Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My lucky day

I had to redo this beautiful route.

Went to see "walking with dinosaurs" last night and it was cold and raining. This morning I was lucky to have blue sky and sunshine. Let's get going

Ting Kau Bridge

Tsing Ma Bridge

running with ocean going vessel

the most beautiful coastline in Hong Kong

Tuen Mun, too much traffic had to stop here

the complete route

summary of run

how did I perform

Nike+ recorded 15:84k time 1:56:30 pace 7:21
Garmin moving 15.71k moving time 1:53:12 moving pace 7:12
A/MHR = 153/163

I'll do this route again with my new toy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Garmin tested

This Tuesday on 14th I had a trial run using my new toy I turned back at the same old point. The record was:

Garmin 4.06k
Nike+ 4.33k

The mapping provider is Bing which isn't very good as you can see below Bowen Road isn't there on their map. If you look for the same spot in Google map you can find the entire Bowen Trail from start to end.
Screen shot 2010-12-18 at 5.49.58 PM

Today I ran 10k which covered the entire Bowen Trail as you can see below it's disappointing to not seeing the route on the Bing map.
Screen shot 2010-12-18 at 5.28.54 PM

Record today was

Garmin 10k
Nike+ 9.47k

This time Garmin showed more! There are milestones along the route and I saw that Garmin was in fact about 300m short (for 8k), well 3.75% error isn't too bad. I have set to show GPS accuracy on the watch and noticed a worse case of about 15m with best accuracy of 5m.

Below is a graph showing run cadence and speed. I can't explain the spikes in speed and at a few locations those spikes coincided with drop in run cadence which is weird.
Screen shot 2010-12-18 at 5.25.37 PM

Both Nike+ and Adidas miCoach say that accuracy of their gadget is about 3% out of the box. I think that statement is pretty accurate. Accuracy isn't a main concern if you run 10k or longer. My initial conclusion after 2 runs is below

Garmin 410 Pros
Easy to use, no cord to connect up
Good build quality
Transfer and uploading of run data is easy
Can use it as everyday watch, just charge it at night before run in the moring

Garmin 410 Cons
Bing map isn't as good as Google's
No voice coaching/feedback
No battery meter display
If you listen to music while you run you'll miss the beeps (AutoLap … etc)

My ultimate dream gadget would be having a Garmin designed iPhone App such that the watch can communicate with iPhone via something like Difigit Connect. All the coaching/feedback can be made available via the Garmin's App that voice over the music that you are listening to while you run. You could also transfer back and forth data between watch and the Garmin Connect website without a computer.

Garmin 410

My first gadget for running was a simple HRM watch, it tells me heart rate only nothing else. Then I got my iPod Touch which supports the Nike+ running app to tell the distance I ran by counting number of times I hit the ground. Adidas miCoach was the next one I tried. After 8 months of using miCoach it's about time for it to retire. To be fair both NIke+ app and miCoach are great gadgets but GPS is missing from them.

I got my new toy last Saturday after I returned from my near half marathon run in Sai Kung. I then tested the GPS reception last Sunday with the free RunKeeper iPhone app.

Walked from home to bus stop using RunKeeper

Walked from bus stop back home

One of my concerns about GPS watches is reception. Reception can be affected by tall buildings trees and vicinity to hills etc. The nearest route I run is a trail along hill side so I hesitated investing on a GPS watch. After getting this new Garmin 410 I immediately tested the GPS reception.

The below screen shows how many satellites are locked and accuracy. Best reception along the way to the bus stop was an accuracy of 3m.

I ran for the first time with the watch today below is the activity log. The miCoach "foot pod" or the strike sensor is also ANT+ compatible I successfully paired that with Garmin.

You asked why the fuss of using GPS watch? Accuracy isn't the main issue if I ran 20k or more. It would be nice if I could map every scenic routes I have tried.

Goodbye for now Adidas miCoach I'll miss your voice feedback/coaching. May be Adidas will add GPS one day.
Screen shot 2010-12-11 at 2.48.01 PM



跑了差不多二年, 今天 "差不多" 跑了 "半" 馬。 我也 "差不多" 滿意了因為萬宜水庫這路不是容易的,因以往我跑大多是平路。閒話少說、開始吧







上面那條步速線可看到停了多次拍照,2:42 走了 "差不多" 20k 都還可以吧, 到最後步速奇慢!

Nike+ 19.18k time 2:41:07 pace 8:24
RunKeeper app 17.6k (time recorded was only 2:24?)
miCoach 18.53k A/MHR 156/170 score 70%


Saturday, December 4, 2010

A $89 run

Again this time the harbour was on my left.    The Tolo harbour however at that time of the morning was pretty boring.   I prefer Castle Peak road.

The good thing about this route is that highway traffic is a fair distance from the road, I doubted why noise barrier was not installed between the highway and the bicycle/jogging route because there must be more people using the route than that residing on the hillside along the highway.  Too bad on Saturday morning piling rigs next to Science Park were still banging the ground while we ran pass.    The sewage works is scentless, on crossing the Shing Mun River we have a choice of Ma On Shan on the left or Shatin town on the right.

At that time of the morning there were many people walking alone the way, we took a pedestrian bridge leading to Shatin Central Park.

We parked in Shatin early morning to save time we took a $89 taxi ride to Tai Po.   This is a pretty good verification of the run distance.   The taxi driver said it was his first time taking passengers to Tai Po I said there aren’t too many idiots who like to run one-way from Tai Po to Shatin.

Recorded distance:
Nike+ 11.25k
miCoach 13.92k
RunKeeper App 12:21k (lost 7 minutes)

Nike+ 11:25k time 101:53 pace 9:03 A/MHR 158/172 score 80%
Runkeeper 12:21k time 94:41 pace 7:75

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