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How New Tech Might Help Me Train for the Vancouver Marathon

It’s about this time of year when I’m full of Halloween candy and gearing myself up for all the amazing Holiday snacks, that I start to think about how I feel, my aging body, and how it would be fun to train for a marathon. Am I being realistic? Not really. Will I give up? Yeah, probably. Might as well give it a try though, right? 6-7 years ago, I ran up to 20km every weekend, and now as my daughter turns 8 (coincidence?), I’m not sure I could comfortably run 5km without needing a week on the couch to recover.

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I was so young (and fit) back then!

In addition to the new running shoes that will totally give me the spring in my step, and the new Apple Watch that I’ll use to track the miles I’ve left behind me, I am burdened with the knowledge that ‘things’ aren’t going to change my life. But they could motivate me, especially if they make the drudgery of working out (urgh) fun.

I’ve started home boxing workouts with the Supernatural app on my Meta Quest 3 app and whaaaaaat? It’s actually fun! That brings me to the point of this article – could tech actually help (make) me train for a marathon?

Running a marathon is a massive and frankly ridiculous goal that, for some reason, people aspire to achieve. But how do you train for such a long distance, especially if you have a busy schedule, limited access to outdoor trails, or simply need lots of motivation and guidance? Well, you can use some of the latest technology from Meta to help you prepare for a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) journey.

Before anything else – I’m going to read up on how I should get started from the people at RunnersWorld.com. The general consensus is to go slow. Stretch, warm up, start walking and jogging, then a little running, and increase the distance over months of training. I’m already getting put off.

Self-sabotage is probably the biggest weapon of mass destruction when it comes to marathon newbies. Avoiding it is actually quite easy but it takes confidence, faith in yourself, courage, trust in your training and well-laid plans. You are about to have an exciting adventure and join an accepting community that celebrates finding and pushing your physical, mental and emotional limits.

RunnersWorld.com

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses: Capture, Listen, and Call

The Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses are a new collection of smart glasses that combine the classic style of Ray-Ban sunglasses with the cutting-edge features of Meta’s wearable tech. With these glasses, you can take photos and videos, listen to music, make calls, and even livestream your runs to Facebook and Instagram, all without taking your phone out of your pocket. Here are some of the ways you can use the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses to spice up your marathon training:

  • Capture your runs: Whether you want to document your progress, share your scenery, or relive your memories, you can use the dual HD cameras on the glasses to capture your runs in high-quality photos and videos. You can also use voice commands or the touchpad on the glasses to control the camera, so you don’t have to interrupt your stride. You can store up to 500 photos or 35 videos on the glasses, or sync them to your phone via the Meta app. You can also edit, filter, and share your media with your friends and followers on social media platforms.
  • Listen to music: Music can be a great motivator and mood booster for your runs, especially when you need to push through a tough workout or a long run. With the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, you can listen to your favorite tunes, podcasts, or audiobooks with the built-in speakers that deliver crisp and clear sound. You can also adjust the volume, skip tracks, or pause playback with the touchpad or voice commands. The glasses are compatible with most music streaming apps, such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. You can also use the Meta app to create custom playlists for your runs, or discover new music from other runners.
  • Make calls: Sometimes, you might want to chat with someone while you run, whether it’s to catch up with a friend, get some advice from a coach, or join a virtual running group. With the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, you can make and receive calls with the built-in microphone and speakers, without having to take out your phone. You can also use voice commands or the touchpad to answer, reject, or end calls. The glasses have a noise-canceling feature that reduces background noise, so you can hear and be heard clearly. You can also use the glasses to access your phone’s digital assistant, such as Siri or Google Assistant, and ask for directions, weather updates, or reminders.
  • Livestream your runs: If you want to take your social media game to the next level, you can use the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses to livestream your runs to Facebook and Instagram. This way, you can show your followers your real-time view, interact with them via comments and reactions, and get instant feedback and support. You can also join live events, such as virtual races, challenges, or fundraisers, and connect with other runners from around the world. Livestreaming your runs can also help you stay accountable, motivated, and inspired for your marathon training.

The Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses come in a variety of iconic styles, such as Wayfarer, Round, and Clubmaster, and you can choose from different lens options, such as polarized, clear, or transition. The glasses also come with a charging case that can provide up to three full charges, and a USB-C cable. The glasses have a battery life of up to six hours, depending on the usage. You can buy the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses from the Meta Store or from select retailers, starting at $499. Click here to learn more about the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses and how to order yours.

Meta Quest 3: Experience Mixed Reality

The Meta Quest 3 is the latest VR headset from Meta that offers a breakthrough mixed-reality experience. Mixed reality is a spectrum of immersive experiences that blend the physical and digital worlds, such as playing a virtual piano on your coffee table, or exploring a virtual museum in your living room. The Meta Quest 3 features a 4K+ Infinite Display, full-color passthrough cameras, improved audio, and redesigned controllers, that enable you to enjoy high-quality VR and AR content.

Here are some of the ways you can use the Meta Quest 3 to enhance your training:

  • Train indoors: Sometimes, you might not be able to run outdoors, due to bad weather, lack of time, or safety concerns. With the Meta Quest 3, you can train indoors with a variety of VR apps and games that can help you improve your fitness, endurance, and strength. For example, you can use the Supernatural app to do cardio workouts with music and coaches in stunning virtual locations. You can also use the FitXR app to do boxing, dancing, or HIIT classes with real-time feedback and multiplayer mode. You can also use the VRWorkout app to do bodyweight exercises with motion tracking and voice control. These apps and games can help you burn calories, build muscles, and have fun, while staying indoors.

  • Recover and relax: Recovery is an essential part of marathon training, as it allows your body and mind to heal and adapt from the stress of running. With the Meta Quest 3, you can recover and relax with a variety of VR apps and games that can help you reduce stress, improve sleep, and enhance well-being. For example, you can use the Tripp app to do guided meditations and breathwork sessions in soothing virtual environments. You can also use the Guided Tai Chi app to do gentle movements and stretches in relaxing virtual landscapes. You can also use the Nature Treks VR app to explore and interact with nature scenes, such as forests, beaches, and mountains. These apps and games can help you calm your nerves, ease your muscles, and boost your mood, while recovering from your runs.
  • Learn and grow: Running a marathon is not only a physical challenge but also a mental and emotional one. With Meta Quest 3, you can learn and grow with a variety of VR apps and games that can help you expand your knowledge, skills, and creativity. For example, you can use the Masterpiece VR app to create 3D art and sculptures with intuitive tools and brushes. You can also use the Wander app to travel and discover the world with Google Street View. You can also use the National Geographic Explore VR app to embark on adventures and learn about different cultures and wildlife.

The Meta Quest 3 comes with a headset, two controllers, a charging cable, a power adapter, a glasses spacer, and a lens cloth. The headset has a battery life of up to three hours, depending on the usage. You can buy the Meta Quest 3 from the Meta Store or from select retailers, starting at $499 for the 128GB model, or $649 for the 512GB model. Click here to learn more about the Meta Quest 3 and how to order yours.

Running a marathon is a big goal that requires a lot of training and dedication. But with the help of the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses and the Meta Quest 3, you can make your marathon training more fun, effective, and immersive. You can use the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses to capture, listen, and call while running outdoors. You can use the Meta Quest 3 to experience mixed reality, while training, recovering, and learning indoors.

Ok, so that’s all awesome, but what about the actual plan for running? Don’t worry (who’s worried, I’m not worried), here’s a 4-month marathon training plan.

The 4-Month Marathon Training Plan

The 4-month marathon training plan consists of 16 weeks of progressive training, with four to five runs per week, plus some cross-training and rest days.

The plan follows a general pattern of alternating hard and easy days, building up mileage and intensity gradually, and incorporating recovery weeks and tapering periods.

The plan also includes different types of runs, such as easy runs, long runs, tempo runs, interval runs, and hill runs, to help you improve your endurance, speed, strength, and efficiency.

Here is a brief overview of the 4-month marathon training plan:

  • Week 1: Start with a 3-mile easy run, a 4-mile tempo run, a 3-mile interval run, and a 6-mile long run. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 2: Increase the distance of the easy run to 4 miles, the tempo run to 5 miles, the interval run to 4 miles, and the long run to 8 miles. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 3: Increase the distance of the easy run to 5 miles, the tempo run to 6 miles, the interval run to 5 miles, and the long run to 10 miles. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 4: Reduce the distance of the easy run to 3 miles, the tempo run to 4 miles, the interval run to 3 miles, and the long run to 6 miles. This is a recovery week, to help you avoid overtraining and prevent injuries. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 5: Increase the distance of the easy run to 6 miles, the tempo run to 7 miles, the interval run to 6 miles, and the long run to 12 miles. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 6: Increase the distance of the easy run to 7 miles, the tempo run to 8 miles, the interval run to 7 miles, and the long run to 14 miles. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 7: Increase the distance of the easy run to 8 miles, the tempo run to 9 miles, the interval run to 8 miles, and the long run to 16 miles. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 8: Reduce the distance of the easy run to 4 miles, the tempo run to 5 miles, the interval run to 4 miles, and the long run to 8 miles. This is another recovery week, to help you recharge and prepare for the next phase of training. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 9: Increase the distance of the easy run to 9 miles, the tempo run to 10 miles, the interval run to 9 miles, and the long run to 18 miles. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 10: Increase the distance of the easy run to 10 miles, the tempo run to 11 miles, the interval run to 10 miles, and the long run to 20 miles. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 11: Replace the interval run with a hill run, where you run up and down a moderate incline for a total of 8 miles. Increase the distance of the long run to 22 miles. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 12: Reduce the distance of the easy run to 5 miles, the tempo run to 6 miles, the hill run to 4 miles, and the long run to 10 miles. This is the last recovery week, to help you peak for the final phase of training. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 13: Increase the distance of the easy run to 11 miles, the tempo run to 12 miles, the hill run to 9 miles, and the long run to 24 miles. This is the longest and hardest week of the plan, where you will reach your maximum mileage and intensity. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 14: Start to taper your training, by reducing the distance of the easy run to 8 miles, the tempo run to 9 miles, the hill run to 6 miles, and the long run to 18 miles. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 15: Continue to taper your training, by reducing the distance of the easy run to 6 miles, the tempo run to 7 miles, the hill run to 4 miles, and the long run to 12 miles. Cross-train on one day, and rest on two days.
  • Week 16: Finish the tapering process, by reducing the distance of the easy run to 4 miles, the tempo run to 5 miles, the hill run to 2 miles, and the long run to 6 miles. Rest on the day before the race, and run your marathon on the last day of the plan.

The Purpose and Benefits of Each Type of Run

The 4-month marathon training plan includes different types of runs, each with a specific purpose and benefit. Here is a brief explanation of each type of run, and how to perform them correctly:

  • Easy run: This is a run that you do at a comfortable and conversational pace, where you can talk without gasping for air. The purpose of this run is to build your aerobic base, improve your blood flow and oxygen delivery, and enhance your recovery. The benefit of this run is that it helps you increase your mileage and endurance, without stressing your body too much. You should do this run at about 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, or about 2 minutes per mile slower than your marathon pace.

  • Long run: This is a run that you do at a slightly faster than easy pace, but still slower than your marathon pace. The purpose of this run is to train your body and mind to run for a long time, improve your fat-burning ability, and boost your confidence. The benefit of this run is that it helps you prepare for the demands and challenges of the marathon distance, and teaches you how to pace yourself and manage your energy. You should do this run at about 70-80% of your maximum heart rate, or about 1 minute per mile slower than your marathon pace.

  • Tempo run: This is a run that you do at a steady and challenging pace, close to your marathon pace or slightly faster. The purpose of this run is to improve your lactate threshold, which is the point at which your muscles start to fatigue and produce lactic acid. The benefit of this run is that it helps you increase your speed and efficiency, and delay the onset of fatigue. You should do this run at about 80-90% of your maximum heart rate, or about your marathon pace or 10-20 seconds per mile faster.

  • Interval run: This is a run that you do at a fast and hard pace, much faster than your marathon pace, with short recovery periods in between. The purpose of this run is to improve your VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can use during exercise. The benefit of this run is that it helps you boost your power and stamina, and improve your running economy. You should do this run at about 90-100% of your maximum heart rate, or about 1-2 minutes per mile faster than your marathon pace. The recovery periods should be about half the duration of the intervals and at an easy pace.

  • Hill run: This is a run that you do on a hilly terrain, where you run up and down a moderate incline. The purpose of this run is to improve your leg strength, muscle power, and cardiovascular fitness. The benefit of this run is that it helps you develop your running form, posture, and balance, and overcome the challenges of running on uneven surfaces. You should do this run at a hard but consistent effort, where you maintain the same pace and intensity on the uphill and downhill sections.

I wonder if I’ll actually make it that far. One way to find out, I guess.

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