Strava Addict – here are some sites that let you get more


The Multiple Ride Mapper

This great app / (website) pulls in all of the rides and runs you’ve ever logged on Strava and displays them on one map. Simply copy and paste your athlete number into the box and be amazed as it pulls in every ride and maps it. If you are struggling to find your athlete number then hit profile in strava and it will show a number in the address bar – this is you.

The website uses opaque lines so if you’ve ridden or run certain roads many times, you will end up with a darker line, whereas roads you’ve only ridden once will be more pale. The map is clickable, and the list on the left hand side takes you back to the ride screen on strava.com if you wony to see an indication of frequency then set opaqueness down to see all your routes clearly.

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Here is a map of some of my rides over the last few months – some road, a few mtb and one or two commutes or runs.

KOM Notifier Service

Created by the same author as the multiple ride mapper above, Jonathan O Keefe, the KOM notifier service will give you detailed notifications about any changes to your KOMs, or indeed any changes in the top 10 positions.
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Segment details

Yet another brilliant bit of coding from Jonathan again, Segment Details can be accessed separately as a standalone thing, but it is also linked from the Strava KOM Notifier Service, above.

This one is really useful for tracking the history of a segment – who’s been KOM in the past, when did so and so take it, how many people have ridden it, what’s the average time taken etc.

RaceShape.com

RaceShape is essentially about analysing the differences between people riding a segment. Say you lost your KOM or if running your CR to someone – you can use this tool to analyse where they were quicker, and so help you to develop your strategy. It works by analysing how the gap changes between two riders, and works with segment data from Strava or Ride with GPS.

Here is a screengrab of a flat canal path section that I took my road bike on – it analyses your time over distance and although I am 3rd on this section I can see that in the first wee bit of the trail where I was chatting to someone with a flat tyre – suddenly that is the 40 sec gone. Although slower than no 1 and possibly no 2 it was close.
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Using no 2 as a baseline you can see where I level out and we are quite matched. By comparison my friend Keith did the route and you can see the slope of his pace and where I eventually catch up and pass. So now that I know this is a section I might just burn it along here (although not on a weekend when there are so many dog walkers perhaps.

Veloviewer

It gives you more stats to play with and get twitchy about than you might ever want. Dig around and you’ll discover a great new way to explore the segments you’ve done, and get ideas about which ones you want to revisit.

Tip: Click the table column headings to sort on that column. You can sort this on average speeds or overall length or steepness and so on.

You’ll discover segments you’ve already done, but never realised were there, prompting you to think about targeting them for a serious effort.

Here is a mtb climb once again using Michael D as the base line and my pal Stuart who is notionally behind me. Interesting to see I started fast but burnt out a bit on the muddy section with the big puddle. I could pretend it may have been dry on the days the others did it or it could just be that I was tired. Stuart and I swap the lead a lot towards the end. Does really let you see where others or quick and where you are slow.

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Glasgow Half Marathon


I am just up to the computer now after doing the Glasgow Half Marathon 1:30:36  – having a massage (very nice too) and a spot of lunch.

the route

This morning cousin Benji came across to race as well – he did a 1:38 3 weeks ago and has a PB of 1:28 but both of us thought a 1:35 time was on the cards so we were probably going to run together.

Glasgow was mobbed – we must have been a good 100m from the front – luckily in the first group to go – so the off was more like a slow amble and then the first 2km were just weaving through people / runners I suspect not entirely truthful about their finish times and maybe a bit closer to the front than they should have been. Well actually maybe it was simply that i was too far back because in 21km only a handful of runners passed me and I must have overtaken a good 1000 others.

Perhaps the euphoria of always overtaking explains my time … I felt great and was feeling very fast and steady. Ran with cousin for the first 5km and then gradually edged forward and lost him about the 9km mark. Whenever there was a corner I looked back figuring he would reappear at some point but it wasn’t to be today. As I was crossing the bridge a few km from the finish i figured i was doing well and thought it may be possible to pass the 1H30 mark easily besting my PB of 1:31:27 …. well as it happens it wasnt to be. Still managed to leg the last section past a Mr Weavy – one of those runners doing the weave of fatigue we have seen in old marathon films. Then as i crossed the line felt great then looked ahead as a runner was emptying a bright orange stomach content a few foot away – I did not need to have seen that ….

The glasgow course is great – pretty flat and apart from my little moan about the crowded start was a fun event. Well marshalled good water points and managed to see a few faces i knew ….

At the end my gps (and cousin Benji’s said it was over HM distance … his said 13.3miles and mine said 21.3km – so only a bit over. If so I broke my record for the official HM distance. HUZZAH

Did you run Glasgow today? If so let me know

Morning prep


Beetroot banana and apple juiced

 

Scientists have discovered athletes who eat baked beetroot before a race run put in a faster time.

The purple root vegetable contains high levels of chemicals called nitrates, which have been shown to boost exercise performance.

Researchers at St Louis University in America found athletes were able to run five kilometres faster after eating beetroot than after eating cranberries.

It follows other studies that have shown beetroot juice can increase stamina and make muscles more efficient.

It may be true as i just ran my fastest Half Marathon Time with least amount of training ….

1hr recovery run


 

Somehow managed to luck out and timed my one hour recovery run with the only sunshine Glasgow is likely to see today. Ran down the canal for 30 minutes then turned and came home …..

 

it is not a bad place to run – quite a few dog walkers cyclists as well as other runners but still far from crowded and of course VERY VERY flat ….

nice paths for running and little traffic or city noise …

 

Glen of Rait Hill Run: a tradition I love


2010 was the last Glen of Rait games (here is a blog of that day) … they intersperse a beer festival every other year just to get the ying / yang balance going. One year traditional summer festivities like an egg and spoon as well as a 3 legged race for the kids and a 5km hill run for the adults and silly buggers.

Last time I did it in 2010 I was running fit although i was not ‘hill running fit’ and i came in 3rd and vowed that next time i would train for the event. Well 2012 dawned and my training once again for a hill run was non existent and my running had lessened as well as i have started to ride more ….

The race starts in the village goes straight up a hill to a farm (at up to 22% gradient) then across a boggy field and then down the road to the village again.

course here http://app.strava.com/runs/19049797

the course and profile

That hill up is hard with no warm up the HR shoots up and stays at max HRave 167 max 179 (92% 99% of max HR)

The start of 31 runners saw a few eagers shooting off the front … I was 5th or 6th most of the way but went past someone whose breathing was pretty ropey. I just tried to stay steady and the right side of vomit ….. By the top I was 3rd with 4th and 5th right behind me.

After all the rain this year the top field was said to be ‘treacherous’ but it was just a bit muddy and cow riddled. I put some distance on the 2 boys behind and set my eyes on no 2 as the defending champ was already 200m ahead …

HR – up with the hill but no coming down

i chased no 2 who later identified himself as Paul from hungary down the hill and was making slight gains halving the distance to 30m when he heard the slap of my trainers on the wet road and proceeded to speed up to a pace I couldn’t keep up. i think a 3m38/km (about 5m25/ml) pace might be the quickest i have run.

finished 3rd again …. next time I will train as Thomas wont run with his son (and wont be doing a 80km ride just before the run) and he is aiming for gold …..

A slower run and a longer look


Sometimes it’s the simple things that we take for granted that would give us the most pleasure just back from a run around Glasgow Green and having to take it a lot easier than normal in order to keep my heart rate below a certain level I found myself looking around a lot more and sometimes are looking around in these slower runs – you see things which you don’t normally seen on a normal run birds rowers- the list is endless.

strava route

This was part of my half marathon training which dictated running at least an hour and keeping my HR below 75% …. It a lot harder than you think – luckily the polar RCX5 does my thinking for me and beeps if I stray.

level HR

Run time


Starting training for glasgow half marathon …..

Time for my run – no wonder I feel tired – you can see where I woke up loads last night ….

Stepped out and saw the sun and that always makes the morning runs a bit easier. Ran down to glasgow green then followed a loop someone had mapped on strava and did it twice as wasn’t sure where the start or finish was and wanted to make sure it registered.
Not the quickest run but it’s been a bit and need to start stepping up the game as the Glasgow half marathon is just over a month away now …..

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Give me hope ….. Vienna


I think I could fall in love with Vienna. It is organised clean and seems to have a proper approach to seasons – snow on winter then scorching summers – it is currently 32degrees.We are only away for a week but I packed my old trainers so I could do a run or 3.
This morning got up early and went over the bridge to an island in the Danube that looked nice and clear on google maps…. Ran over and figured I would head south for 30min then head back …. It is always quite amazing to run in a city and be away from the noise of it. No traffic hum, no horns blaring or engines running – just a bit of birdsong and the odd patter of runners feet. Only when I got down to the lower bridge near my turning point was there quite a. It of traffic on the bridge made louder by the previous absence.
The day was already heating up a fair bit and the puddles from the rain were all but disappearing. My pace was a slow 5m-km but a nice 13km run in my hour’s allocated time.
Running back over the bridge to the Novotel I was constantly amazed by the sheer amount of commuter cyclists – it really is a case for critical mass and the proper structuring of town planning which is so hopeless in many places in the world. If only the uk would lose its fear of the marketing depts of motoring and petrochemicals and do a proper study of what works best for commuters. I don’t mean to be flippant but I have seen 3 commuters on roller blades here …. How cool is that?

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For all those friends that did the Paris Marathon


Maybe today you are thinking that running 42.195km is not so difficult after all. Remember however the stage fright that increased as you approached April 15.Running a marathon, whether you are a beginner or an old-timer, is not a joke. 

Running 42.195km is always an adventure, especially in Paris where the beauty of the course offers a mixture of experiences. The effort is the same as elsewhere, but it’s accompanied by a visit of some of the most important sites of the city of light. Of course, this is one of the reasons that the Marathon de Paris is an important stop for runners of all levels and nationalities.

Congratulations to the thousands of finishers who crowded the pavement and beat the cobblestones of the capital with enthusiasm and perseverance. A big bravo for joining up with the ever-growing family of women and men that have faced the challenge of running 42.195km and who have pushed their limits to win the right to wear the 36th  Marathon de Paris medal around their neck.

You have done it. You followed a training plan for many weeks (and maybe many months), and your training has paid off. You changed some of your eating habits, slept more, and saw your friends less. Preparing a marathon often means sacrifice. In consequence, the after race period should allow certain pleasures, small and large.

Ayr Duathlon – my first race – what a great day


5km run

28km cycle

5 km run

It hadn’t started out to well – I had pulled my calf last week doing hill repeats and it didn’t seem to clear up – it was niggling and I had avoided running for a whole week … did a slow 5km yesterday just to feel it and it was painful. I had doubts as to whether it might make me pull out of the race so it was weighing on my mind.

Last nights sleep was also pretty awful woke up 3 times with the kids and nightmares then the youngest stomped in a 6am in far from the best mood … so I did what any sensible person would do and I went downstairs for a leisurely porridge and honey breakfast.

Picked up Steven my brother in law at 7:40am then headed down to Ayr for the Duathlon … we arrived pretty early and registered looking out at the clear blue sky and the fact the air temp was only 6 degrees C. there was a fair share of TRI bike – saw at least 3 Cervelo P3’s and other TRI  bikes. Also glad to see another plain ti Racer like mine … (a van nicholas but any ti bride is good)

Duathlon prep - freebie shirt and deep heat applied

I decided to do the whole race wearing running tights (the compression i figured would help my calf) and a long sleeve cycling top. A pretty relaxed briefing then we were off …. a short run around the school where the run was based and then off to the coast road – a dirt track with its fair share of potholes. It is an out and back run so by the half way point the leaders were already 500m ahead.

Run 1

By transition I had my first attempt at doing transitions on my Polar RCX5 (which allows you to change sport in the same workout which is great and it also allows you to export separate gps .gpx files for each part) By the time I had my bike shoes on and was gulping down a gel Steven was also in transition. I left about 20 seconds in front of him and then looked down to see that i hadn’t restarted the watch – so add 30 sec and 300 metres to the time on this leg.

bike route and elevation

The ride was great – although I think the boys and girls on their all carbon TRI  bikes must have queried their decision as the road was pretty tatty and the route was quite hilly. You could definitely hear them as the carbon rattled over every bump and hole … I could see sense in an aero machine on a flat well surfaced road but South Ayrshire obviously hasn’t spent money on resurfacing in years and they must have flt every bump. There were a couple of uphills where I stood to climb as the lack of padding despite the lovely ti frame was very much felt.

There were great views and lovely sweep descents and the car drivers were passing very carefully which was great. At one stage I was getting a bit tired but sucked down another gel and then some water (they sure are gloopy) but then suddenly I was back at transition.

2nd transition was quick although my legs felt like they belonged to someone else.

2nd run

Second run was identical and after exiting I got to see the first person storming down the hill to the finish – so a 18min lead over what I would do. There is a little hill just in the first km and I was struggling … but after that first km I felt steady although my calf was pulling so just kept up with my pace. After the turn around i was heading back and saw Steven again about a km behind me. Had a mid road high 5 that nearly took me off my feet and then was aiming for the guy in front but could make no gain on him.

run comparison
Polar software breakdown

finished feeling good – just really happy that calf felt no worse … chatted briefly to chap in from then just waited for Steven … Watched a guy come in that was at least 60 and looked in better shape than I have ever been in my life and then another man just behind Steven that must have been at least 70 …. really inspiring.

So my first Duathlon finished and i loved it … big shout out to the Marshals who did a great job and the organisers …. I will be be back hopefully with a good calf and a better transition strategy.

e-paper watch for running, cycling and more


this watch looks very cool – not sure if it will record but might be a great interface for an endomondo or running app on my iPhone ….

THEIR SITE HERE

Customize Your Perfect Watch. It’s as Easy as Downloading an App.

Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century. It’s infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages. While designing Pebble, we strove to create a minimalist yet fashionable product that seamlessly blends into everyday life.

CUSTOMIZE WITH APPS

Apps bring Pebble to life. We’re building some amazing apps for Pebble. Cyclists can use Pebble as a bike computer, accessing the GPS on your smartphone to display speed, distance and pace data. Runners get a similar set of data displayed on their wrist. Use the music control app to play, pause or skip tracks on your phone with the touch of a button. If you’re a golfer, feel free to bring Pebble onto the course. We’re working with Freecaddie to create a great golf rangefinder app for Pebble that works on over 25,000 courses world-wide. Instead of using your phone, view your current distance to the green right on your wrist. These apps will be the first, with more in the works!

CUSTOMIZE WITH WATCHFACES

Pebble can change instantly, thanks to its brilliant, outdoor-readable electronic-paper (e-paper) display. We’ve designed tons of watchfaces already, with more coming every day. Choose your favourite watchfaces using Pebble’s iPhone or Android app. Then as the day progresses, effortlessly switch to the one that matches your mood, activity or outfit.

CUSTOMIZE WITH NOTIFICATIONS

If you need to stay on top of things, Pebble can help with vibrating notifications, messages and alerts. Dismiss a notification with a shake of your wrist. Don’t worry, it’s easy to disable all notifications.

  • Incoming Caller ID
  • Email (Gmail or any IMAP email account)
  • Calendar Alerts
  • Facebook Messages
  • Twitter
  • Weather Alerts
  • Silent vibrating alarm and timer

Android users can also receive Text Messages (SMS) on their Pebble. Unfortunately iPhone does not expose this data. Have any suggestions for other notification types? Leave us a message in the comments!

Hill Running repeats but now a slightly sore calf


That was a bit horrible

Went to Alexander park to do some hill repeats tonight

amble to the park then started the repeats – 1st one was to scout the hill – then realised best option was the less steep longer ascent with a short drop down and then repeat repeat. The HR belt can’t have been sweaty enough as it showed a 109%HR effort …. but rest were fine showing me hit 92%of my MaxHR. It hurt a lot which I guess it is supposed to do ….

the hill repeated and my speed
polar HR (strange spike on 2nd hill)

then i started to feel my calf pulling so to prevent muscle damage i stopped and didn’t finish my 10 repeats ….. still a bit tender but should be fine.

Duathlon Training


Last night I was supposed to do an hour on the bike at a very low rate ….. but I felt so lethargic and pissed off (for no reason) that I abandoned it after only 20 odd minutes. This morning I am not too annoyed I think training schedules are sometimes treated like they are gospel … but I guess I am agnostic in this regard or humanist in that i listened to my body which was saying ‘NO’

In light of the Ayr Duathlon I entered (15th April chaps if anyone want to enter) I decided to try a practice run and cycle and also see how the Polar RCX5 handles the transition between sports. Its a bit messed as I did my bike ride at home on the trainer.

run route

The Ayr Duathlon is actually a 5km run – 28km cycle – 5 km run …. but I just wanted to try a 2 sport hit so went down to Glasgow Green and ran along the river until I hit one of my markers then ran back. It is slightly longer than the 2 runs put together at 10.33km (although i am sure MAP myRun and google say it is 10.7km

Into the house – rain coat off and shoes changed then hopped on the bike. Wasn’t going for the full 28km just wanted to get a feel. 16km was enough I think. My wife and daughter came back in ‘my god you stink’ as they saw me red-faced and sweating all over the kitchen. (NOTE to self – I will stay cooler in the wind outside and not stink the house out)

I like the way the RCX5 lets you transition between sport …. there is an option to allow you to change between sports by raising the wrist unit close to the HRM belt (which you can change to show or do loads in the setup) … at the moment I have the bike one set up to show me Time of Day when I raise the wrist unit close to the belt and the Run one to switch on the backlight ……

After 16km i had enough … legs now are still sore a bit … was amazed how long it took me to feel up to speed on the bike. The muscle memory after the run was quite weird – not sure how it would feel to start the run again … hopefully do a trial race before the event (which will be my first)

Heart Rate Graph - no distance info on bike side as indoors on trainer.

Ayr duathlon – think I might enter this


5km Run
27km Cycle
5km Run

This looks interesting

potential course with elevation data
potential course and route profile

Race route: Run route is same for both legs and is an out and back course based on the Ayr Sprint Tri run course (mostly footpath). Bike route is undulating and takes in a loop heading south from Ayr along the coast road, via ‘Electric Brae’ and returning via the Maybole-Alloway road (mostly left turns).

Note that a minimum age category of Youths A (15-16) applies in this race. Parent/guardian consent will be required for this age category therefore Youth entrants must use an entry form after which the approved entry will be added to EntryCentral.

Polar RCX5 review


The Polar HRM arrived nearly a month ago now and I have had a good chance to use it in various sports.

Firstly unboxing showed a nice little box and neat packaging. When you first switch on RCX it asks you to input basic things like sex, age, height, weight as well as the amount you exercise per week. I fall into a higher (amateur) category of roughly 5-7 hrs / week.

The RCX typically comes in 3 configurations … a gps setup which includes the excellent G5 gps. This is a very nice waterproof unit which holds charge for 20 hrs which is far from what i have had the pleasure of exceeding. The unit comes with an armband although I must confess that one month later i have yet to use it. The unit is very wee and fits into the small key pocket at the front of my running shorts as well as the back pocket of my running tights. I even used it the other day on a ride and had it jammed into a small front pocket of my jacket pocket. Being hunched over I expected the reception and subsequent track to be slightly skittish but coming back i compared the track to the one recorded by my Garmin Edge 305 which is on my stem with an uninterupted view of the sky. The comparison revealed that the Garmin recorded the ride as 51.42km and the edge at 51.62km … that is a 200m discrepancy over a huge distance. thinks it something like 0.4% (better get my calculator out) I am sure a shoulder mount or bar mount would make it perfect (that is me judging the Edge to be perfect …)

Other configurations are the Run pack which comes with the S3+ stride sensor. I have not used this but have seen side by side comparisons to the Garmin unit and from what I gather they are pretty compareable. The Polar unti is much bigger and does everything the Garmin does … the only feature useful to me would be the stride count … but then i am a slight Chi runner and my footfall stride is roughly 83-85/min.

The other configuration i have seen is the bike pack which has a cadence and Speed Censor … the cadence sensor would be the most useful to me … if you have the GPS sensor then i think you dont need the speed sensor.
One point I would say is that it is a shame that it is not the one unit like many of the competitors now do. Times and Garmin do their combined ones. I still use my Garmin unit along with the edge indoors when on the turbo trainer and having this placed on the back wheel makes it very practical.

I think that all the above configurations come with a heart rate belt although it is also possible to buy the RCX5 unit as a standalone piece which is probably only something that athletes that already own a polar belt (although not all older belts can be seen by the RCX5) On the heart Belt itself – amazingly comfortable and using Garmin and Suunto for the past few years I must confess that Polar know what they are doing when they make the belts … so comfy and you never get a strange spike or weird reading that you sometimes get with the Garmin HR belts.
Polar also do sports bras for women which have the HR receiver built into them which should make them more comfy than a standard setup for some.

what works with what POLAR

Back to the RCX unit. There are two colours to choose from a black and a red … I chose red because everyone knows that red is faster.

The square design has been criticised by some but I think it is great … it is slightly larger than a normal watch but once exercising the display is clear and very easy to use.
You can customise the display to show what you want to see .. I have gone into this before HERE

Using the Unit
Strapping the RCX on I immediately noticed how comfortable the watch was – in fact the whole construction oozes class not something i have noticed in the build of any previous Polar, Garmin or Suunto with the possible exception of my Suunto Core

Going outside for a run you can leave the gps on a wall whilst you pre-stretch – and then it latches onto the signal very quickly – the chipset inside the unit is a SIRF6 which allows for quicker lock on. the given wisdom is that cold fixing (in an area you have not been in before) will take around a minute, and hot fixes (starting in an area where you finished your last run / ride) will take 10-20 sec. From experience this seem to hold true. Of course this is a gps so switching it on when inside your house will not be good … but a sky above you should be good enough for the fix.
A tip I learnt for cold or rainy weather is to switch on the gps and leave it in your window whilst you put shoes on and it is generally ready to go when you are.

The unit when setting it up can be set to auto-lap – this is something I use when running having the watch perform every 1km … i find this more useful as a pace guide and a very good nudge to the brain when i need to speed up.
the watch can be set to either follow a programme (which can be configured on polar personal trainer and downloaded) say if you were doing intervals with a 5min warm up, 10 min tempo and 3 fartleks then arm down. The watch also has a great audible warning which can be set to pace or HR. This can either be set to Loud, quieter or off. I find this more useful when doing a fat-burn ride or run when my natural instinct is to speed up and defeat the very purpose of the training.

Post exercise the RCX5 stores your last exercise in the data section fro you to review. By itself the RCX5 gives a good breakdown and review of data. You can look at individual training sessions or see a summary of the week which is useful if you need a motivator to get out the door for a run or cycle. One of the good features is that there is a very good heart rate zone breakdown as well as a neat thing were you can see what percentage of calories was in fat burn.

HR zone breakdown

Speaking of features there is something missing and that is a proper barometric altimeter. Most of the course I do aren’t that hilly and I put bike tracks into bikewithgps or other tracking websites which recomputes gps info and produces a ride profile. For those running in hilly location this lack of altimeter might be a problem but for me it is not a deal breaker.

I think the beauty of the Polar RCX5 is in the heart rate monitoring … a lot of people like myself would look at the lack of ANT+ support and the very annoying lack of integration with other platforms like map my run, bikely,endomondo and others and decide not to go with polar BUT (and it’s a big butt) polar does and has always done great heart rate monitors. The analysis that you can do post exercise is way better than polar and a bit better than the hrm software that my old suunto t6 used with movescount.

Once you have done the exercise you can upload the data using polar weblink which is a free download from their site. One word of advice make sure you click the RCX5 for PPT option as I inadvertently clicked the other option when downloading the update then tore my hair out trying to figure out what i had done)
With the Polar Personal Trainer software you can create programs as well as seeing very easily how your training load is…. This prevents you overtraining (however rare this is in my case)

Finally I would say that polar, although not integrating as well as Garmin does with ANT+, weblink does allow you to access the RCX5 and download the .hrm files and .gpx files (gps track) – it’s a shame it doesn’t use the .tcx format but i think that is a garmin proprietary format.

I may have highlighted some weaknesses in this review but I am happy with the unit and wouldn’t change it.

The Geek in me like this: Social Running Geekiness


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.

In all, there were more than 500,000 data points to wade through, and you can see the rest of Felton’s students’ work at their SVA page. And although the visualizations end up highlighting shortcomings in the data collection, this effort and new fitness-tracking features being developed by the likes of Boston-based startup RunKeeper prove that the future of personal data tracking has never been more rife with potential.

 

—– even more info

check out his site here 

where you can find his London Nike+ stuff … was apparently in Wired UK

London pretty

barefoot running: latest evidence says good?


From wired mag

If you’re a runner, start striking with your forefoot. And wear those goofy minimalist shoes while you’re at it. Your body will thank you.

Those are the findings of a pair of studies by Daniel Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University. He found runners who use a forefoot strike face a significantly lower risk of repetitive stress injuries, and barely there running shoes produce more efficient movement than conventional kicks.

The two studies, published this month in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, come less than two years after Lieberman’s earlier work found runners wearing minimalist shoes put less force into the ground, therefore less force on their bodies, when striking the ground with their forefoot versus their rearfoot.

 

The findings add to a small but growing body of research that suggests the best way to run is the way our forebears did: sans shoes. It’s a controversial notion, one that has prompted no end of debate as many runners complain minimalist shoes led to injuries and problems.

First, to the rearfoot/forefoot breakdown. In “Foot Strike and Injury Rates in Endurance Runners: A Retrospective Study,” Lieberman analyzed 52 collegiate cross-country runners to compare rearfoot (heel-first) versus forefoot (ball-first) strikes.

Of those, 36 runners (59 percent) used a rearfoot strike. Lieberman considered the injury history of each runner — examining the severity of past injuries and rate of mild, moderate and severe injuries per mile — and found rearfoot strikers twice as likely to experience a repetitive stress injury.

“Competitive cross country runners on a college team incur high injury rates,” the report concludes, “but runners who habitually rearfoot strike have significantly higher rates of repetitive stress injury than those who mostly forefoot strike.”

Neither type of foot strike was more likely to produce a traumatic injury, the study concluded, and Lieberman did not examine causal reasons why rearfoot striking proved more harmful. But he did develop an hypothesis for the results.

“The absence of a marked impact peak in the ground reaction force during a forefoot strike compared to a rearfoot strike may contribute to lower rates of injuries in habitual forefoot strikers,” the report states.

The study, “Effects of Footwear and Strike Type on Running Economy,” lends further credence to the benefits of minimalist shoes.

Runners wearing minimalist shoes were 2.41 percent more economical in their movements when forefoot striking than those wearing conventional shoes and 3.32 percent more economical when rearfoot striking. All data was controlled for stride frequency and shoe mass.

It was not clear if the two studies used the same runners as test subjects.

In determining these stats, researchers measured the cost of transport (milliliters of oxygen over kilograms over meters, or mlO2/kg/m) in people who typically wear minimalist shoes or run barefoot as they ran 3.0 meters per second on a treadmill. Force and kinematic data were collected in minimal and traditional running shoes to quantify differences in knee flexion, arch strain, plantarflexor force production and Achilles tendon-triceps surae strain.

The cost of forefoot and rearfoot striking was not significantly different for either minimal or standard shoe running. However, arch strain was much greater during forefoot striking than rearfoot among those wearing minimalist shoes. The same held true for plantarflexor force; Achilles tendon-triceps surae strain and knee flexion were lower in minimalist shoes.

Despite evidence supporting minimalist footwear, there are vocal critics of the trend. Lieberman’s latest studies are sure to renew the debate.