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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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Adidas and Nike are friends

Ever since I started running I have been using Nike running shoes.   I needed the Nike+ gears to track my workouts.   I have enough of them (500 miles+) so I got new pair of Adidas shoes.

I did worry about fitting of the Nike+ stride sensor onto non Nike+ shoes.   Now I found in fact Adidas and Nike are friends and their gears are compatible.

Nike+ no doubt has first lander advantage in this respect it's sensible for Adidas to design their gears to be compatible such that customers don't have to make tough buying decision.   Their stride sensors are in fact of similar dimensions.

It's easy to fit the Nike+ sensor into the Adidas miCoach stride sensor shoes lace bracket.   Alternatively you could put the Nike+ stride sensor into the cavity under the Adidas shoe sole.   Piece of cake!

I just ran with Adidas shoes and Nike+ gear this morning.

Nike+ 4.33 pace 7:23 time 32:01 A/MHR 149/156 score 80%



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Friday, November 19, 2010

Beautiful route

This is a beautiful route along the west coast of Kowloon.   Today I ran with ocean going vessels, ferry to Macao, speed boats of custom and a few men swimming.   This is quite different from what I'm used to in Bowen trail since there isn't much tree big enough to protect me from the sun.  Fair amount of ups and downs are also new experience.    My friend said traffic is much less on Sunday morning.

I used miCoach together with the NIke+ GPS iPhone app, too bad signal is again too weak therefore no mapping could be done.    I used google map to indicate the route I did below.    Distance recorded by miCoach could be very wrong since strike distance has to be adjusted when running uphill.

I can see clear sky above me without much tall buildings nearby so it's disappointing to see the Nike+ app failing.    I'll try RunKeeper app next time.   Surely I'll do this route again on an early Sunday.

Nike+ 13.64k time 107:33 pace 7:53 A/MHR 159/167 score 90%

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good green run with a few spikes

Again a relaxed morning run, 90% score is my best so far and average HR of 148 must be a new low.   However there are two HR spikes in the middle which I don't understand.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

500 miles

I have done 500 miles with my Nike+ iPhone app, a significant milestone!


Screen shot 2010-11-14 at 4.54.46 PM

Yesterday I planned to run for 90 minutes at about 2k I met a friend who recently moved to live nearby.    I seldom run in the afternoon.  I hate running in the afternoon but it was an enjoyable experience running with him.   On Saturday afternoon there were still construction vehicles, a few, along the trail and it's very annoying.    I had to stop and smell their exhaust.

Talking while running at the fist 5k was also my first experience.    The heart rate below looks a bit scary but I think it was all due to the dry weather.   Although I wet the contacts of my chest belt the dry wind blew through my shirt probably removed my sweat faster than I could generate.    At the end my skin also started to complain as my fat legs rubbed themselves 13,770 times.

I'll attempt half marathon soon.

Nike+ 11.8k time 85:25 pace 7:14 A/MHR 163/190 score 70%

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Back to green

Have not done a slow green zone run for nearly 3 weeks, just did one this morning.   The temperature is so nice in the morning I should be doing more of this during weekdays.

Nike+ 4.39 time 31:47 pace 7:14 A/MHR 150/158 score 70%


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Monday, November 8, 2010

Taxi fare saved

When I was only capable of running 6-8k I would normally have a relax walk to the Central end of Bowen trail and take a taxi home from there.   Now I can comfortably run 10k every Sunday so I just run the Bowen trail twice, which is 8k, then a bit on the Tai Hang Road to make up 10~11k.    The trouble with running on the road with traffic is that I can't really enjoy the music while running.

It will be pretty boring when I do more than 15k, i.e. 3~4 repeats of Bowen trail.     I'm looking for a scenic trail/route to run which isn't too noisy, it's hard to find one here.

Nike+ 11.41k time 78:26 pace 6:52 A/MHR 157/167 score 70%


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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Harder this time

I ran a bit harder this morning.   Weather is pretty dry these days and HR spiked very high at early minutes, my heart just won't warm up so fast.    There are also lots of other miCoach users reported HR spikes which may be due to flat battery or faulty unit.     The stride rate also looks weird at the last 5 minutes.

Too bad average pace is still a bit away from my target of 6 minutes per km.

Nike+ 4.85 time 30:02 pace 6:11 A/MHR 162/173 score 50%


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Saturday, October 30, 2010

6 days of rest

I had 2 doctor visits and medication these are good excuses for not running for 6 days.   I didn't expect to run very hard today.    There were a few spikes on heart rate these are possibly due to dry weather.    I can run a bit harder when I'm fully recovered.     By the way in October I made a new record of 76k total distance.

Nike+ 10.02 time 66:34 pace 6:38 A/MHR 155/166 score 60%


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一句太平了我們的堆埋區就滿得很快,好在原本的盒還在,一看原來這平錶用了六年,裏面找到 spare pin,不用五秒搞定了。

抽屜裏只得一只可用的錶,我這類人簡直阻礙經濟發展。其實有另外一隻"人行它才行"的, 歷史更久遠,不想費力使它復活。

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tested Nike+ GPS app for iPhone

Walked slowly first along Tai Hang Road to Bowen road, GPS signal was low so app must be on the foreground, i.e. iPhone can't be in sleep mode. The distance was way out (1.62 vs 1.8) and no mapping due to low signal.

I then ran slowly 6k along Bowen Road, still too fast for the satellite, lots of trees and along hill side maybe the problem. Distance recorded was again way out (too much this time 7.61 vs 6). miCoach distance was dead on with only 0.6% error.

This $1.99 app may be OK elsewhere I'll go back to Nike+ and miCoach.

Ran between milestones of 6k A/MHR 151/157 score 80%

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Friday, October 22, 2010


政府公佈了應對氣候變化的政策。幾天前去了這個氣候會議的開幕及聽了兩個 keynote speeches 一個是國內教授談的氣候變化作為一門科學的看法,另一個從英國來的教授談的是世界能源供應及需求問題。聽後聯想到不是什麼商機,只是想到富裕國家因太發達,太奢華,要減廢,節能,投放金錢去救地球,心想為了誰教這地球?

從英國教授的數字看我們正使用 13.3TW (Tera = 12 zeros after 1) 從地理或國家的分類看便知世界的不公,大比例的人類連甚本生存權也沒有,為什麼一小部份的人說他們正在為人類救地球?


如果你用 "anti climate change" 去找你會有一千九百萬個結果,甚至有些說 climate change is a hoax or Myths 又或者有些真正的地球物理學家說氣候變化的周期可能有1,500 年那麼長,我們有生之年為些微氣温上升而費九牛二虎之力去救一部份有錢人,值得嗎?


我的愚見是人類不可能自救,只因地球有國家,國界,宗教, 種族….。地球眞正有難時人類不自相殘殺才怪。費力研究氣候變化救地球不如努力滅貧給那些有需要的人類有機會享受空調,汔車,資訊,清潔的食水,書本。



Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one …..

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Need 3.5k to warm up

I just need around 3~4k to warm up, I certainly won't run any 5k race.

Air has been pretty strong and cool during the night but when I was out running the temperature was higher than I have expected.    I don't think I can run during coming weekend as the city is expecting a strong typhoon Megi.

Nike+ 5.01 time 34:18 pace 6:50 A/MHR 151/162 score 20%


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Saturday, October 16, 2010

15k wasn't that difficult

The original plan was to run beyond 10k so I set a favorite run in yellow zone for 90 minutes.    I expected somehow near the end I would be in yellow zone although I intended to run slow with stride rate around 165 for this first attempt of running beyond 10k.

I am so happy to see the low score of 10% meaning that I ran most of time in the easy green zone.    In fact my heart rate near the end was lower than I ever have expected.   I felt differently comparing to a 10k experience such as

  • a bit hungry at the end, a banana prior to the run obviously wasn't enough
  • flexibility of my muscles, joints, feet appear to have gone near the end
  • I need a new pair of shoes
  • if this is a race I can continue for another 30 minutes or so

Half marathon I'm coming.


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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Light shower this morning

The weather was still stuffy and there was a light shower when I ran this morning.    I hope it'll be cooler and dryer coming Sunday.   I have added a favourite run of 90 minutes to my miCoach Pacer and I hope to run beyond 10k.

Nike+ 5k time 36:38 pace 7:19 A/MHR 150/157 score 80%

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Monday, October 11, 2010

miCoach fixed an easy 5k to test

The Adidas support did a great job, I was told to follow this instruction to downgrade the firmware and restore my miCoach Pacer to factory setting.    Too bad there are too many steps there and my Pacer didn't behave exactly as described.    Support gave me another text file which can be launched as commands in Terminal to reformat the pacer which is no different from an ordinary external storage device.   It worked.

When thanking them I suggested:

I wonder if the software logs user actions (such as what buttons are pressed, switch location etc).   The good thing about having the miCoach Manager to do the reformatting (instead of that in the forum Q&A, involving too many steps, easy to make mistake and misunderstanding) is that the desktop app can retrieve error logs, perform diagnostic, send them to miCoach support, before reformatting is done.

 Nike+ 5.02 time 35:56 pace 7:09 A/MHR 152/163 score 60%


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Friday, October 8, 2010


小兒是那種沒有什麼鬥心的人,不愛比賽,不愛出風頭。他最近作文說他喜歡數學因我給他課程以外的練習做,一般來說他要玩我 iPhone 上的遊戲便要先算我給他的數學題。


前幾天給他講了三角形面積怎樣算,我說其實他如果知長方形面積怎樣算就應該想到怎樣算三角形,我不用教(當然他棄權,玩 Angry Bird 去了)。我想學校老師因時間關係一定只會叫學生記了"底乘高除二" 便算。

我後來再想數千年前的人是怎樣解決問題的? 下一個我希望小兒想的便是圓形面積,想了一晚如果我會算三角形面積我應會想出怎樣算圓形,也應不用教!再者我未見過有書本記載發現算這些面積的人,所以能想得出也應不是了不起!

我已經忘了我小學時老師怎樣教,多半是填鴨式 "記了這個,不要問,做練習",長大後才發現以下的書,才知解決問題的樂趣給教育制度殺掉了。

你要試一試嗎? 答對了可叫你的孩子試試。


  • 小三
  • 會算三角形面積
  • 未聽過什麼 pi 或圓周率
  • 見過切了的 pizza

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New features added but with new bug

Ran 5 k this morning found new features in miCoach.    I used my favorite 30 minutes green zone run and in the middle of it I heard "15 minutes left" this has been a feature requested by many users.    Nike+ gives you the same, either for time or distance, depending on what you have selected to run for.    Then I heard "yellow zone in 15 seconds" meaning that I was outside my target green zone for 15 seconds, nice warning, however this caused a bug which disabled the center button which I press from time to time to know what I am doing (stride rate, heart rate ... etc).

At the end even the "workout saved, goodbye" has gone missing.

Nike+ 5k, time 33:48 pace 6:45 A/MHR 152/164 score 50%


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Sunday, October 3, 2010




我老友最近想找些 “世藝” 及想和他的女兒們多點話題,問我學什麼樂器好,他的大女兒學小提琴,小的學鋼琴。不用猜我要答的是那樂器比較易,這裡說過了,我只強調不要自學因我是失敗例子,我說一定要跟老師,學習沒有捷徑。活了半世紀才知自己的音樂天才這個可能性實在太低。

老友的其他煩惱是為何他的女兒好像什麼基本的都不懂,不會教他呢? 其實這是溝通問題,不是他女兒不懂只是逃避教他而已。這是做父親有的 authority 及和子女的 power distance,這等於我老闆來叫我教他管理的 ABC ,我只能說 “不要玩我吧,我懂什麼!"

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

I need a plan

I just did 5k today in yellow zone.    My target stride rate was 170 right from the start but I found that I really need at least 1.5k to warm up, I didn't feel comfortable at that pace right at the start.    I therefore need a scheme for my 10k, such as this

1st km: 7 minutes
2nd k: 6:30 minutes
3-5 k: 18 minutes
6-8 k: 16:30 minutes
9-10k: 12 minutes

Nike+ 5k time 33:26 pace 6:40 A/MHR = 156/165 score 70%


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Friday, October 1, 2010

Still too slow

My stride rate is pretty much under control near 168~170 but obviously this isn't good enough.    I'll have to run a bit faster at the first 5k (took me 36 minutes this time) next time.    This approach should be better than catching up near the end.

Nike+ 10k time 69:57 pace 6:59 A/MHR = 158/168 score 80%


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Low score but good run

The score was low at 30% due to a happy reason.    I was expecting to run in yellow zone for most of the time but it turned out that I was running mostly in green and kept on getting reminder to speed up.    My target stride rate was 165 and I have been slowing down until last 15 minutes.    Obviously my heart approves me to do stride rate up to 170 if my muscles and joints don't complaint I should be able to do close to 60 minutes for 10k at next run.

This month I have done 62k which is a record when the weather is cooler I will be doing more.

Nike+ 10.01k time 72:08 pace 7:12 A/MHR = 152/162 score 30%


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