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Michael Johnson talks

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What was your motivation in wanting to produce a series of mobile phone applications?
I have always enjoyed motivating people and the Motiv8 app allows me to do just that through a medium that people can use at anytime and when I am not there with them.  It is the perfect way to track your fitness, set fitness goals, and stay motivated to train.

Another generation of young people that communicate through a very different medium. Engaging with a younger market by entertaining and educating. Mobile is a brilliant way to get my message out to millions of potential people, to help with their fitness and wellbeing. Use a contemporary medium to re-engage individuals with sport and health. A perfect way to keep running and fitness with them at all times. The running app is perfect to have in your pocket, you can’t take a computer, and I’m not always available to run alongside you!

Focusing on the Motiv8 app, personal fitness is a booming industry, what makes your product stand out in the crowded marketplace?
The Motiv8 is different because no other fitness app has me motivating you while you run and giving you tips to improve your running and fitness.

Two reasons, first it has been built to use me as the motivational element. Running and maintaining a fitness regime that includes running does require commitment, the aim of the app is to provide inspiration and motivation from me. The second reason is that once you have used the App once, I can run your previous time, we have called this Time Splicing. So I’m either running in front of you or behind you at your previous routes time. Plenty of opportunity for some encouragement either way and the App knows how to provide that encouragement and support.

Who is Michael Johnson’s Motiv8 aimed at? Can anybody start running?
This is an App for the beginner who may walk a course right through to the professional runner who needs a new thought process to mix up their running routine. Anyone has the ability to start running, it’s not all about speed its about personal goal and wellbeing.

What role do apps such as Motiv8 play in keeping people active?
Motiv8 structures your thought process into running courses and then competing against me on those courses. The App provides social media postings of certificates sent by me through the App based on the achievements within. I speak nicely and encourage you. I also speak more assertively; I pull your leg and even comment occasionally on your music. It’s about repetition and the reinforcement of routine so that exercise becomes a part of your life for the first time or again after an absence, that is the aim of the app.

What handsets does the Motiv8 App run on?
Motiv8 is available on iPhone and Android devices. The App uses GPS to track your run, so the phone and the area you run in has to have mobile signal. We are also going to produce the App in the Blackberry format too.

This app is all about motivating individuals and making them want to better themselves, why is this important?
One of the most important elements to fitness and well-being, is consistency.  It’s difficult to achieve that consistency but this app has me providing the motivation that is sometimes difficult for one to do for themselves. People are living much busier lives these days and like me, many individuals work hard and play hard and that takes energy and it can take a toll on your body.  I feel better and I am more productive when I train on a regular and consistent basis.

Your voice provides the motivation in Motiv8, who provided the voices of motivation during your track and field career?
I provided the motivation for myself during my track and field career.  Some of the same things I suggest on the Motiv8 app are the same things that helped me win medals and break records.

Are you still active, do you still run regularly? What motivates you to want to go out and run?
I am very active.  Some days I go for a bike ride, some days I run.  I try to mix it up and do different type of exercise but with my schedule the quickest think for me is to go for a run.  I am motivated by my desire to stay fit and it helps me to clear my mind and relax a bit from working so much.

There’s a good mix of motivational audio from yourself on Motiv8, some encouraging, some a little critical. Everyone responds differently, but what worked best for you in your career, a pat on the back or somebody saying you could have done better?
I always motivated myself by demanding the best from myself and being critical of myself if I didn’t give what I felt was my best.  That’s what was best for me.  Each person is different and it’s important to understand what type of motivation you respond best to.

Users can add their own Power Songs to the running experience within the app, what are the songs and music that gets your blood pumping? 
I like upbeat music with a good strong bass beat.  When I was competing I always listened to Tupac before I competed.  Now when I’m running I’ll listen to Cee Lo, Justin Timberlake, Dr. Dre, Q-Tip, Amy Winehouse, pretty much anything with a Soul or R&B beat.

Having tested the app yourself, how was the experience of having yourself talk you through a run?                                         I was critiquing my voice at first! But once I got into it, it was really cool to get that motivation every now and the while running.                                                                                                    

Michael Johnson’s Fun Run focuses on promoting healthy eating habits for youngsters. Why do you feel that this is important?
Child obesity is a huge problem around the world particularly in the US and the UK.  Exercise and healthy eating are the keys to combating this problem and this app will hopefully get kids interesting in running and also teach them about the harmful affects of a poor diet in a fun way.