Archive for the ‘Running Tech’ Category

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Forerunner 610 vs 410

May 16, 2011

Just replaced my forerunner 410 with the forerunner 610. Why would you probably ask? The main reason is one feature I miss in my 410 … vibration. I love to run solo with music. But I also program a lot of training into my watches, beeps are not always very loud.

But I must admit there are a few more improvements. Here is my comparison.

610 vs 410

better form factor
Feels more like a watch on your wrist. Sounds a bit weird but the 610 is much slimmer then the 410 thanks to its metal back casing. This allows the 610 to sit on your wrist like a real watch, hard to explain but anyone would feel the difference right away. The 610 is very capable as a day-to-day watch!

4 datafields
410 only had 3 a screen. Great! More info per screen means less switching between pages.

Touchscreen, it works great!
This is the way to eliminate buttons!! Screen response is very fast and consistent. Tested with water and trough clothing it just works. Allows very fast browsing trough pages and settings. Don’t expect this kind of menu action from button pressing.

Custom workouts
Thanks to the touch screen you can now program custom workouts on the watch!! Normally you would need to make these on your computer and then send them to the watch. Now with the 610 you can create custom workouts and edit existing ones. Very handy if you made a workout programming mistake or just not able to visit your computer.

Vibration
Never understood why a running watch doesn’t have this feature! You easily miss a beep and when you run solo you probably take some music with you.

1 second recording
Forces the watch to take a sample of all data (hr, gps, time, speed) every second! Makes an even more accurate gps track.

Virtual racer
This is the kind of virtual competition you always wanted! Previous virtual partner (also still exists on the 610) allowed your to race against the computer with a fixed pace. Now virtual racer allows you to create an opponent based on any course! So you can race against your previous runs pacing. The coolest thing is that it’s not bound the course. You can choose to re run the same course or run another course.

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Today’s fartlek and workout programming

April 22, 2011

Just returned from a fartlek exercise. Not a very easy workout. The goal is to improve speed and fitness at higher pace.

FARTLEK 6,44 km PZ3 with 6 x 30 sec. PZ10

The speed intervals are ment to be ran at pace zone 10 … which is basically you max speed. This is done a few times for 30 seconds at any given time during the workouts distance. Fartlek is a swedish name and means “speed play”, Wikipedia has a very nice detailed page on fartlek and it’s history.

While such a workout is impossible to pre program completely on a Garmin device I found a very well working solution. It is very important that you enjoy your run and focus on the workout itself rather that struggling with you device during your workout. Since the advanced workout programming on Garmin devices can be a challenge I’m keep on adding detailed instructions, tips and tutorials to my blog the next couple of days. Hopefully this will inspire you to use benefit from your speed and distance device.

I also made a list of al the tools I currently use. If interested you can check it out here.

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First training plan & Why I use the PZI

April 19, 2011

There is a first for everything. For a while I thought about planning my training sessions, but this was impossible because I didn’t know how. Even now I’m not completely sure but at least I found a way of planning while maintaining full control over my training. Thanks to the book “the runner’s edge” I learned a lot on training with numbers. More important I learned how to use the numbers I was already seeing during my “just go run” training past months. While I was already training by “intensity zones” but wasn’t until I read about the pace zone index to realized things could be even better.

Hearth rate Zones

I’m going to assume you already know about training with hearth rate zones. If you don’t know how this system works check out the site of Polar – why train with a hearth rate monitor. The hearth rate is used to tell us the “current intensity” of our training. While this system proves to be a pretty good indicator there are a few reasons not to base your training on hearth rate zones.

Hearth rate can be raised or lowered by “stress” alone. Stress can be fear, excitement, worries and many other mental or physical (such as illness or pain) factors. This makes hearth rate “not a constant factor”. You would not be able to measure properly if your ruler kept changing the length of a meter.

Hearth rate is also very difficult to calculate. You have to determine your maximum hearth rate which you will need to set your personal hearth rate zones. This can be a major problem. There a many formula’s to calculate your maximum hearth rate. Some of these come pretty close, but not a single one will give you an exact match. Only way to determine your maximum hearth rate is by undergoing a test. Then you will have to do such a test regularly, these tests aren’t very cheap.

So current hearth rate zone is influenced by “stress” AND “wrong maxHR”.

PZI – Pace Zone Index

Now here is where the pace zone index comes around. Instead of hearth rate zones you base your training on “tempo”. At a few given points during your training you do a test and based on this result you can set tempo values for different pace zones. The pace zone index system is an invention of Matt Fitzgerald and used by trainingpeaks.com. A full detailed summary on the Pace Zone Index system can be found right here. A detailed explanation of each Pace Zone can be found right here.

Wil this make hearth rate and there zones absolute? No! This still remains a very good indication of your fitness and the intensity of your run. Even better if you are interesting in knowing “how intense” your past or next workout is going to be it’s best done on hearth rate data. You can compare hr data against other training sessions to see if you your hr got lower or higher … if you got fitter and better.

Summary

I hope I explained a bit why you should base your training around “tempo” rather than “HR”.

In upcoming posts and pages I will explain more about the tools I’m using to train, analyze and plan my workouts. How you can benefit from such tools and how they can tell you what your training status is. How these tools can tell you if your working too much or maybe not hard enough!

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Race results

April 17, 2011

I did it! I set my goal at sub 55min and hoped for 52/53min. I’m very happy with the result of 48:19!! Race was lots of fun and support showed up along side the road. Tried not to focus too much on running and also enjoy the surroundings for a bit. Run itself was trough the city and we passed a few sightseeing locations. Support along the road was amazing. People everywhere! Cheering and shouting. On my race number they printed my first name. Brilliant idea because unknown people where cheering for me.

Extremely happy with my 10k time. This sets my Pace Zone Index score at 36. Wich is 2 points better than it was. In the upcoming week I explain a bit about the pace zone index system and how it works.

Wrote a bit about running tech tools. Mainly about the two platform options you have, a smartphone or a dedicated device. They both have their pro’s and con’s. It doesn’t matter what you use as long as your able to know its limitations. Check it out here. Section is far from finished but at least you get where it’s heading. Decided to write and go as it comes.

Time to put my legs up!