Thursday, January 06, 2011

Running 2011

I've been running more regularly since about mid-year last year, and am hoping to step it up in the new year. In the hope of reaching my goals, I'm trying two different tech toys to help me track my workouts:

RunKeeper Pro: running on my phone it tracks my route via GPS. It provides a lot of speed / elevation / distance statistics, which are interesting to see. Also, while I'm running the program announces my progress - time / pace / distance, which is great as it provides a way to gauge whether I'm slowing or speeding up (I should add I have ear buds in for music already, so this isn't a lot of extra effort).

Garmin FR60: A birthday present that I've only recently started getting comfortable with, the FR60 combines a heart rate monitor and a cadence tracker. The heart rate monitor should help me with pacing by ensuring that I'm in the best performance zone. Unfortunately, out of the runs I've taken it on, it's only worked all the way through the run once - as such I'm therefore not sure how good it will be. The cadence tracker is interesting as it shows whether my stride is shortening as I run; this would indicate more effort to achieve the same distance.

Unfortunately, it's not currently possible to combine the two sets of data. But switching between them gives a pretty good indication of my overall performance on the run. From yesterday's run, I can see that my pace and cadence were fairly constant, with my HR increasing throughout. At the end of the run I wanted to see how quickly my HR would come down, and then go back up - hence the dip.

I'm looking forward to increasing the data amount over time. Hopefully, I'll be able to see progress in the course of the months to come, and use this as a form of motivation.

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