How Runners Can get the Most out of Pokémon Go
Have you jumped on the Pokémon GO bandwagon yet?
At first, I have to admit, I was a skeptic. Throngs of glassy eyed teenagers following their phones around like zombies…cluttering my running routes. As an IT guy, I downloaded the game more out of obligation than anything else, as I knew that work colleagues would expect me to share my insight.
It didn’t take long to get over myself. In a world of divisiveness, this funny game is getting people outside, moving their bodies, exploring the outdoors, and communing on a topic that brings people together.
And it might even make you a better runner!
As runners we are already well suited to perform in the game; the more you are outside, the more chances to collect Pokémons. The more miles you put in, the quicker you can incubate eggs that hatch into exotic and powerful Pokémons. And the more Pokémons you collect, the stronger you become in the game and, hopefully, in real life.
Could Pokémon GO make you a Stronger Runner?
I humbly submit…the Pokémon GO Workout:
- Find a smooth running route that is popular with pedestrians. This way you can be sure there will be lots of game activity. In my case it was Lake Nokomis on a hot Sunday afternoon.
- Warm up. Start running at a very conservative pace. If you stumble upon Pokestops, stop and collect your goods! If you are presented with a Pokemon, collect! Be careful that you are out of the way of others.
- Hit it! Essentially we will be running fartleks, or short, fast variable repeats. I would recommend 30/60 seconds faster than your goal race pace. Don’t pay attention to your phone, pay attention to your safety, mechanics, and breathing.
- Stop when your phone buzzes, signaling a nearby Pokémon. Get that Pokémon! GOTCHA! Return to step 3.
- Repeat based on your goals. For a 5K, consider 10 repeats. For a half marathon, go for 20. For a full marathon, shoot for 30.
- Cool down. Slow your roll, again collect your goods at Pokestops, collect your Pokémons as you are able, all at your leisure. Drink some water.
- Bask in the glory of your new found video game prowess.
- Feel great about having put in a hard run.
While you probably don’t want to play Pokémon GO during every workout between now and race day, mixing it up, and adding a little fun to your regular running routine is good. Plus, a Pokémon workout will surely give you additional motivation to get out the door during these hot summer months!