Running to a New Beat with TomTom Spark

It may surprise you that I used to get my workouts in primarily by running outside. I moved to LA from Memphis, Tennessee almost two years ago. My neighborhood there was right on the Mississippi River—it was safe, affordable, and (most importantly to me), flat.

Since we didn’t have a lot of fitness studios in Memphis, my regular source of exercise came from either visits to my local gym or running along the river. When the weather was just right, I used these outdoor runs as a time to mentally check out from my daily stresses from my elementary teaching job that was always throwing unexpected curve balls. Running was the best escape.

Moving to Los Angeles brought with it completely new experiences, and a wide range of fitness classes were now at my fingertips. Although I went for runs every now and then, having to dodge the traffic on Sunset Blvd scared me to death. So slowly but surely, my workouts moved off the streets and indoors.

Sometimes all we need is a new gadget to get back in the game. I recently received the new TomTom Spark Cardio + Music and decided to let it reignite my love for running and sweating outside.

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Using this watch has reintroduced me to running as a form of therapy. This fitness watch is unique because not only does it do the obvious and monitor your heart rate and track your activity, but it also holds up to 500 songs and connects via Bluetooth to wireless headphones. That means you no longer need to carry your phone everywhere you go and can finally unplug while you run! I’ve always hated bulky phone arm straps and cramped hands from squeezing my phone too hard, so this is huge for me. It finally pulled me away from social media, allowing me to separate from sounds notifying me of a new text, phone call, or email—those things can wait until I’m done.

Having an all-inclusive fitness tracker also allows me to keep track of my stats and improve. TomTom MySports Connect opens right when you plug the watch into your computer and is easy to use. It breaks up each workout into heart rate zones (a form of data that I’m familiar—and obsessed—with because of Orangetheory Fitness classes), shows a map of the workout, average heart rate, elevation, and more. Check out the details from my Hollywood hike below.

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A lot of my exercising is still done in group-fitness settings, but the watch allows me to switch between modes of exercise including run, bike, swim, gym, and treadmill.

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While sweating in silence is some people’s jam, I’m all about getting pumped up through music, and find that I run fastest to a heavy beat. If you’re looking for a playlist that will get you in the mood to PR your next run, download this playlist of favorites from LA’s hottest fitness instructors!

Blake Raymond from Speedplay LA – “Tonight Belongs to U” by Jeremih

Wes Ferguson from Sweat Garage – “Fix This” by the Chain Smokers Remix

Lindsey Duggan from AIR – “Be Right There” – by Diplo and Sleepy Tom

Jake DuPree from CompleteBURN – “Work ft Drake” by Rihanna

Taylor Gainor from LIT Method – “Open Wide” by Calvin Harris

Andrew Nunez from Vie2 – “Lean On” by Major Lazer

Rush Kemp from Reebok Crossfit Lab – “Secrets – Diplo Remix” by Tiesto

Shannon Decker from Aura Cycle – “I don’t get Tired #IDGT” by Kevin Gates

Edwina Cheer from Training Mate – “Cheap Thrills” by Sia

Paris Alexa from Solocicla – “Faded” by Zhu


You can keep up with my TomTom Spark Cardio + Music journey on Snapchat (sweatandrepeat) and Instagram.

This post is sponsored by TomTom, but all opinions are my own.

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