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August 2, 2017 AT 1:00 pm

Wearables aren’t all dorky — these helped me compete in an Ironman race #WearableWednesday

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Molly Sequin writes in defense of wearables on Mashable:

Wearables have gotten a bad rap lately, and it’s probably because of glorified pedometers like the Fitbit Blaze and Apple Watch that look dorky and don’t do much beyond counting steps. And I’ll admit, I’m one of the people that will readily throw shade at these products for failing to provide useful health information.

But the reality is, there are plenty of other wearables made specifically for athletes that are really helpful, ones that provide valuable information like running cadence, training load, recovery progress, exercise history analysis, and more specific fitness data. I know this because my own Garmin watch recently helped me shave an hour off my 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon race time.

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The Garmin is basically a Swiss Army Knife of useful biometric trackers. It features live tracking of my routes, gives me notifications about my workout, and tracks my heart rate on my wrist. I can set timers, lap my sets, and dive in the pool with the waterproof watch. It also uses GPS and satellites to track where I’m at, both indoor and outdoor. And there’s way more, too.

I crossed the finish line in between Lake Monona and the state capitol building at around 10 p.m. and was overwhelmed with joy and pride. All of my equipment kept up with me the entire day, and I reached my biggest goal yet.

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My own wearable in addition to Ironman’s added up to a day of confidence and a sense of safety for everyone involved. It was great, and the race would have been very different without them.

So it’s time to give wearables the respect they deserve. Yes, there are a lot of average sleep trackers and step-counters out there. But there’s also a whole world of wearables and fitness trackers that play a huge role in athletes’ success. And it’s time to give them some overdue credit.

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