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.

off topic – watch design

Saw this blog and thought how interesting this change to standard design was. Most watches get complicated or expensive or tech. This appeals to the nerd in me and the travel part in equal measure.

Klokers 02

Klokers Watch Times 2, For the Nerd, and the Not Quite a Nerd

Klokers 03I first saw the Klokers Watch on their own web site, before it was launched on Kickstarter, and I was interested in the project.  Life being what it is, I did not have a chance to cover it right when it launched, but I did see that they received a lot of coverage, both from watch bloggers and from gadget watchers.  Now, with a little time remaining before the project closes, Klokers introduced a second model into the mix.

Klokers 01The first watch, the Klok-01 is an homage to a circular slide rule.  It is definitely a nerd friendly design.  I graduated from a tech-heavy university, and I grew up with calculators, but I am not far removed from the generations who had to use these instruments for calculations.  So for me, this is a fun watch design concept.  As a watch in and of itself, it is simply a clever way to do a three hand watch.  Instead of the hands rotating against a static time scale, the time scale rotates around a static single hand.  Because the time scale is moving, the discs have to move in retrograde, opposite the normal motion of a handset.  But the overall effect is a fairly simple way to tell time.

Klokers 02The second Klokers model, the Klok-02, was introduced half way through the funding campaign as an optional reward and is a distant cousin to the first model.  You have the same basic shape, as well as the curved, bezel free acrylic glass case, but the styling cues are less nerdy and more innovative.  A Soprod movement controls a series of micromotors moving the second hand and minute hand in a more traditional (watch world-wise) retrograde movement, where the hands move through an arc and then reset back to the far left once they make it all the way over to the right.  The hours are displayed in the center of the watch, and the window to the right represents the time zone.  Move to another city, and just click through the cities to change the time zone, an hour at a time.  A long push on the pusher displays the date in the center window.

Klokers 04As if the time displays and micromotors were not enough, the team at Klokers also came up with a new watch strap, where a tab locks into a slot on the back of the watch, allowing for easy strap changes, or easy watch head changes, whichever way you want to look at it.  The project has been wildly successful, with about $600,000 raised against a target of $56,000.  Super early bird watches are gone, but there are still early bird and night owl rewards in the low to mid $300s for the Klok-01 and mid $500s to $600s for the Klok-02.  It is hard to assess how feasible it will be to actually produce these watches at this price.  Both watches use existing movements, (a Soprod SOP 813 in the Klok-02), which means they are not inventing the watch technology, just packaging it.  With any crowd funded project, and especially with an innovative one, do your research.  Crowd funded projects by definition are not retail transactions, but rather the backing of the development of a project in exchange for a reward.

Watch Overview:

  • Brand & Model: Klokers Watch Klok-01 and Klok-02
  • Price: ~ $339 to $556 for the Klok-01 and ~$566 to $981 for the Klok-02depending on timing and options
  • Who we think it might be for: You want to fly your nerd flag (Klok-01) or you want something different on your wrist (Klok-02).
  • Would I wear one myself based on what I’ve seen?: I think I would make an exception to my automatic/manual only trend for the Klok-02.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I like it as is.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: With so many watches, especially crowd funded watches, looking alike, these are truly different.

Tech Specs from Klokers:

  • Movement: Swiss Ronda Quartz with micromotors (Klok-01) or Swiss Soprod SOP 813 micromotors movement (Klok-02)
  • Functions: Three hander (Klok-01);  World time, date, retrograde minute and second hand (Klok-02)
  • Case: Composite metal and polymer
  • Crystal: Acrylic polymer
  • Water resistance: 5 meters (Klok-02)
  • Lug width: Proprietary strap connection
  • Straps: Leather
  • Diameter: 44mm (Klok-01), 43.2mm (Klok-02)
  • Thickness: 11.5mm (Klok-01), 13.2mm (Klok-02)

A watch if you spend all the time outdoors (and don’t want to scratch your rolex/omega/TAG)

I must admit although i like nice watches BUT (and its a big But) when i head out into the wild (or working in places like Iraq or Rwanda) I generally take along a G-Shock watch. This one does a lot in a simple package.


Casio announced a brand new high-end G-Shock model at Baselworld 2015, the GWG-1000 Mudmaster. This new model combines features of the Mudman and Rangeman with an analog/digital hybrid display. It has a case design that looks like a cross between an aviation G-Shock and the Rangeman, giving it a tough and tactical appearance. Model numbers are GWG-1000-1A (black), GWG-1000-1A3 (black with olive band), and GWG-1000-1A9 (black with yellow band).

Will the apple watch shake up the GPS and app market?

In addition to being a wearable emoji-sender, heartbeat-sharer, and payment system, the Apple Watch will also be a fitness tracker. And although the watch won’t be available until early 2015, Apple provided a few details on how the wearable will track activity. The watch has its own accelerometer and heart-rate monitor, but it needs to be paired with an iPhone to track your distance traveled via GPS or Wi-Fi.

These features are of note because they add a new set of functions to Apple’s hardware stable, and they directly compete with offerings from long-time hardware partners who already make fitness tracking wearables like Jawbone, Fitbit and Garmin.

The Apple Watch has some standard features familiar to the fitness crowd. Its built-in Activity app has three modes, all of which display goals in a ring-shaped interface. In the “Move” display, it shows you how much you’ve been in motion during the day, gives you a running countdown to your 30-minute goal, and shows how many calories you’ve burned. The “Stand” display reminds you to stop sitting for at least a minute every 12 hours (see the photo above), and the “Exercise” ring will gauge harder-core activities like running.


There’s also a separate Workout app that can break your activities into more-specific groups, such as Running, Cycling, or Cross Training. All your stats and workout history are stored in a Fitness app, which gives you a dashboard of your workout sessions. You can share your workout stats with third-party apps via the watch’s Health app, too.

Even though all of that is standard-issue stuff for a fitness tracker, Apple’s HealthKit initiative is likely to play a major part in making all that workout data usable by other apps on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. The software package for developers will likely speed the growth of the ecosystem of apps built for the watch—though Apple has been largely silent on details about how or when those third-party apps will make their way onto its Watch.


Suunto Core Alu

Although I have a Garmin Fenix I use for running and kitesurfing, i also have a suunto core which I love. but the first edition Core has had it’s issues the latest being battery problems so I have sent it back to Suunto.

(within six months it had munched its first battery, three months later it had got through two others so I pretty much forgot about it. Last month I sent it back to Finland under warranty, and two weeks later I got a refurb back (was made a month earlier than the one I sent in.)

This one lasted a week before exhibiting the same problems as my original one (blank display, no life) so it’s currently back in Finland again.

I’ve heard good things about the late 9xxx serials, and the 0x serials, so check before you buy – if it’s a 7xxx or 8xxx serial number, even an early 9xxx (try to buy later than 930x) then walk away.

Serials are Year, Week, 5 digit serial – a eg 949xxxxx is week 49, 2009.)


In the meantime i have a Suunto Core Black Alu to enjoy. Get yours here – if you buy one I get a whopping few pence as a thank you

Screenshot 2014-07-29 23.05.43

Same Spec but nicer build

Suunto Core Alu watch, which comes in a variety of finishes, is a soup to nuts watch, though keep in mind it lacks GPS.  That short coming aside, it can measure the air’s temperature and tell if you’re heading in the correct direction thanks to the digital compass, which mind you automatically calibrates itself according to your surroundings.   In addition to that, there is an automatic altimeter/barometer switch, storm alarm with a weather trend indicator, altitude logger with altitude difference measurement, multiple date/watch/alarm functions, sunrise/sunset times for 400 locations, multiple language support, a user replaceable battery and a few different straps to choose from.

G-Shock Aviation Gravity Defier GWA1100-1A3 – Review

Mmmm lovely

AZ Fine Time Blog

G-Shock Aviation Gravity Defier GWA1100-1A3

With a ton of truly impressive G-Shock’s hitting the market this year, one of the most interesting, durable and technologically advanced is the new Gravity Defier GWA1100-1A2.  I’ve had my eyes on this piece since we 1st saw it at the Basel Fair earlier this year.  After much anticipation the new G-Shock Aviation GWA1100’s are finally in stock, and look way more impressive than I remember.  I’m proud to say, I just picked this piece up for my personal collection, and want to explain why this was my “must have” G.

G-Shock Aviation Gravity Defier GWA1100-1A3

G-Shock’s are known for their durability and being virtually bullet proof.  This new Aviation model goes above and beyond the limits of not only other watches, but also pretty much any other G-Shock on the market today.  This model is Triple G Resist which means it is resistant to shock , centrifugal force, and vibration.  Utilizing the new Alpha…

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