Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gear Update

Since I have been away from running world for awhile, I kind of quit both (i) following the new Running Gadgets and (ii) using my existing Running Gadgets.  But, after a couple weeks of re-introduction to Runner Tech, I realize:  you know what? Everything is basically the same.

First, my Garmin.  Sigh. I love it and hate it all at once. I chronicled my love/hate relationship with my Garmin years ago.  I have the 410, which is basically an improved 405.  But even after putting it back on the wrist after a year or so layoff:  wow, does it have its flaws.  I almost wonder when exactly the product development people at Garmin, said, Ok! Now! It is ready to ship! The touch bezel is iffy; the software, while improved, is balky at best.  The battery has a mind of its own; the latest update produced a wildly different calorie count.  But, it hasn't lost any data or failed to pick up the satellite within 5 minutes of starting up.  Lets just say this: it isn't better than I remember.

Training Software?  SportTracks is still good, except now it isn't free and still doesn't have web functionality.  Training Peaks is expensive and looks clunky to get my data from my Garmin 410 to the web. (Apparently the 410 device has different upload protocol that makes it difficult to upload).

Running shoes have gotten lighter.  Like whoa, that a lot lighter.  Big, clunky guys like me (6'3") run in big, clunky shoes (Asics Gel Kayanos), but the most recent iteration (18) is much lighter.  I suppose this is all part of technology from barefoot minimalist world, but rest assured I will never join you.

The running shirts, shorts and socks (my sock review) world hasn't changed at all, as best I can tell.  Maybe there is only so much technology you can pack into fabric.

Headphones?  Well, still looking for the best ones.  I have a pair of Sennheiser sports, but they seem to have strategically placed the volume/clip/fishing weight in the exact spot that  I can't remove it or clip it onto my shorts.  (The cord is actually two pieces, one shortish piece, that can plug into either an iPod or into a longer extension cord that has a volume control and clip on it.  The short piece is too short to use solo unless you use it with a arm strap; pluggin it into the long piece means having a bouncing weight about 3 feet down in the middle of the cord, which then bounced and pulls the headphones out.) Sigh.  I am back to using Yurbuds, but have had several pair stop working on me (all my fault, I might add).  And the sound quality, eh not so much.  Bought a pair of Westone headphones at an expo this summer, but couldn't get them to fit/not bounce/stay in.  Still searching.  And I love my iPod Nano, Fifth generation.  Sixth Gen is too small and the touch screen too difficult to deal with when active I found.

Sooooo....Anyone with any suggestions on any new and wondrous products?  Or even something that you just love that I should check out??


  1. Have you tried Garmin Connect? It's an online option Garmin gives you to upload and keep track of your runs. I also upload to Running Ahead, it's a free site and by far the best I've used. I also post my runs on Dailymile but more so for the social aspect, it's like Facebook for athlete's.

    Spike really enjoys his Ironman Yurbuds he recently picked up. Apparently the sound is better and so is the fit.

  2. I second the Garmin connect program. I really like it...but I have a 210 so I can't really comment on your problems...though I do find that my per mile pace is sort of wacky at times. I find that when I do speed work, it's not reliable on my pace for a good 30 seconds (though Garmin connect is accurate when I download the information).

    On headphones, I just give up! Seriously sweat conquers all technology, so I just buy the cheap ones.

  3. Also read some of your other posts, and I just wanted to say, GO BLUE!!!!

  4. Hey NY Wolve, if you decide to give TrainingPeaks a try (we have a free version :), we have a free utility called Device Agent you should be able to use to get your data into TrainingPeaks. The 410 isn't listed as one of the devices in the software but use should be able to use the "Garmin ANT Agent".

    Hope that helps (but let us know if we can help or answer any questions)!

  5. Well SportTracks -IS- still free actually, you just need to find a download link...

    And rumor is they are developing a killer online version.

    As for gear, have you seen the MOTOACTV - it's a game changer as far as tech goes. All that download BS - GONE. It just pushes up the workouts to the cloud over built in wifi.

    How about a heart monitor in your headphones - MOTOACTV has that coming too.

    I've also seen product announcements of shirts with built in HRM.

    If you think everything is basically the same, you're really not paying attention.


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