Endomondo Sports Tracker
Following the excitement when I first found out about our Borneo mission my Boy Scout’s mind was sent wandering into “Preparation”. Initially it was equipment, gadgets and anything else a beer bellied man pointlessly purchases only to be told it’s a waste of money by his other half. Before long this excitement ebbed quickly away when the sensible part of my mind began to tackle the physical challenge ahead of us.
We scale a mountain four times larger than Snowdon , then trek through thick Jungle in less than a week; over 60km in one of the hardest terrains! So hard that I was reliably informed I might as well double the distance when compared to walking around a park in the UK. It became clear preparation wouldn’t just be equipment and gadgets, instead it would be very hard work, it would be the one thing that everyone wants to attain but also the thing that is so hard to achieve, namely Fitness!
There is no point in us all rolling into Borneo thinking that it’s going to be all fun and games, for probably all of us this will be the hardest physical undertaking in our lifetimes. The whole team would need to put some serious effort in over the preceding months to condition their bodies and minds up to the degree that they could get through it and be able to enjoy it. As such, Dominick and I were detailed with leading the fitness improvements across both teams in the UK and Goa and it was clear from the beginning we had a major task on our hands. Sending a few emails wasn’t going to cut it. Organising group events like a Parkrun or a trip to Snowdon, whilst great, wasn’t going to have a sufficient impact on anyone’s fitness given they were one off events. We had six months to significantly improve every member of the team’s fitness!
Myself and Dominick’s technical minds got to work on isolating the problems we had in leading this fitness campaign.
1. We needed everyone to improve their fitness. yeah
2. We needed some sort of progress tracking that is visible to the whole team.
3. We needed it to be suited to each individual in their own time away from work rather than overly structured events.
4. We needed motivation.
How would I.T engineers using the internet daily solve these four problems? Well how do I.T engineers normally solve problems? …… With technology of course!
We found one of our answers in www.endomondo.com a personal trainer in your pocket, a website and free smart phone app that can track and record all types of exercise using the GPS on the phone.
Better yet it’s got a social element in that everyone at ABS can add each other as friends, then create monthly challenges.
We are two months into using Endomondo and so far it’s proving to be a great tool for achieving our four goals.
Everyone within the various challenges is all making a concerted effort to get out and do some exercise, thus we are seeing fitness improve throughout the team. The challenge gives us a collective visibility of each other’s efforts and together we are able to adjust and understand our fitness expectations and preparation. Users are able to log workouts in their own time, be it a weekend walk or swim, and best of all the ABS team are becoming both competitive and encouraging with each other as the positions within the challenge table changes day to day.