Running at Work … with Balloons and a Runtastic Orbit

How’s that for a title?  Well, it’s Workout Wednesday, and today’s post is a bit of a mishmash of workout tips … I’ll encourage you to participate in RRCA’s Run@Work Day, tell you about a fun half marathon this weekend in Dallas, and do a quick review on a new product, the Runtastic Orbit.  Enjoy!

workout wednesday

Run@Work Day is Friday!

Each year, RRCA (the organization that certified me as a running coach!) hosts National Run@Work Day, which encourages people to get in 30 minutes of exercise on that day, either before work, during work, or right after work.  I love this initiative, especially since the vast majority of Americans do NOT get the recommended 30 minutes of movement daily, and one of the main reasons cited is work.

run@work day


(picture source)

So … I have a challenge for you!  On Friday, I want to challenge you to talk to three people you work with about running or exercise.  Just by having the conversation, you may inspire someone to get active themselves!  And of course … get out there and run or exercise yourself, today AND on Run@Work Day on Friday!

Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon

I am excited that Fall is upon us for more reasons than just the Fall Reset (don’t miss your spot!!).  For runners, Fall is a wonderful season due to the abundance of fun races, the excitement and buzz surrounding Fall running, and the wonderful running weather!  Well, if you’re in Dallas, and you’re ready to race, I’ve got a great race for you this Sunday.  The Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon, 5K, and 1K take place Sunday, September 21st, 2014, starting at 7:30am.

plano balloon festival half

(picture source)

The races are part of a larger hot air balloon festival, and all the balloons take off at 7:00am, so the race course will be spotted with flying hot air balloons!  How fun is that?!  There will be a pig-shaped balloon, Angry Birds-themed balloon, a dog balloon, and various traditional balloons with beautiful colors.  Participants gain entry into the Festival, as well as great technical t-shirts and a hot breakfast post-race.  So sign up here, and send me a picture of your favorite balloon if you go!

Runtastic Orbit Review

A few months ago, I offered my take on personal activity trackers, and reviewed the Polar Loop.  If you haven’t read that, suffice it to say that I used to think personal activity trackers were not for me, but I got addicted to the Loop in January and wore it every day since then … until I got the Runtastic Orbit.

both trackers

I wore both for a few days (and looked ridiculous, I’m sure), and the overall functionality is about the same.  I really appreciate that each has a display right on the bracelet, and I like the idea of using them to monitor my activity throughout the day and encourage me to take a few extra steps rather than camp out at my desk.  However, after trying out the Orbit, I’m convinced, and am now an official Orbit wearer!

What I Love About the Runtastic Orbit

  • Easy set-up and fit: You don’t have to cut the band of the Orbit like you have to do with the Loop, and the Orbit adjusts very easily.  I can get it to fit tighter on my small wrists.  It also comes with a clip that can attach to your waistband, although I found that slightly less accurate, as well as a blue band, if you want to change up your look.
    Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 8.44.06 PM
  • Phone app: I mentioned that I never really got the Polar Loop synced with my phone well enough, and couldn’t figure out how to get the Loop to remind me when I was inactive for too long.  With the Orbit, the Runtastic Me app is SO easy to figure out and navigate, and syncs easily with the device.  You can view a lot of details, change your goals, and link to the Runtastic app (which would be a substitute for a Garmin or other run-tracking device).  I also like the inactivity buzzes, and the ability to set an alarm during the day to remind you to move.
    active day
  • Sleep tracking: The sleep tracking feature on the Orbit far exceeds that on the Loop.  I had previously been using the free Sleep Time app, which is phenomenal and wakes you up at ideal times based on your sleep cycles, but it does require me to sleep with my phone right by my head on the bed, which is pretty scary and not the best idea.  Maybe with the Orbit’s sleep tracking feature, I’ll buy a regular alarm clock and keep my phone out of the bedroom … I know this would help my health both physically and mentally (so I don’t instinctively dive headfirst into emails before I can even open my eyes all the way).  The sleep tracker also shows ambient light during the day … I’m not really sure why you would need that, but it’s there!
    good sleeper(I have a talent for sleeping … look at that efficiency! :))
  • Waterproof: The Loop certainly didn’t break in the water, but it lit up and I felt it was draining the battery.  The Orbit is waterproof up to 300 feet.
  • Longer-lasting battery: The Orbit stays charged for almost a week!  Awesome!

What I Miss About the Polar Loop

  • Fireworks and percentages: Call me crazy, but the little display of fireworks when you complete your daily activity goal made me so happy every time I saw it on the Loop.  The Orbit will vibrate and show me “100%,” which is nice, but I miss the celebration :).  I also miss being able to check my percentage completion to the goal during the day.  The Orbit will show me my step count, and I can mentally calculate the percentage to my goal, but seeing the percentage was nice.
  • Manual sleep mode: You have to put the Orbit to sleep and wake it up again (just by pressing and holding the silver button).  This is super easy, but just an extra step to remember, at the times when you’re most tired!

Overall, I would recommend the Runtastic Orbit for general fitness tracking and motivation to get moving (I’ll still use my Garmin for run tracking).  At $120, it’s an investment, but it’s competitively priced vs. other similar devices, and if it helps you stay active, I believe it’s worth it!

runtastic orbit advertising


*I was not compensated for any part of this post; however, I received a free Runtastic Orbit to review, and the Plano Balloon Half is publicizing my business in exchange for this publicity.  Of course, all opinions are always my own!*

*Don’t forget to sign up for The Lyons’ Share Fall Reset!  I start sending out information and open up the private Facebook group within the next 24 hours, so you don’t want to miss this!*

So tell me in the comments … Will you take my Run@Work Challenge?  What’s your next race, if you’re a runner?  Do you wear a fitness tracker?