Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beating expectations


It was much warmer today than yesterday so I had no issues with the cold. The wind from the west was strong and the combination of wind plus hills plus 42 degree heat made for a rigorous run. Yesterday I Gmapped my run only to discover that my Sportband was off by 2% and I had actually run almost 4.5 miles, achieving a 9:13 average pace. I Gmapped today's run and saw that it was off by almost 3% of the actual distance. I'm pleased that I exceeded my weekend goal of 8 miles in two runs. I may go to the track later with my daughter who wants to run again. I have not been to the track since discovering it covered by ice and snow but the warmer weather should have cleared that by now.

After discovering that the Sportband was not only refusing to upload any runs to the Nike+ site and was increasingly off calibration I decided to buy a Garmin 50 with HRM and foot pod. The Garmin 50 does not use GPS, the foot pod works in a similar way that the Nike+ system works using RFID. I've had readers tell me that the Garmin 50 works pretty well and I've read similar observations on websites. The reason I didn't get a GPS enabled watch is that the Garmin 305 is just too bulky and the 405 (which is a great running watch) costs $400 including the HRM and foot pod.

So until I get the 50 I'll use the Sportband to record elapsed time and distance and adjust for the Sportband’s inaccuracy. I hope to have the Garmin by next weekend. The only issue with the Garmin is that the software does not work on a Mac so I'll need to use my wife's laptop that runs Vista (ugh) or our upstairs XP machine. No matter, I'm excited about this decision and I will report on my experience soon enough.

4 comments:

  1. Good for you on the runs!!

    BTW, I think the mac issue re: Garmin is supposed to be resolved soon. Don't take my word for it though - I use a mac, but since my husband is my tech support, I don't pay close attention to these things sometimes...I'm just reporting what I seem to remember him saying!

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  2. Thanks - I'm happy with my progress this weekend. What a pleasure it was to run without my face and hands freezing until I warmed up.

    That's encouraging to hear about Mac compatibility. I read about some 3rd party performance tracking apps that can take in the Garmin data as a web service (ask your husband :) but I'd rather be able to run the actual Garmin software on my Mac. I really wanted the 405 but I got the 50 so I'd have something to aspire to. Have you set up the HRM yet?

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  3. I'll ask my husband again and get more details on the mac stuff - it'll be a good excuse for you to upgrade in the future!

    I do have the heart rate monitor set up, and have been wearing it on my runs. In fact, I'm planning on developing a more strategic approach to using this week - up until now, I've just been getting use to the 405 in general (so many features!!). Finally, I'm ready to put all of the data it collects to good use! :-)

    BTW, I have to mention that it was 74 degrees here yesterday - I ran right around 2 miles in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt! You can remind me of your cool weather this summer though, when it's HOT and humid in NC....at 5 am! :-)

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  4. You are my test case for the 405 so I'll be interested in how you feel about it in a few months. I hope the HRM on the Garmin 50 works okay, I've had the worst luck with them.

    I'm looking forward to shorts weather for running but not the humidity that soon follows it. I saw a guy running in shorts near my office in NYC last week when the temperature was 15 degrees so I guess shorts weather differs by person. Give me 40 degress and low humidity and I'll be very happy.

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