Thursday, January 24, 2008

Running Encouragement. SportTracks.

In order to get fitter I started doing more cycling last year, I discovered the fun of the man made single track trail.
In November I decided to have another go at running, or more realistically jogging.

I did a year or so of running in 1998 and have done the odd 3 or for miler over the last ten years. I needed some encouragement to get out and do it, so a gadget was needed. The Garmin Forerunner 305.

I also needed a new plan of attack. I have only ever had one running pace, whether running 6 or 16 miles. I paid a visit to Runners World and used their excellent pace calculator.

Now I needed to mesh the two together, in steps SportTracks.

I love gadgets and I love analysing data. I blame the data thing on 13 years working in Certification, however a friend of the family thinks I'm mildly autistic.

I started on the running paces. The easy run was very easy, much slower than my normal pace. The tempo and VO2 max paces were faster. I'm going to show you how the Garmin and sportTracks handle the Yasso. This workout is 800m runs at Yasso pace with 200m recoveries.

First let me tell you that I am sticking to the metric system as much as possible here. The pace is in min/Km not minute miles. Heres the pace zones I use.

I ran a mile warm up and a mile cool down with 4 Yassos in between. You make up the workout and download it to the Forerunner, then you do the fun bit.

After the run upload the data to your PC and SportTracks.

This is the main page for the activity.

There are sections for different activities such as running: trial-road. Cycling trail-road etc. There an 'other' for other stuff !

The bottom left panel can be changed to view different data for the activity.

Here's the pace window, you can clearly see my workout and my attempt to hit the Yasso pace on four occasions.

Next we have a splits page. If your workout had clearly defined splits they will be shown or you can make tour own. The various splits 800m run / 200m rest are shown here.

Any bar or part of graph you select in the left pane is highlighted on the satellite image on the right. This is clearly demonstrated in the next panel. This shows the heart rate for the workout and I have selected the zone where my heart rate was at it's highest. This is in the Yasso but interestingly there are a few 'spikes' near the end of the run, unavoidable hills !

If you need motivation, something to monitor your pace and heart rate and hours of endless data analysis then come join the mildly autistic runners club.
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