Recovery 



I do t actually feel that bad ….. Still going to do another park run in the morning.

Garmin info on recovery:

Recovery check

The recovery check provides a real-time indication of your state of recovery within the first several minutes of an activity.


Recovery time

The recovery time appears immediately following an activity. The time counts down until it is optimal for you to attempt another hard workout.

Strava sinks (and stinks) for swimmers


Screenshot 2016-04-25 10.49.41.png

There is a severe lack of Swim detail in Strava imported swim activities. Essential metrics for loyal Strava customers such as lap splits, heart rate, PRs, CRs, etc, etc are all missing. The current swim visuals are very poor indeed. I’m more of a cyclist and runner, but if I feel this aspect of Strava lets me down, I can only sympathise with true swimmers and triathletes.

Swapping to Premier paid membership didn’t make any difference in this aspect. Thus, one of the reasons I cancelled my Premier status as have many others. Strava is a great app, but outside cycling and perhaps running, it doesn’t cater for much else.

Many have invested in expensive fitness devices that allow measurement of these metrics. Without the ability of Strava to take advantage of these, customers will consider using the device bespoke applications instead.

Customers have been asking for this for years and Strava just doesn’t seem to care.

Even endomondo also a running cycling site is much better mapping PR’s etc

Screenshot 2016-04-25 10.53.20.png

Garmin itself does much more (it even shows the gap where I paused instead of pressed lap) but it has never really taken off as a social platform ….. will update this if i see something better.

Screenshot 2016-04-25 11.00.11.png

Garmin 920XT and running Dynamics


Got new life insurance and the company i am with offers 50% off on garmin products and as I am such a gadget head i decided to buy the 920XT which is also useful for swimming besides my normal running and cycling.

Screenshot 2016-04-17 15.52.59

The watch itself maps other data that i was not familiar with so popped out this morning on a run just over 10km to explore what the running dynamics mean.

Screenshot 2016-04-17 15.39.25

Running dynamics give a summary

Screenshot 2016-04-17 15.46.35

Cadence i know is stride rate – quicker chi type running has always been my thing – i am not a long heavy impact strider … In general, more experienced runners tend to have higher cadence. An often-cited target for running cadence is 180 steps/min. So i am bang on target for this run.

 

First off is Vertical Oscillation

I was feeling stiff at first but loosened up after a km of running – this is where the data goes into blue – there are green spikes in sync with the downhill sections after that …

The colors show how your ground contact time compares to other runners. The color zones are based on percentiles.

Color Zone Percentile in Zone Ground Contact Time Range
Purple > 95 < 218 ms
Blue 70 – 95 218-248 ms
Green 30 – 69 249 – 277 ms
Orange 5 – 29 278 – 308 ms
Red < 5 > 308 ms

Garmin has researched many runners of all different levels. In general, more experienced runners tend to have shorter ground contact times. Elite runners often have ground contact times of less than 200 ms. Virtually all experienced runners studied have ground contact times of less than 300 ms. Higher cadence and faster paces are both associated with shorter ground contact times. Many running coaches believe that a short ground contact time is characteristic of a more economical running form. However, at a set cadence, decrease of ground contact time usually increases vertical oscillation.

Weekend roundup


Well it was still windy – Saturday Storm Desmond Hit

‘their actions are unforgiveable’

And it was too strong for kiting … but Sunday the forecast looked much better. Packed the car picked up my pal and drove down to the coast.

2015-12-06 11.38.47

It looked peachy but cold at 7degrees C. Gimped up in the wetsuit gloves boots and hood and hit the water with my 8m kite. Epic day with the squalls coming through and the strong gusts hitting (sometimes mid jump) meant everything was a bit unpredictable. Think I did some of my highest jumps ever – at one stage going so high that I rapidly ran out of water to land on – traveling a good 70foot before landing in about 1ft of water far too close to the beach … scary stuff and the stories that broken bones come from so a lucky escape. As i was coming down the mantra of stay smooth …. stay smooth was playing in my head.

Screenshot 2015-12-06 18.26.16

What a good day.

Interesting when uploading the gps track to Strava – the Fenix has a barometric altitude sensor but if you look closely at the grey track you can see hard downspikes in the last 1/3rd – those are all wipeouts where i smacked the water and the sensor took a hit.

Screenshot 2015-12-07 10.17.06

Getting ready for bikepacking


i have been planning a route for a while – off road with a night in a bothy shelter up in the Cairngorms …. so was all prepared to pack and then take OS maps. But I recently bought an eTrex 30 from Garmin and a SD card with the OS maps of the UK on it. The idea is that this is my primary nav aid (although will have compass, OS map and another gps with me)

planning a trip and putting in waypoints, bothies and other bits ...
planning a trip and putting in waypoints, bothies and other bits …

So starting using Basecamp as well – this has improved a ton since I last looked at it years ago – it helps having the etrex connected or the SD card plugged into the computer because then you can use the OS maps. If only basecamp let you use google or bing or satellite pictures as sometime you can see a trail that is not marked …..

Will report back on the eTrex once i have used in anger – all I can say so far is that the bike mount is not the most sturdy …

reblog* After a Bike Packing GPS the Garmin eTrex 30


I need a gps which has batteries so no need to try have charging ability but that also can take maps ….

this review from here .

After well known eTrex Vista HCx Garmin has produced the new generation of GPS units including eTrex 30. Most of them have used touch screen technology. New eTrex xx and 62 series are the exceptions. In muddy and dusty conditions a touch screen isn’t my choice. Below is the first look – review of eTrex 30.

mtb

The new eTrex 30 unit like Vista HCx is equipped with the key control buttons and thumb stick. On eTrex 30 the thumb stick is placed on the right side. The main advantages of eTrex 30 are included functions for basic fitness parameters and custom maps & BirdsEye images (kmz & jnx raster maps). eTrex 30 is GLONASS ready and can operate in GPS + GLONASS mode. The provided user manual doesn’t mention many important functions and details like handling of jnx&kmz maps, tracklog limitations, fitness parameters recording etc and in this review I would like to present most of them. The official Garmin data & specification are available here.

 

1. What is in the box?

in_the_box

eTrex 30 GPS unit, USB cable, Quick start manual.

 

2. eTrex 30 body is made by well and precise designed plastic material.

housing_1

3 keys (zoom in/out & menu) are placed on the left side and 2 keys (back and power on/light) on the right side. Thumb stick is placed on the front. It is a miniature joystick helping us to navigate and select the menue items. Furthermore, thumb stick can select and mark any point on the map much more precisely than the finger on the units supplied with the touch screen. On the old Vista HCx the joystick is placed on the left side. I am right handed and I prefer to handle with GPS unit by my left hand. In this case my right hand is free for the moving and doing some other important tasks.

At the back side of eTrex 30 body there are battery and mini USB connector covers. The battery cover is fixed by locking ring and by plastic slot at the opposite side.

housing_2

In comparison with the old eTrex, the additional plastic slot and the shape of the cover improve the rigidity of the cover during vibrations special in the case of MTB rides. The next good news is that Garmin no longer uses the laminated rubber on the sidewalls of the unit. The pulled back laminated rubber made a lot of troubles on old eTrex series.

New eTrex 30 uses the same bike holder as Oregon/Dakota series.

bike_holder

This holder is very simple and sturdy. Can be easy fixed on any position on the handlebar. This is the next improvement over old eTrex series.

Based on my experience with the old units I mounted the additional tubing to protect my eTrex 30. A piece of tubing preventsslipping on smooth surfaces and protects against impacts (see more details in comments section).

tubing_protection

Mini USB port is covered by rubber keeping IPX7 waterproof standard of the complete housing.

usb_connector

It is important to know that eTrex 30 uses basic USB 1.1 standard only. High speed USB 2.0 is missing. It’s a pain to upload big files of the maps on the unit. USB 1.1 slows down the process when you experiment with some custom designed maps. For example to upload the map of 200MB it takes about 2-3 minutes. The option is to remove the micro SD card but in this case you have to remove the batteries too.

Micro SD card slot is placed below 2 standard  AA batteries.

back

NiMh, Alkaline or Lithium types batteries can be loaded. Each type should be confirmed in Setup – System menu.

 

3. As far as I know eTrex 30 is the first Garmin unit GLONASS ready.

gps_glonass

eTrex 30 can work in 2 modes: GPS and GPS + GLONASS. However, GLONASS ready unit helps to Garmin to sell new eTrex 30 in Russia without additional taxes.

 

4. In addition to vector maps eTrex 30 can display 2 types of raster maps: jnx maps and kmz custom maps. More details about these types of raster maps are available here

jnx_kmz_setup

Depending of the map scale factor and active zoom each uploaded map can be displayed or not. The scrolling & zooming speed of vector maps on eTrex 30 and eTrex Vista HCx is almost the same. The scrolling & zooming speed of raster maps (jnx & kmz) on eTrex 30 is much slower than on Oregon 550. Despite low resolution of the screen the processing power of eTrex 30 is not enough for fast redraw. In this respect Oregon 550 is much faster and using the same vector map I didn’t see any improvement over Vista HCx.

5. eTrex 30 can display heart rate and cadence.

map_screen

Like on Vista HCx on the map screen maximum 4 data fields can be set. During active tracklog both heart rate and cadence are recorded in gpx file. On 19-Apr-2012 I tested Garmin Connect and eTrex 30. Garmin Connect can detect eTrex 30. The data from the stored gpx track file can be exported to Garmin Connect via manual upload only. After that Garmin Connect can display the route on the map, speed, elevation, heart rate & cadence.

 

cadence_hr_belt_1

The optional cadence/speed sensor and heart rate belt are on the above image. The heart rate belt senzor is the old one, coming from my Oregon 550. I guess this type of heart rate senzor is not available any more. Both senzors are supplied with standard CR2032 battery. The battery can be easy replaced. My cadence/speed sensor setup uses cadence function only. Speed option is not supported by eTrex 30. On eTrex 30 speed value is recorded/calculated from GPS tracklog. I fixed the magnet & cadence sensor with tape too. This is the backup in the case when plastic strip brakes. The pairing of eTrex 30 and sensors is simple and fast. The cadence sensor can be easy mounted on different type of bikes. It’s very sensitive and minimum distance of magnet isn’t an issue.

 

profile_mtb_1

eTrex 30 supports different profiles for different activities. In each profile you can define different screens with different type of fields. The setup items are stored in each profile too. Above are typical map and trip screen configured for MTB activity. The profile is stored under MTB name.

 

6. eTrex 30 is equipped with sun readable screen. Below are the images of Oregon 550 (new version with better readability of the screen), eTrex Vista HCx and eTrex 30 at 0% & 50% backlight during cloudy day. Compare the size of the housing, size & readability of the screen. The scale factor is 120m on all units.

backlight_0

backlight_50

The readability of the screen under the sun:

eTrex 30, Vista HCx & Oregon 550 readability under sun

Good to know that the readability of eTrex 30 under the sun is very good. Click on the image to get the high resolution image.

 

7. The roughly current consumption measured with ampermeter.

power_consumtion

Roughly current consumption (mA) 0% backlight 50% backlight 100% backlight scrolling the map adds
eTrex 30 90 120 190 + 30 mA (raster map)
eTrex Vista HCx 90 135 190 + 10 mA (vector map)
Oregon 550 (new version) 130 165 230 + 110 mA (raster map)

eTrex 30 power consumption is almost the same like Vista HCx. Due to more processor power, scrolling the map adds more power consumption. Preliminary, Oregon 550 zooming & scrolling speed is almost x2 than eTrex 30.

 

8. eTrex 30 is equipped with 3 axis electronic compass like Oregon 550. The old eTrex Vista HCx has 2 axis compass. New 3 axis compass of eTrex 30 is slightly more responsive to direction changes than on eTrex Vista HCx.

After the calibration I compared 3 units with classic compass.

compass

The approx error of the azimuth in degrees is:

eTrex 30: 0°

eTrex Vista HCx: 1°

Oregon 550: 1,5°

Probably this is related to the compass chip and the error could be different from unit to unit on the same model……

 

9. 2D precision test

measure_place_2

Above is the image of the measuring place. The distance between Vista HCx & eTrex 30 and eTrex 30 & Oregon 550 is 4 meters under the opened sky. The direction of the placement is from south to north and the place is at UTM 33 (N) zone. I did 10 minutes GPS tracklog and 10 minutes waypoint averaging tests. Please note this is not the test of accuracy! The test were performed with firmware version 2.40. The data were imported into my GIS program and the results of precision are on below map:

karta_mjernih_rezultata2_low

Click on above image to get the high resolution image of the precision test. There is no benefit in precision from GPS+GLONASS and WAAS/EGNOS modes on eTrex30 in my zone. During the precision test Vista HCx outperformed eTrex 30 & Oregon 550. However, eTrex 30 GPS+GLONASS mode can help to speed up cold start and to increase the number of available satellites on the places with limited clear sky.

 

10. Elevation

The altimeter of eTrex 30 can work in automatic or manual mode. In automatic mode altimeter/barometer is calibrated with GPS elevation data. The details about automatic calibration are not available in the operating manual. After several runs and comparison of recorded elevation data  I can confirm that my eTrex 30 has less spikes than Oregon 550 and even less than Vista HCx. The main issue is that eTrex 30 calculates a fake total ascent value. I did the test with firmwares 2.40, 2.50 & 2.70. The total ascent value is 5-12% more than on Vista HCx. Hope Garmin will resolve the issue in the next firmware upgrade. The good point is that total ascent value can be displayed even on the trip screen. This option is not available on Vista HCx and Oregon 550. I tested total ascent value with firmware 2.80 and the issue of fake total ascent calculation is resolved. I removed the issue from (-) list.

12. My conclusion

Like some other Garmin models eTrex 30 includes some important characteristics for outdoor activities: standard AA batteries, IP protection, good outdoor readability of the screen, altimeter with barometer option etc. eTrex 30 offers many standard navigation functions. You can use them with vector routable and non routable vector & raster maps. Geocaches support is available too. Due to the size of the unit and available functions, eTrex 30 could be very popular for hiking and MTB.

During last few months I have compared Garmin eTrex 30 with Vista HCx & Oregon 550. Just few (+) and (-) are below:

(+) raster maps compatible (not available on Vista HCx),

(+) ready for heart rate & cadence option (not available on Vista HCx),

(+) 3 axis compass (2 axis only on Vista HCx),

(+) improved body materials and much better bike holder (better than on Vista HCx),

(+) fast cold start time (better than on Vista HCx),

(+) instead touch screen eTrex 30 is equipped with key command buttons and a thumb stick. In muddy & dusty conditions and with glows on my hands I prefer this setup. The same is on Vista HCx,

(+) total ascent field is available on trip & map screen (on Oregon 550 & Vista HCx total ascent is available on elevation profile screen only). Total ascent value is direct proportional to fatigue so this value is very important parameter for long rides or long hiking routes,

(+) different profiles can be set like on Oregon 550 (not available on Vista HCx),

(+) huge internal memory of 1.7GB can be extended with external micro SD card,

(-) very bad operating manual (nothing new from Garmin),

(-) slow redraws (zooming & scrolling) of the maps on the screen (Oregon 550 is much faster, no any improvement over Vista HCx, see above video at point 11),

(-) for precision no benefit from GPS+GLONASS mode (at least with firmware 2.40 and in my UTM 33N zone),

(-) slow USB 1.1,

Yesterday pootle meant I struck gold (or how not to let a creak spoil the ride)


Blue skies – a break in work and the dilemma about whether to go road cycling or mtb’ing (some dilemma)

Well it was fab … well apart from the niggle you get when something on the bike is not in perfect synchronous perfection with the rest. Those that read this blog will know I love my ti brides (titanium lynskey bikes – a Cooper road bike and a Ridgeline SL 29’er) but the 29er is being a bit naughty.

Well the crank/bottom bracket needs some timeout on the naughty step (not the owner of course)/ The chain side crank keeps on working loose and then there is the slight creak whenever I stand up and give it some torque. Eeeek Nnnnnnk Eeeeeek Nnnnnnnk. I have taken to carrying the large allen key with me to do a mid ride tighten but what I need to do is go into my LBS and get some lock grease.

But I put the noise out of my mind – the rohloff is particularly sweet in terms of little transmission noise – and rode. The only moment i stopped was to strip off a layer and then to stop at the end of a descent to scoff down a wee bar of flapjack goodness. When i got back i loaded up the gps and bang 

2 x KOM and a smattering of places

Screenshot 2014-09-10 20.30.14

Now most people don’t care about these things but i felt a small tinkle of happiness being a competitive over 40 has been of an athlete. But i don’t expect this to last long as the person I scuppered is a Strava KOM poacher of renown – I expect my glorified basking in the sun victorious feat to last at least 10 hours.

Screenshot 2014-09-10 14.54.17

this descent is a nice fire road/trail mix that was actually feeling quite tough in the dry – it feels smoother when slightly damp but I guess that is the friction.

Off for a ride tomorrow – might just make it a roadie day as playing 5 a side tonight and my legs probably won’t be working.