This morning I didn’t just go out for any old run. I went for a Yog. And the best part was, that a bunch of you came with me.
What’s Yog, you ask? It’s an iPhone app that let’s you pre-schedule running workouts with friends and other Yog users. For example, I knew that I was going to be heading out for a 3-mile run at 7:30 AM this morning. So, last night I scheduled my run in Yog and then extended an invitation for all Hungry Readers to join me, both here on my blog, and on twitter and Facebook.
Of course, all of you could not join me in reality, but with Yog we were able to run together virtually. If you’re still wondering “How does this work?” Or thinking, “I don’t really get it,” here are a few screenshots from my Yog this morning that might better help you understand just exactly what it is and how it works:
You schedule a run and then either invite friends who already use the Yog app or reach out to “non-yoggers” by sharing your run via Twitter or Facebook.
When others click “Run Later” on the app’s home screen, they can join your run if they plan to workout on the same date and at the same time. Similarly, you can join in on other Yog user’s or friend’s scheduled runs.
When you “enter” a run and it is about to begin, a countdown clock will appear.
As you’re running, you can see each runner move along the green bar depending on what distance they are currently at. (It sort of reminds me of the mini placer maps they had in the bottom corner of the screen during Mario Kart. And anything that reminds me of Mario Kart is A-OK in my book.) If you pass another Yogger, a very kind robot woman will announce to you what place you’ve taken. When you finish the run, she will tell you what place you came in.
After everyone is finished, the results are posted. If you place, you will be awarded with a virtual medal that is stored in the “Past Runs” section of the app. (Sweet deal. Who doesn’t love being awarded with a medal? Everybody likes medals.)
OK so, hopefully this all makes a bit more sense to you now. Although I was extremely excited, before our run started at 7:30 this morning, I was still a little bit unsure about how Yog would work. But once the run started it was extremely straightforward. In fact, it’s actually super simple and still so much fun at the same time.
When all is said and done, while you’re “Yogging,” even though they’re not necessarily in the same physical location as you, you’re basically racing all of the other runners who joined your scheduled run.
I love the racing aspect of the app so much because it is super motivating. When the robot lady in my ear was saying things like, “you’re approaching the finish line, you’re in second place, only 100 yards to go,” you can bet you’re Hungry Running little butt that I wasn’t just strolling through the final few feet of my run. No, I was sprinting toward the non-existent finish line with my whole Hungry Runner Heart and everyone else in Central Park was like, “What even?” (Or was that just me? Guess running brings out my competitive side. Either that or I’m just like, a huge Yogging weirdo.)
Anyway, I ended up coming in second by 2 measly seconds! Peter, who is actually one of the creators of the app and who was kind enough to join my run this morning, came in first. Next time we Yog, the competition is SO on!
I see Yog becoming a really valuable training tool for me. I find it really motivating to have other runners racing against me. I want to beat them. They push me to run faster. I usually reserve speed training for the treadmill, but with Yog I’ll be able to work on running faster outside too! Which, by the way is HUGE, because I really have grown to hate the DREADmill. You can increase the speed all you want on that thing, but at the end of the day, those last few yards that can make or break a race come from the heart, and most of the time I only feel that flame burning behind my feet when I there’s someone running next to me that I need to beat.
For those of you who joined me this morning, firstly, nice run and thanks for Yogging with me!! And secondly, what did you think of Yog? What about it did you like and is there anything about it that you would change?
For those of you who haven’t Yogged yet, does it sound like something you’d like to try? Will you join me for my next Yog?