Monday, March 29, 2010

back to regular running

Managed over half a dozen runs over the past two weeks. Its been quite a task juggling cycling and running. I definitely like and enjoy running more, but cycling is so much convenient for getting to work (plus the fact that I can sleep that extra 30mins if I am cycling), makes it really hard to run to work on weekdays. Weekends are a different story as I don't have any deadline and can wake up comfortably (plus lounge & laze around) and still manage a comfortable run.

Micoach provided the required extra excitement and motivation. For starters I was able to get my discipline back, trust me it’s really hard to bring forward your morning wakeup time by an hour. It affect the entire day both ways, your morning work productivity and night sleep time and hours of sleep.

Being a gadget freak, I can be quite activity engaged with a gadget for more than a few days and Micoach has lived up to expectations. For starters it provides more inputs and features than its direct competitor Nike+ and provides accuracy in terms of distance which comes close to a Garmin and Iphone Runkeeper app. I hope Nike wakes up and launches the advanced version of Nike+ which currently only has a stride sensor integrated to an Iphone/Itouch app.

I have never really understood the way the Polar or Micoach calculates the exact distance (my assumption - the stride sensor provides the number of strides, they have my height as a parameter which assumes the length of my legs & length of strides from some research report) and calculates the distance travelled), this sort of approximation is more than enough for a distance runner, though a GPS based calculation will obviously be more accurate.

I have synced all my runs to the online module of Micoach on www.adidas.com/mycoach and analysed my performance on various parameter. The obvious irritant is the short break I have to take due to stray dogs and signals (as I run on a highway with intersections), this not only disturbs my rhythm but also messes up my average on most parameter (avg speed, heart rate, stride per minute, etc)

I have also found the heart rate monitor reading quite insightful, though I am not sure what I should do to correct or improve it. I manage to hit the red zone quite often, its when the heart rates goes beyond 168 in my case (find it hard to believe that I manage to hit 180 quite comfortably!), I need to monitor my heartrate over a longer run preferably something around 20km. I have a feeling on longer run I will tend to be on the yellow zone.

The graph on the link below will explain what I am trying to say, wrt the Red zone issue.

Micoach stride sensor, strapped to my shoe laces

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