I have always been interested in modern technologies and various gadgets, such as fitness bracelets and smart watches, which I have been using since the time of the first Mi Band bracelet (this bracelet did not even have a screen). They combined my love for various wrist accessories, such as watches or decorative bracelets, as well as my craving for a healthy lifestyle and sports (at that time it was just training in the gym). I constantly bought new fitness bracelets from Xiaomi first, and later switched to smartwatches from Amazfit, which I consider to be the perfect choice for me. There were attempts to switch to more serious manufacturers, for example, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (you can read the review here), but I could not come to terms with their extremely low autonomy and returned to Amazfit again.
Oddly enough, I was most impressed by their Amazfit Bip, which I wore with short breaks from 2018 until recently. In them, I liked the crazy autonomy (I charged it every 3-4 weeks) and small size, because of which the watch is not felt at all on the hand. And in the summer of 2022, a story happened to me that changed my attitude to life and literally made me a runner. A smart watch played a significant role in this, and then I will tell the story of how I learned to run 15 km from scratch and even set myself the task of running a marathon.
My story began at the beginning of summer, when life brought me to a small village in the mountains. Amazing nature, summer weather and clean mountain air made me want to run. It is worth noting here that I certainly went to the gym regularly, but I did mostly on simulators + a little swimming to compensate for my sedentary work. I have never run as such. Well, I could run 1 km on a treadmill, but purely for the sake of warming up. And here I really want to run. One fine morning, I put on comfortable sneakers, took wireless headphones, turned on the “running” training mode on my old Amazfit Bip and ran. Despite the fact that I was running “on adrenaline”, after 2.5 km I finally ran out of steam and finished the workout. At home, I studied the statistics in the Zepp app and was disappointed with my results. It seemed that going to the gym should have helped somehow, but I couldn’t even run 3 km! At the same time, I had a frankly low pace and high heart rate. At this point, I decided to get serious about running and improve my performance so that I could run at least 10 km by the end of the summer.
I started running every other day and pretty quickly crossed the 5K milestone. Yes, the pace remained low, but the conditions for running were quite difficult: altitude over 900 meters (less oxygen), rather steep ascents and descents, as well as summer heat. On top of that, I had a problem with pain in my legs. Apparently I really wanted to run more, but my legs did not have time to digest the load. As a result, my knees began to hurt and I decided to slow down for a while. I paused running, but began to lean on an elliptical trainer (such as an orbit track) to pump up the muscles in my legs and increase endurance, while not giving shock loads to the joints. Here, I already began to miss the capabilities of Amazfit Bip, because there is no such sports program, and I monitored the statistics thoroughly and it was extremely important for me.
When my knees stopped hurting, I started running again. But I already tried to dose the load and not drive horses. One step back, two steps forward — this is the method I trained. I started again with small distances, then to add a little more and set a personal best. I tried to run wherever I was and even when I was on vacation, I did not miss training. The distance gradually grew, but the pain in the knees periodically reappeared, which greatly slowed me down and I had to take breaks to recover. Why did your knees hurt? There are many reasons. The age is no longer youthful, 38 years old, and I almost never ran before. Plus, my weight is 85 kg, which is already quite a lot for running. But I didn’t give up. To strengthen the joints, he began to drink collagen and went on a weight loss diet to lose weight. And it helped! Pah-pah-pah, but now my legs do not bother me and I can continue my classes.
On the last day of summer, I went out for a run determined to run my first 10K and gritting my teeth, I did it. It was very hard, but I did it. And what is especially pleasant, according to statistics, my pace began to grow. That is, I began to spend less time on the passage of each kilometer. I completed the task that I set at the beginning of the summer. But I didn’t want to stop, and a plan to run a marathon ripened in my head. If suddenly you are not aware, then this is 42 km. But first, I decided to run a half marathon (21 km) and set myself the task of doing it in the spring-summer 2023 period.
Accordingly, he continued his further training. At this stage, I had already begun to spend a little money on running and it became my hobby. I bought comfortable running shoes, a special form for runners, and started taking vitamins and nutritional supplements like collagen and amino acids. And the distance began to grow, at first I mastered 12 km, and a little later, 15 km.
My last personal best was 15.7 km, where I ran continuously for 1 hour 42 minutes. Before, I could not imagine this! I thought it was impossible. At least in my case. But as practice has shown, that everything is possible if you work on yourself. Not only can I now run 15K, but I do it at a much faster pace than when I started. If earlier my average pace was from 8 to 10 minutes per kilometer, now it has grown to 6-7 minutes per kilometer. And all this I could track only with my watch, which became an indispensable assistant in the matter of sports.
But as I said, I began to miss the capabilities of Amazfit Bip, because they have a rather limited number of supported programs, and the biometric sensor is already quite outdated, which means that it calculates the indicators less accurately than new models. I was also terribly tired of running with a smartphone, because without it the GPS track would not be written. In general, I started looking for watches from Amazfit, which will be more modern, with new sensors, GPS and good autonomy. The choice fell on the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini, which I recently reviewed.
Very good watch, which significantly expanded the tracking of many indicators. Now they tell me about the result of the training, what effect I got and how long it will take to recover. Now you can track cadence and step length and much more. The trainings were continued and now running a distance of more than 10 km has become for me not a feat, but something ordinary. Now, having run 10+ km, I compare the performance with previous workouts and see their growth. New records are being set and motivation is growing.
It’s winter now and it’s almost impossible to run outside. I moved to the gym, where I started torturing the treadmill. This is not what I’m going to tell you. Running for 1.5 hours looking at one point is a real torment for the psyche. Not even the music saves. But I still hold on and in good dry weather, periodically I carry out small runs on the street. I enjoy these runs. It is difficult to run at low temperatures, and even not in completely designed clothes for this. But who said it would be easy? But this is what gives motivation, because running on the track is excruciating. But even if I have to run only on a treadmill for the next months, I will not back down, because I have a goal: a half marathon in the spring — in the summer and a marathon later.
As for watches, I’m already thinking about the flagship models GTS 4 and GTR 4, which, although they cost about $200, are more functional models. For example, I am impressed by the ability to listen to music directly from the watch (they have their own memory), which, when jogging on the street, makes it possible not to take a smartphone for these purposes. Plus, these are the most modern and accurate sensors (in the Amazfit line). Can you recommend me something better for running? Share your personal experience in the comments.
Here is such a story, which would not exist without modern gadgets. It is they who give an understanding of the training process, valuable statistics, and with it motivation. I wish you all good health and achievement of your sporting goals. Well, I’ll go running as long as there is a desire and the weather permits.