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In mid-January, Indians across the wide geographical area celebrate Lohri (North)/ Makara Sankranthi or Pongal (South India) marking the end of winter. With this, there will be gradual increase in warmness in the morning and the night in the coming weeks, which is particularly beneficial for sports enthusiasts to be more active and train harder. This is also the time of the year when marathon season kicks off in India.

If you are an amateur or a rookie with Apple Watch planning to train for marathons, you are in luck. There are lots of fitness apps on App Store, making the best use of the advanced Apple wearable technology especially to track food & water consumption, calorie burn count and physical health, beneficial to you in a long run.

Apple, Watch Series 4, India, launch, price, specs
Apple Watch Series 4 comes with most advanced health and fitness monitor features.KVN Rohit/IBTimes India

Here are best Apple Watch apps to help you achieve your goal to run marathons:

Strava: Run, Ride, Swim (Developed by Strava, Inc.)

Apple, Watch , Strava app
Strava Apple Watch AppApple App Store (screen-grab)
  • With this you can track your fitness activity including recording your run, map a cycling route & analyse your training with all the stats for free.
  • Strava track whole range of sports Swim, Hike, Crossfit, Gym training, Kayak, Rock Climb, Surf, Yoga and more
  • Get key stats like distance, pace, speed, elevation gained & calories burned
  • Users can mix their training with the world's largest trail network and also do monthly challenges & compete with others
  • Consumers can subscribe for Strava Summit, which offers personalised tools and insights you need to reach your goal and train smarter.

Streaks Workout(Developed by Crunchy Bagel)

Apple, Watch, Streaks Workout
Streaks Workout Apple Watch appApple App Store (screen-grab)
  • It offers 30 equipment-free exercises to choose from
  • It has four different workout lengths (approx. 6, 12, 18 or 30 minutes)
  • Apps allow you to create custom workouts
  • It has demonstrations of all exercises
  • It offers tips to help you refine your technique
  • It comes with a built-in timer and statistics
  • It also saves workouts to the Health app, so that you can track even on the iPhone

Seven-7 Minute Workout(Developed by Perigee)

Apple, Watch, Seven-7 Minute Workout app
Seven-7 Minute Workout Apple Watch appApple App Store (screen-grab)
  • The company claims that Seven's workouts are based on scientific studies to provide the maximum benefit in the shortest time possible. With personalized workout plans Seven also makes sure you get the most out of your training.
  • With this app, you can do work out anywhere, anytime and there is no need for equipment
  • It will create a habit of working out with our everyday workout challenge
  • The app allows you to compete with friends for extra encouragement and support
  • Earn achievements from novice to athlete as you vary your routine
  • Create your own workouts tailored to your needs and preferences
  • Keep it fun with instructors like the Drill Sergeant, Cheerleader and many more
  • There is also subscription option, which offers faster results with personal workout plans adapted to user's fitness level, access all workouts and over 200 exercises for more varied training and receive exclusive support and guidance from our certified personal trainer

Nike Run Club(Developed by Nike, Inc)

Nike  Run Club, Apple App store, fitness app, health app
Nika Run Club Apple Watch appApp Store (screen-shot)
  • This app will track and store all your runs and records both on the iPhone and the Apple Watch Series 3 (or later version)
  • Audio-guided running workouts with Nike affiliated coaches and athletes
  • You can join weekly and monthly distance challenges to keep you motivated and moving
  • Personalised coaching plans available
  • Shows trophies and badges to celebrate your achievements and this help you sustain long term motivation to do workouts
  • You can compete with friends and also others part of Nike Run Club via leaderboards
  • It also has in-rin cheers from friends options and also celebrities wishing you after the run completion. You can also the accomplishments with friends as well.

Runkeeper-GPS Running Tracker (Developed by FitnessKeeper, Inc.)

Apple, Watch, Runkeeper-GPS Running Tracker,app
Runkeeper-GPS Running Tracker Apple Watch appApple App Store (screen-grab)
  • Track workouts: Record activities like running, walking, biking, hiking and more manually or with GPS.
  • Set goals: Maybe you want to get faster, run farther or lose a little weight. No matter your goal, we'll coach you there.
  • Listen to the audio: Choose from six motivating voices that you can customize to relay your pace, distance and time (English only), plus iTunes and Spotify integration.
  • Follow a plan: Routines lead to progress. Choose a personalized plan that will help get you out the door, day after day.
  • Stay motivated: Join in-app challenges, get exercise rewards, participate in virtual running groups and share achievements.
  • See progress: It's what this is all about. We'll log your stats to show you how you're progressing against your running goals.
  • Get more with Runkeeper Go™: Upgrade to our premium experience to make progress toward your racing goals, from 5Ks to marathons. Take advantage of race-training plans from the ASICS Institute of Sports Science, detailed progress insights (like side-by-side workout comparisons and weather data), prescribed workouts and live tracking.
  • With Apple Watch integration, you can leave your phone at home and still track stats

WaterMinder (Developed by Funn Media, LLC)

Apple, Watch, WaterMinder
WaterMinder Apple Watch appApple App Store (screen-grab)
  • With this simple app, you track of the daily water intake needs and making sure your body is well hydrated is not an easy task in today's fast-paced life
  • A clean visual view of your current water fill
  • Simple, quick and easy to use interface (just tap on 1 icon and a menu opens with your options to log/track your water intake)
  • Pre-defined cups for quick tracking
  • Create custom cups (size, icon, colour, drink type)
  • Create unlimited custom reminders
  • History and Graph, see your progress
  • US oz, UK oz, L, and ML units
  • Earn and Share your Achievements
  • Free guide to drinking water

Sweat: Kayla Itsines Fitness (Developed by The Bikini Body Training Company Pty Ltd)

Apple, Watch, Sweat, Kayla Itsiness Fitness
Sweat: Kayla Itsiness Fitness Apple Watch appApple App Store (screen-grab)
  • As the developer name implies, it offers Bikini Body Guide (BBG) program includes high-intensity plyometric training using minimal equipment to increase body strength. Kayla's BBG Stronger is a weights-based program for gym users.
  • Kelsey Wells' post-pregnancy program includes resistance workouts designed to increase core strength and improve posture for mums.
  • Kelsey Wells' PWR weight-training program includes gym-based resistance workouts for women to increase lean muscle and strength.
  • Stephanie Sanzo's BUILD power building program is perfect for women wanting to improve their lifting performance.
  • Chontel Duncan's FIERCE strength and high-intensity workouts are ideal for women wanting to lose weight and increase fitness.
  • Sjana Earp's yoga program includes Vinyasa-style resistance and yin-based recovery flows to improve flexibility and posture.
  • It also offers personalised workouts options including short exercise routine that you can finish in 28 minutes, at-home workouts available, gym-based workouts including weight training, powerlifting and high-intensity circuit training and also offer targeted workouts, weight logging, audio cues and new female fitness workout challenges now included.

With Tata Mumbai Marathon 2019 coming this weekend, it will be beneficial to get some tips from a professional.

Apple, Urmi Kothari, fitness trainer, marathon day tips
Renowned fitness trainer celebrity Urmi Kothari gives tips on preparation for marathons.Apple India Press Kit

"Your training determines your race day. And ironically, even though sometimes we have done everything right, the outcome can be slightly different," Urmi Kothari, a renowned fitness trainer and experienced marathon runner says.

Here are Urmi Kothari's valuable inputs that will help you complete the marathon with flying colours:

  • Make sure your running plan is made to make you a better runner. Enough miles and just enough frequency and lactate threshold runs will make sure you are peaking well before race day.
  • Overtraining is not very uncommon. Monitor your recovery and heart rate well- not only during the runs but also on the rest days. I used Apple Watch Series 4(review) for all the stats relating to my runs from distance, pace to Heart Rate during the runs and on waking up the next day. It also helps me monitor calories burnt so I can increase or decrease my intake
  • Sometimes, your Heart Rate will be extremely high in spite of a slow run. That's when you know your recovery is poor.
  • I use the Heart app on my Apple Watch and can track it during different phases of my run as well.
  • Supplements like Ashwagandha, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, Vit D 3 and Vit C and B complex are helpful in ensuring recovery.
  • Breathe: in-built native Watch app that helps me calm my nerves before important runs
  • Sleep and Stretches post run or on rest days are two most underrated recovery tools. Now I can choose yoga from the Activity app on my watch to read my stats much more accurately.
  • The Outdoor Run option in the Activity app also has a "rolling pace" feature now. It displays the pace of the previous kilometre covered. Hence, it allows me to set a target pace to ensure I am pushing myself in the right zone in order to achieve my target timing.
  • The Apple Watch is compatible with running apps like NRC or Strava and directly syncs the runs with my phone. I can also challenge my friends as to who closes the ring the most in the coming week and win cool badges!
  • When it comes to running, music can be helpful to reach the goal with less distraction
  • Nothing can motivate you more than reviewing and measuring your progress week on week, month on month and the Activity app really help me look back at my performance, recovery, frequency and variety of training and relate it to my present state of energy, efficiency and skill.

Tips for marathon day:

1. Don't try anything new...not clothes, socks and definitely not shoes.

2. Hydrate well with electrolytes for two to three days prior to the race.

3. Sleep well and stay mobile. You are probably not going to get enough sleep on the day of the race. So sleep well all through the week

4. Go hard in your fast runs and slow in recovery runs.

5. Do core, balance and mobility exercises for 6-7 min before the race to warm up the smaller muscles.

6. Plan your pace on race day in advance

7. Visualize, Train and give it your best. If you are not having fun, change your strategy

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