Running and Pokémon Go

Pokémon have taken over the entire world, or so it seems. I don’t want to go in to what the game is or how to play, as there are already a thousand and one How Tos out there. I want to discuss Pokémon Go in relation to running.

A wild Pidgey appears on King Street!

Since returning from SE Asia, I have mostly been trying to keep training fun. This means not worrying too much about how many miles I’m doing, but rather keeping it varied with trails, tarmac, and lots and lots of cycling. It seemed natural to me to go for a run with the express intention of playing a game when Pokémon Go was finally released in the UK on Thursday.

I started Spotify and Endomondo as well as the game. I like to run to music and I wanted, on this occasion, to document my pace and distance. I wouldn’t use Endomondo in the future as it contributes to the battery being depleted quickly. I also streamed my weekly playlist which, again, I would not in the future: I would be more likely to download a playlist. When I started my run my battery was at around 70%. By the time I got home it was on 9%. The only reason I directed myself back to the house was because I knew I was going to run out of battery, so I do think it’s worth considering how you are going to increase this time for your own run.

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Robert the Bruce statue at Bannockburn Centre.

Usually when running in cities I try to direct myself towards green spaces, parks and nearby trails. That won’t work while playing the game as you are more likely to find Pokéstops, Gyms and even Pokémon in more built up areas. I headed out towards a clutch of Pokéstops and just sort of followed the natural line of them.

My granny’s house is two minutes from the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, but I had never been. This was my first stop, and I’m glad of it.

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Plaque outside the police station.

I then ran about a field and along a wee path I’d never have found on my own. I followed the Pokéstops up to a playpark and then continued right into town. Along the way, I noticed a lot of engravings, historical plaques and statues that I have never seen before. Again, this is my hometown, I have been visiting the area and even lived here for years. That I discovered so many new elements to Stirling is pretty incredible.

At the police station I managed to track down an Eevee, to my pure delight. I may have fist-pumped.

I ended up in the town centre, drawn to a crossroads by a lure. I’m sure that three or four of the people standing about were up to exactly the same as me.

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A random summer festival, spotted on my run.

If you are planning on using this run as a serious training run, you may be annoyed by the stopping and starting. If you are panning on a serious training run, though, perhaps it is best not to multi-task. I had a heck of a lot of fun on a beautiful day, running six miles overall and enjoying the scenery and fresh air for around two hours. My pace was good when I was running and perhaps the interval-style training was helpful, or perhaps it wasn’t, but I know I’ll definitely be doing this again.

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St Ninians Old Parish Church.

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