Tag Archives: technology

2011 running has begun

In 2010, Runkeeper tracked 80 activities from the date I started using it (May) with only a half dozen or so in Oct-Nov 2010 (and none in December). The winter fat has begun to set in, but motivated by my wife and a desire to use my new (purchased months ago) cold weather running gear, I’ve headed out a couple of times this week. Here’s a pic of me kitted out…

Standard new balance trainers, nike dri-fit running tights, adidas shorts for dignity, berghaus running long-sleeve tee, nike ACG running jacket and 3M high visibility armbands. style, quality, excellence.

It’s been a slog and I’m nowhere near the level of fitness I was at at the half-marathon in mid-September but it will return. Yesterday’s 32 minute 5k left me feeling slightly ill at the end, and today’s 30 minute 4.7k involved a number of hills and cross-country routes…. So, 2 down, 78 to go to match 2010, lots more to beat it. I need to do at least two runs a week (weekends are my only realistic time for these at the moment) but, with holidays, I should be able to blast 120 runs this year. I’m hoping. We’ll see. At a minimum of around
5k a run, that’ll be about 600km this year – hopefully more as I hope to do another half-marathon or two (TBC as to which ones).

Incidentally, Runkeeper Pro is free this month (Android/iPhone) to support people trying to make and keep New Year’s resolutions. I totally recommend it, obviously… Wonder if Audiofuel will do something similar, as still need to try that out to see if it helps with my pace-setting…. I’m not doing Janathon this year as with work and the commute, not to mention lovely small daugher, Idon’t have enough hours in the day! Have also restarted my ITBS remedy, rolling the affected area on the reinforced foam roller Sudhir prescribed to me a while back. The pain (which had vanished at the time of the half-marathon) is back when rolling but not affecting my running yet, so hopefully have caught it in time…

Anyway, will try to manage a post or so a week to keep you guys in the loop of my latest running thoughts, training tips and race plans…

Running with baby revisited

Having said that running buggies were not for me, and my general clumsiness precluded me hazarding my child on a jog, I’m now having second thoughts.

Settling into the working routine of dadhood has taken some doing. I’m up at 0545, at work by 0740 and not home till 1915 at the earliest. I get about two precious hours with my wife and daughter before the bedtime ritual begins.

This morning, a Friday, I woke after an unsettled night’s sleep. Not the crying of my child to blame, not at all (Emily had one of her most settled night’s sleeps so far, in fact!) but rather the excited anticipation of getting the next 48 hours with her.

And so, how to motivate myself to trudge out into the cold and wet for an hour or so to run??

She’s still too small for a running buggy but perhaps its not as ludicrous a thought as I first imagined it would be. I’m not *that* clumsy, after all, I haven’t dropped her at any point, and I would be careful. She loves bumpy pram and car journeys, maybe she’ll enjoy a 10k with Daddy??

One to mull over….

Good running headphones…

…are hard to come by. My wonderful (client provided) Logitech Metro-Fi iPhone earphones (a precursor of these) are amazing for normal music listening, but (as with all in-ear headphones) struggle against the relentless pounding rhythm of running.

I had been using a slightly mediocre pair of Philips earphones I’d availed myself off eBay for £4 until a few weeks ago – but they suffered two faults towards the end of their existence: 1) the plug struggled to get past the iPhone4’s bumper, not quite fitting into the socket and 2) it suffered the fatal cable failure that results in crackling audio instead of stereo music (sound cutting in and out of one ear or the other continuously).

I found these on eBay for about £15 and am thrilled – like my old headphones they are wrap-around and rubberised – immune to jogging bumps as well as the inevitable sweat. I’d recommend them to anyone who likes music whilst they jog…

More running technology – iPhone sports armband & SprintGPS

Ok, so technically I tried these whilst cycling this morning rather than on an actual run, but quick initial assessment…

This iPhone sports armband works pretty well – other than the fact that with the extended strap you need guns the size of a small redwood to have it fit snugly, it holds the iPhone secure, gives good access to the iPhone screen and  generally does the job. You can fiddle the strap so it fits comfortably on more modest guns. The lack of a fitted screenguard will make it less useful in the rain, but I’d rather have unimpeded access to mess around with the interface the rest of the time… Downside for me is that the iPhone needs to be out of its regular case to fit in it, but I guess any armband that didn’t require that would be pretty bulky.

SprintGPS is a competing app with Runkeeper (which I’ve mentioned before) which I decided to give a try because it a) supports cycling as well as running & walking and b) they followed me on Twitter and left a comment here, so was impressed by their social media prowess ;-). Like Runkeeper, it uses a GPS lock on your iPhone to track pace, location, etc., over a timed workout (giving you splits, average speeds, estimated calorie burn etc.) – unlike Runkeeper it also has music controls in the free version (vital until multi-tasking with iPhone OS4.0 kicks in, as I discovered when a phone call during my half-marathon training run on Sunday interrupted my playlist, never to be resumed) and a few other cute features. Social media sharing via Twitter and Facebook is pretty seamless (although not quite as pretty as Runkeeper, which gives you a thumbnail map in your share) and GPS lock was quick and effective. The online route map and analytics are pretty good too, although again this doesn’t feel quite as slick as Runkeeper’s.

Tempted to try this on my next long run… What does anybody else think?

Update: SprintGPS free only lets you save a couple of activities, rendering it pointless. I’m back with Runkeeper, and considering RunKeeper Pro (but will wait for iPhone OS 4.0 before I do that…) The armband, however, works brilliantly when running too.