Lately I’ve been focused on running and the technology behind it.  Today, let’s take a look at how GPS technology helps a runner know where they are going and where they’ve been….and how you can use the same concepts to reach your goals.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System and it is a global satellite navigation system created in 1973 by the Department of Defense and maintained by the United States Government.  The system has 24 satellites that provide the current time and information about the satellite network.  Using this information, a GPS receiver calculates your exact position while displaying precise time.

Avid cyclists use bicycle computers like the Cateye CC-RD200 Strada Cadence Bicycle Computer and runners use GPS systems like the Garmin Forerunner 405CX GPS Heart Rate Monitor Watch or the Polar RS100 Heart Rate Monitor and Stopwatch to give them all kinds of statistics about their workouts.  These devices help the cyclist or runner with three components to meeting their goals:

  • The device measures their progress.  The ForeRunner GPS I use allows me to track my pace, the number of miles run, and more.  I can also review the history to see how I have progressed in my training.  By keeping a journal I can easily determine what affected my performance on a given day and make corrections or changes to my workout.  Remember to track your progress toward your goals, no matter what they are.
  • Cyclists and runners can set distance, time, and other goals.  When setting your goals, remember to set measurable milestones – especially if it is a big goal.
  • Many GPS units allow the user to set waypoints (markers) that can be used to plot a route to a given destination.  This allows the user to concentrate on the mechanics of cycling or running without worrying about getting list.  My GPS has a “return to start” function that will guide me back to the beginning.  No matter what waypoint or milestone you are on, remember to remain focused on that milestone or goal.  Veering too far off course will waste energy that could be used to achieve your goals.

If you enjoy bicycling, running, or traveling you should consider a GPS system, and remember to use the GPS concept when working toward your goals.