I've been intrigued by snowshoe running for a couple of years now but I've never done anything about it. Once in a while I will see that there was a race and I would think "Wow, now that's badass! How in the world do they run in those?"
A few weeks ago, as the snow kept piling up higher and higher here in Maine, the thought of snowshoe running came to me again. But this time I actually did something about it! I strapped on my daughter's snowshoes, put on running tights, long sleeve shirt, hat, and gloves and went for it. You can read about that run here.
What you can see from above, I ran 2.05 miles in the snowshoes and then ran 2.05 miles on the road. This was the PERFECT opportunity to use my Armour 39 to compare the results. And the numbers do not lie! At first I was curious as to why the average heart rate was the same for both and why the intensity was the same. I did some reading and it was because I had done the runs back-to-back and did not allow for recovery time in between. Only the minute it took me to unstrap the snowshoes. If I had allowed my heart rate to slow down between runs, those numbers would have been different. But look at the WILLPOWER and calorie burn! But also look at the time it took me to run 2.05 miles in the snow with snowshoes on vs. 2.05 miles on the road.
Now, what the heck is WILLPOWER?
In my quick research of snowshoe running, I did read that "running" snowshoes are little smaller than "walker" snowshoes and I also found out that "running" snowshoes are contoured to allow for a more efficient run. However, with that said - I chose my daughters 19" snowshoes instead of my 21" in shoes. I didn't get any specialty "running" snowshoes and I'm not really planning on it right now. I am quite happy with just running in the smaller ones. Plus, our snow has already melted. I know we'll get more. We always get more. We live in Maine. And I will run in snowshoes again this season. I'm just not sure how many times. I also read somewhere that snowshoe running burns 45% more calories. And by my calculation with Armour 39, I burned 47% more calories. I'd say that's pretty darn close!
Now, how does the Armour 39 Heart Rate Monitor work? First you need to download the app (and register) onto your iPhone 4s, iPhone 5/5S/5C, iPod Touch (5th gen), iPad Mini. Unfortunately for me, I have an iPhone 4 (holding onto this one until the 6 is released)...so I couldn't download the app to my phone. BUT Ward and Tucker both recently got iPad Mini's so I am just going to use their minis for my workouts now. Thanks guys!!! Second, put the bluetooth device into the holder and put the strap on. Third, open the app, connect, and workout!
You don't necessarily need to have the iPad, iPhone, or iTouch with you while you are working out. You just need to connect, go workout, and then come back to the device so the Armour 39 can transmit your data. No need to connect any wires or anything. It's all done through the bluetooth. Pretty cool and easy!
In addition to my snowshoe adventures, I also used my Armour 39 to complete the assessment, which put me through a 10 minute, 5 phase treadmill run to find my MAX effort.
After the 10 minute assessment, I went on to complete an additional 5 miles (for a total of 6). I really had a great time peaking at the screen (which I had sat on the floor beside the treadmill by that point) to see my effort levels increasing. I already knew they were increasing, but seeing the chart and numbers increase was pretty amazing.
I definitely see myself using my Armour 39 for many more workouts. I have been curious about heart rate training in terms of improving my running performance, so that is my next goal with the Armour 39. I loved the Armour 39 for the ease of connection and data display. I also didn't ever feel it on any of my workouts.
I'm curious. Do you train with a heart rate monitor? What do you use it for? To measure your calorie burn? Increasing your threshold?