry into the contest. The oven chips idea had
me smiling and was the kind of lateral thinking that I love.
Fraser on winning your Gymboss. Fraser and I have been in contact
already and he has
chosen the blue Gymboss.
Fraser's winning entry:
"Definitely get it going for some much needed
interval training - my
usual 'run faster between two lamposts then slower between the next'
doesn't work when the lamposts switch sides! Might have an ideal side
use: reminding me when to turn over the oven chips so they're crispy on
both sides... or is that defeating the purpose? ;)"
Some other good entries:
"Run - dance, run - dance....repeat until I
trip over my feet! Excellent cross training :)"
"Running with the dogs - times they can stop and sniff the hydrants."
machine will ever be the (Gym)boss of me but I can always use some
extra motivation to do intervals and if I'm feeling extra nice I might
lend it to my boyfriend to help with his Ironman training."
use it for trying to improve
my running speed; no matter how I try, I
tend to run at the same pace whether I'm running three miles or
thirteen. An audible signal to up the pace is what I need, and I can't
afford a GPS device (or a personal trainer). This would be ideal!"
would use it to improve
my running speed to at 6.30 per km and would
like to be down to 6.00 per km. This would definitely help me out :)"
and Amber's answers hit the nail on the head. A good dose of interval
training (combined with other types of running) will definitely help
you improve your running speed.
For more information about the Gymboss, check out the review page:
I always love the contests. Lots of activity, lots of runners sharing
their ideas. We'll definitely have more of these in the future. Stay
tuned, open those newsletters and participate so that you don't miss
out on your chance to win something!
to you soon.
In the meantime, come visit my site often and happy running!
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