ANT+ is the standard wireless transmission protocol for fitness equipment these days, for collection and transfer of sensor data, be that from a heart rate monitor, PowerTap or cadence sensor.
If you’re planning a set-up for your bike that’ll give you all the info you need for the perfect training session, or perhaps you’re hoping for a box with a nice shiny Garmin in your stocking this year, there’s now a site with a full directory of ANT+ compatible devices.
The directory is perfectly easy to use: just enter the first piece of equipment you’re planning to use, and read a short description of it. From there you can see all the compatible products, and cross check to make sure other monitoring equipment will be suitable too.
I made a not then that the frustrating part was the inability to use it in the gym very well (there is a section where you need to set it to track by distance and not by time otherwise you get no summary) but now with version 2.90 of the software they have addressed some of the problems.
First, they’ve added a new mode – INDOOR – which turns off the GPS and allows you to record activities while inside. There are new data pages for this mode – I have data pages set up already for running cycling and kitesurfing and at first I was a bit peeved that i had to enter everything again. But then if I am indoors I do not need to know the grade of hill I am on or the elevation gained so the setup is a bit cleaner with less data.
The other change for indoor mode that counts is that they are now supporting the ANT+ footpod. Mine of course is on loan along with my FR60 to a friend so not much use for me here in Istanbul and my treadmill runs but i will reclaim it and use it when I go home. It will also be good outdoors and will add a step count and cadence profile to my runs.
Apparently whilst the speed distance cadence ant+ sensor is supported – it only works with cadence. So turbo training sessions are a bit of a pain – for me this is less of an issue as I have an Edge 305 but for a 1 item / multisport solution it is lacking. Saying that – the fact there have been 3 quick software updates means they are listening and changing so expect that to be added soon.
Just a quick link – I will moan about my frustrations using the Fenix in the gym at another time but here is a quick track from a walk into the office this morning. It goes from a hotel – through narrow streets with 5 storey buildings and it was still able to track. Started the gps as i left the hotle and didnt stop walking – took about 1 min to get a fix and then tracked amazingly well. I dont think woods or trees or canyons are going to throw the track off too much.
the watch is also very comfortable to wear the straps are pretty fab – but it is chunky but doesnt feel much bigger than larger Gshocks, breitlings or Suunto’s …..
For recreational runners and cyclists who want integrated GPS with smart guidance. This looks like a better made version of the Garmin 610 …. As some readers might know I have the Polar RCX5 with a separate G5 gps pod. I love the extra features of the RCX5 but think that for most athletes and the less tetchy and geeky this RC3 with integrated GPS makes more sense.
One thing polar need to look at in the future – well two things to really help Polar appeal to all the mass market is firstly to go ANT+ using the most common and useful protocol for sensors and the other is to enable polar personal trainer to export .tcx files so that users can upload into social exercise sites like Strava, Endomondo and MapMyRun to name a few. Or failing this to allow those websites to access the protocol for the polar communicator / uploaded.
Training Benefit gives you instant feedback after your session
Tracks your route, speed and distance using built-in GPS
Running Index scores your performance
Slim and lightweight design with rechargeable battery
Allows you to share your training with your friends
The RCX5 with GPS. The truth is I love Polar HRM and like their analysing software. The things I used to hate was their lack of ANT+ and the fact that using a MAC used to be a no go.
They have changed slowly and although the RCX5 is not as good as the RS800 – it has a look I prefer. I was umping and aching over the new Garmin 910xt and the 610 but I find them ugly (although this is a completely subjective fashionista statement)… I guess I am a square (fan).
It’s one thing to look at your own personal-fitness data and identify trends and tendencies. But what about crunching the numbers of 1,000 New Yorkers over a nearly four-month period? That’s the kind of project that requires some serious know-how.
Graphic designer Nicholas Felton enlisted 14 of his students at Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts to analyze the metadata aggregated by 1,000 Nike+ runs conducted from Sept. 7 to Dec. 21 of last year. The result is an incredibly detailed representation of New Yorkers’ running habits, where the most popular routes are, what time of day Nike+ runners are more likely to be outside, and more.
The above graphic (done by Cooper Smith) shows where the most popular running paths are in Central Park. The red lines indicate the highest trafficked areas, and as Smith notes on his blog, the lighter green and blue entrails extending from the east side of the park show that more people tend to enter the park from the Upper East Side. The same lines don’t show up nearly as often along the Upper West Side entrance points.
Felton’s team did more than just static graphical overlays. The video below (also done by Smith) puts the Nike+ into motion, illustrating where people are running during what time of day. (The actual date of the run is irrelevant in this analysis.)
Teammate Erin Moore opted for a more traditional day-by-day analysis of New Yorkers’ running habits.