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HOW I RAN 30 MILES PLAYING POKÉMON GO
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I felt as though I was back into the rhythm of running regularly.
Pokémon Go gave me a fun reason to get off the couch, and many people I met indicated that it did the same for them. I should note, however, that for every Pokémon Go trainer I saw outside and exercising, there were countless others doing so without the game.
While Pokémon Go, if utilized the right way, could potentially be a useful tool to motivate runners, it simply doesn’t beat developing self-discipline through a fun and tailored training program designed by a coach who you trust.
By the end of the week
And outside of Jerome Greene Hall two eggs hatched: Magnemite and Tentacool.
When I arrived to my school’s campus, I caught a Koffing.
On the last day, I ran from my home in Riverdale, Bronx along the Hudson River to the graduate school I attend, Columbia Law School, in Morningside Heights, New York City. The run was about 8 miles long. I stopped at the Riverbank Colonnade and the merry-go-round in Riverside State Park to take photos.
I ended my run in the beautiful Silver Lake Park, where I caught a Jigglypuff.
"Charity Miles, a non-profit, launched a challenge for Pokemon Go players. The app stays open in the background of your phone while you're playing the game. Every mile you walk or run earns the charity of your choice a quarter. Every mile biked is 10 cents.”
An animal shelter in Muncie, Indiana used the game to encourage people to walk and adopt their dogs.
Graham and Adrienne also mentioned that Pokémon Go has helped raise money for charities. As WHSV points out,
Graham (left) and Adrienne (right) told me that because of Pokémon Go, they walk their dog about twice as often. FYI theirs isn’t the only dog exercising more.
On Day 4, I paid a visit to Staten Island, where I grew up. I ran 6 miles with a 2 minute PokéBreak midway through. During my break in Clove Lakes Park, I encountered two more Pokémon Go trainers.
When asked to share his thoughts about Pokémon Go, Anthony (middle) said, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!”
When asked whether Pokémon Go has changed her exercise habits, Ms. Bowen (second person from the left) said she walked 20 miles while playing Pokémon Go in only 5 days.
At the end of my run I snapped a few more selfies with Pokémon Go trainers.
On Day 3, I ran 5 miles in the back hills of Van Cortlandt Park. At the top of only the steepest hills I took 45 second PokéBreaks. I didn’t see much action during my breaks, and only caught a Zubat and Doduo.
When I asked Phil (left) and Alexandra (middle) whether they think Pokémon Go is just a fad, both of them felt that it was here to stay. Phil pointed out that children and adults (whether or not they watched Pokémon in their youth) alike play the game vigorously.
Alexandra, who coincidentally enough is a model and actor with an impressive bio, said that the game has lasting potential because businesses are participating in the game. In fact, for as little as $1.19 an hour businesses can drive sales through the use of Lures Modules, which attract Pokémon to PokéStops for 30 minutes.
At the end of my run an Eeveee ran away, and I caught a Spearow.
On Day 2, I ran 6 miles total at Van Cortlandt Park with a 2 minute Pokémon break midway through the run. During my break I met two other Pokémon Go trainers.
By the end of my run I also realized that the app barely registered half the distance of my run. Unfortunately, running isn’t the best activity for hatching eggs. From what I’ve read, it may be related to the speed at which I was running, the GPS signal in the area, and the capabilities of my phone.
The radius of the distance I covered may have also impacted the distance tracking accuracy. I noticed later in the week that when I wasn’t running on a track, it was more accurate, which really makes me question whether placing your phone on a record player to hatch eggs actually works.
And a rather ghastly Gastly.
A religious Meowth:
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On my cool down back, however, I stopped to catch a whole bunch of Pokémon. Some highlights include my first ever Squirtle:
The workout itself required a substantial amount of effort, as I ran it at 10K pace, and it was my first real workout in a while. So, unfortunately, during my short breaks, I didn’t have much luck catching Pokémon.
On Day 1, I ran 7 half-mile repeats with 2 minute PokéBreaks at the Van Cortlandt Park running track. Warm up and cool down included, the workout totaled to about 5 miles. When I arrived to the track I encountered an Oddish and Weedle.
Side note: Isn’t it weird that all Pokémon come from eggs? I mean, even Exeggcute? Yes, I know that Exeggcute’s heads are actually seeds, but seeds that come from eggs might even be stranger than eggs that come from eggs.
Note: Before every workout, I made sure that (a) my phone was fully charged, and (b) I incubated Pokémon eggs.
So, if you'd like to try a PokéRun, I recommend you:
Vaporean Stampede in Central Park
If you play Pokémon Go, then you’ll recognize the safety warning below. I simply cannot stress enough the importance of practicing safety when playing this game. The distraction caused by cell phones is dangerous enough as it is, and Pokémon Go requires more attention than most of what you do on your phone.
RULE 2: Practice Safety
Unless a Pokémon is extremely rare.
As instructed, I tried to only catch Pokémon during the “rest” period of a given workout. My coach wanted me to prioritize my training over Pokémon Go, not the other way around. That said, if you see a Vaporeon, you better go catch it.
RULE 1: Prioritize the workout over Pokémon Go
Then, when Niantic released Pokémon Go in early July, the Running Coach in me thought that incorporating the game into my training might be a fun way to regain motivation. So, my business partner and coach, Patrick Hammond, wrote a week of Pokémon Go workouts (yes, even running coaches have coaches), and together we established two simple ground rules for the training week.
In case you haven’t already heard, Pokémon Go is a mobile game for iOS and Android devices that syncs with your phone’s GPS and camera to simulate the appearance of Pokémon in the real world.
You can capture, battle, and train your Pokémon using your own avatar, which in my experience has been highly entertaining and addicting.
Thirty miles was a fairly big jump, considering that the week before I only ran eight miles. After running a decent opening half-marathon in May, I struggled to restart my training.
Last week I ran 30 miles while playing Pokémon Go.
Coach Jose Miranda is a USA Track and Field Level 1 certified coach. He cofounded Educated Running with the intention of helping runners reach their full potential, and learn about their sport.
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