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Etikett: suunto

Training Wk16

This week, easter week was a very good week actually. Foodwise we kept in check and I had some really good runs including my first 10 km run this year. Weather has been perfect for outdoors activities so it has been a real pleasure to be outdoor this week. Dun has been nice and warm but in the nights the temperatures drops down and best runs are done in the afternoons really.

I have started using a new sports tracker on my Android phone called Endonundo and so far, for all similar softwares I have tested this one seems to be best of them all. I also love the BuddyRunner software but Endomondo does very much the same thing but has even better statistics.

Day by day

speed in the forest, 2.35 km in 6:36 tempo, pretty good for being me actually, I was very happy with that.
Altorp 6.7 km with Jenny, had a really good time as always and although I came home late it was a really good run that.
Resting, no training.
My first 10 km this year. Eastern Järvafältet and that was good as well, but HARD. I was struggling at the end to keep it together and I had some walks in the middle of it as well but I did it even if it took me 99 minutes.

My first 10 km run this year

Short runt at home, a very slow run to just flex everything up a bit from the 10 km the day before.
A 5km run a new route I have not done before. Down to the Görväln castle and then back home again. Beautiful run but some hills that was really straining and by now I am starting to feel the miles in my legs this week. Decided this was last for this week!

This week

Total distance 26.8 km Total tim 4:03:42 HMS
Avg tempo 9:06 min/km Avg. speed 6.6 km/h
Max. HR 173 bpm Avg. HR 148 bpm
Training Effect 4 TE/EPOC Energy spent 3 032 kcal
VO2(max) 32 ml/kg/min Peak EPOC 169 ml/kg
Max. ventilation 93 l/min Max breathing 42 bpm

Last week

Total distance 16,8 km Total tim 1:19:16 HMS
Avg tempo 8:29 min/km Avg. speed 8.29 km/h
Max. HR 175 bpm Avg. HR 153 bpm
Training Effect 5 TE/EPOC Energy spent 1 162 kcal
VO2(max) 32 ml/kg/min Peak EPOC 159 ml/kg
Max. ventilation 96 l/min Max breathing 45 bpm

10 km more than last week is not horse manure. Probably too much of an increase in a single week but I feel good nevertheless. Time spent training also increased to more than the double, not bad at all but my average time dropped with 30 s/km. Not too surprising, longer runs and more km into the legs. Spending almost 3 times the amount of energy on running as last week, yay, almost two days worth of food.

Average heartrate has dropped a bit, longer and slower running and perhaps a bit better condition as well but the max hartrate is very similar and shows that I am still about 10 beats from maxing out. Good thing, don’t wanna do that alone… tried it once and i had such a bad tunnel vision I thought I was gonna faint.

Training effect is a 4 which is great compared to a 5 last week which was overtraining. Getting better at keeping slow on the long runs and not over-excerting myself to the point of breaking down rather than building up.

Ventilation and breathing is up a little though VO2max seems very similar. A higher peak EPOC and a lower Training Effect just means I have leveled on the training effect scale (to a level 6.0 from a 5.0 where I started).

Tomorrow is a resting day and then monday is a free day, I will see if my good friend Jenny can manage a nice run together then, looking forward to the next time.

Weight wise I have gone up 0.5 kg this week. Still keeping diet but I have also noticed my legs are getting stronger. I believe I am building more muscle. This is good, it means I will be able to run faster and longer and increase my metabolic rate even when I sleep. Good stuff that.


A few obvious tips

Are you using a pulse watch to track your training? Has a foot pod tracking your cadence, speed and pace when running? If you have there are a few things you may not think of that are actually rather obvious and just because of that they are easy to forget.

Battery change
When it is time to change the battery in any one of the following devices; pulse belt, foot pod, wrist watch connecting to the above, GPS pod, bike pod etc, change all the batteries. One lost stats when out is okay in a year but several is highly annoying. By changing all batteries at once you can probably go for another full year before you have to change them again.
Foot pod depletes unexplicably
Some foot pods, like mine from Suunto, starts when they feel acceleration. This means pretty much any vibration. Have your gymbag in the car for a few days when driving around? Keeping your sneakers in a backpack to and from work? Chances are the foot pod activates and depletes the battery without you working out.
Pulse belt depletes unexplicably
Pulse belts are usually activated by moisture. So if you keep it in your gym bag with your used workout clothes, chances are it keeps trying to find your pulse for hours and hours. Leave it over night a few times like this and it definitely is noticeable on the battery life. Some pulse belts like the Suunto is connected to the sensor and when disconnected it stays off so it does not suffer the same problem.
GPS pod
GPS pods generally has an on/off switch. Switch off when not in use of course.

Suunto T6c and Training wk 14

I have not written much here for a while, been to busy elsewhere. Training wise I have had a good week this week and I might still do yet another run today or tomorrow.

But I also got a great motivator this week, my new sports watch. A Suunto T6c runner’s watch with pulse belt and foot pod measuring heart rates as well as speed and distance. The best thing about it is that is has a very advanced way of measuring the heart rate, it does not just measure the number of beats in a minute, but it also measures the time variance between the beats. By sophisticated methods it is thereby able to calculate VO2 profiles as you work out and using them it can tell you the quality of the work out.

If you are working out too hard for a period it will tell you to schedule a few workouts with lower intensity. If you are slacking off and not developing your strength, endurance, speed or cardiovascular functions it will tell you to step it up.

It also has a really great interval timer which is great, you can set it for any kind of intervals and it will alarm you to start or stop your intervals based on time or distance.

It also has a very accurate barometric altimeter that shows you the terrain profile of the track you run, much more accurate than any GPS based measurement I have seen, in fact it is accurate to within a couple of meters providing the barometric pressure does not change too much.

The software for this training partner is among the best I have seen. It is great for a stats buff like myself who loves, and finds motivation from, statistics on how I am doing. I love running the same track over and over and note if I am doing the first or second lap faster than last time and so on. Really great stuff that.

The watch also changes your parameters over time, it just recently told me my condition was a step better than I thought when I entered the initial parameters so it has automatically notched it up meaning that to achieve the same training effect as before I have to run longer or faster. Depressing stuff but probably true. In the process I have also lost another couple of kg of excess weight.

Above is the heart rate curve for my last 5 km run. It shows also clearly the intervals that I was doing (6 speed intervals with jogging between) and that my heart rate was varying quite a bit at the start, this happens if I have not been sleeping well the night before and then does workout.

The next is the speed/distance curve where ther intervals are even more pronouced. The first little plateay is a warmup walk before starting to run. The pace is very even as well which indicates that I am running on a treadmill, outdoors the speed varies much more with the ascent of the track.

EPOC is the Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption graph. This is an interesting graph. By measuring the heart rate, speed and distance, time and the variance between the heart beats (the harder you work out the more even the heart beats) the system can calculate how much stress you put on the system and graph how well your workout was in terms of cardiovascular stress.

This was a level 4,8 workout which is a highly improving level. After such a work out it is recommended to make a more low profile workout as a recovery, keeping to an EPOC level of 2-3 rather. If you go as high as level 5 you need several days of rest before training again.

Level 1 is very low intensity training building a base but not stressing the cardio-vascular system really.

Level 2 is a maintaining level, you will maintain what you got but not improve your endurance much. However you are still improving muscles and building up to be able to take more stressing workouts.

Level 3 is improving rate, you are now improving your cardio and endurance quite a bit.

Level 4 is greatly improving (doing intervals for example) but you should not work out at this level for more than 2-3 times a week and make sure to rest or have low-intensity workouts between.

Suunto Core Outdoor Watch

Some of you already know my fascination for wrist watches and therefore I thought I should share with you my latest aquisition, the Suunto Core outdoor wristwatch. Suunto is Finnish and means direction and this is a good name for these watches. There are many different models to chose from and I decided to get the Suunto Core model which seems to get you lots of functions for small money and the most all-round watch there was. Or, sorry, wristtop computer as these watches are sometimes referred to.

I am a guy who like walking in the woods, hiking, trekking and just generally being outdoor when possible especially in the summer time. I try to make at least a few day trips and if possible an overnight in a tent as well every summer as a minimum, it is something special when you are cooking in the wilderness, sleeping in a tent and generally having to struggle a little more than you normally do every day to and from work. If nothing else you appreciate a nice bed when you come home again :)

On top of that I am an unchangeable gadget-guy, and I really enjoy knowing the altitude I am on right now, the bearing I am walking in, my position, the time, when the sun rises and sets on the latitude that I am right now and many other things. So my latest addition to things I won’t leave home without now is a Suunto Core wristwatch.

This little gem can do a lot of things and it is a watch specially designed for outdoorsmanship more than anything else. This is not the first ”trekker’s watch” I have owned, I also have an ”Origo” watch but after a particularly rough outing in the United Arab Emirates a couple of years ago the altimeter broke on that one. So I have decided to get myself a new watch and now I recently bought it.

The Suunto Core watch keeps two times, good for traveling and it has what you expect from a modern digital watch, countdown (99 min max) and works wel as a stopwatch (24 h max). On top of that you can program it with the closest city and it will show the time the sun rises and sets for the date, something that changes drastically right now, the day becomes longer with about 6 minutes every day now and the nights shorter here in Stockholm.

The watch also contains three interesting functions for the hiker not normally found on wrist watches and they are altimeter that shows how high over the sea you are at the moment, barometer showing the air pressure (sea level equivalent) and an electronic compass.

Suunto Core

Suunto Core, outdoors sportswatch

The altimeter and barometer are actually two faces of the same coin here. You can select the profile yourself, if you want the watch to be in altimeter mode when you climb, then you can set it to barometric mode when you stop for the night and the watch will tell you the air pressure and assume that you are staying on the same level. You can not get both at the same time though because both the barometer and the altimeter works from the same air pressure sensor. If you climb a mountain the air pressure lowers with every meter you climb, the watch senses this change in air pressure and can therefore know how many meters you have scaled. In barometric mode you fix the altitude and the watch instead registers the changes in air pressure that preceeds an oncoming storm or weather front.

The watch can automatically shift between altimeter and barometer mode, it understands when you start climbing because the air pressure shifts too fast and then it switches to altimeter. If you stay it will after 12 minutes of no change in the altitude (or very small changes) shift back to barometric mode. Brilliant. Over a full days walking around I generally don’t have to recalibrate it for more than 20-40 meters error by the end of the day.

In barometric mode it can also tell you if there is a sudden drop in air pressure. This might signify an oncoming sqall or storm and you can set an audible and visible alarm on the watch to go off if this happens. There is also a 24 hour trend graph that will show you the changes in barometric pressure over the last day and night. There is also an arrow indicator showing you if the air pressure is stable, tends to rise, tends to drop and the attitude for the last 3 and 6 hours. Great for checking if the current weather is stable. I have observed the barometric pressure alarm go off twice. In both accounts it started snowing heavily hours later so I believe it is working pretty well!

The last function of the pressure gauge is the ”snorkeling feature” where it can tell you when you snorcle in the hot waters of the Maldives or some other nice place how deep you have been as maximum and how deep you are now. Not quite a diving instrument (watch should not be submerged more than 10 meters really) but it is still a pretty fun feature.

A logging function can be used to keep track of your climbing and descending over time if you want. It will log the altitude and the current time as often as you want and you may also save the log for a later review. You can also set a reference altitude and the watch will show you how much above or below your reference you currenly are.

You can also have it show accumulated inclines declines, something that I thought was pretty neat in a ski slope…

There is also a temperature measurement but since the watch is warmed by your arm it generally does not show air temperature. If you take your watch of and leave it for 30 minutes or so it should give you a pretty good temperature reading though. The temperature is also necessary for the accuracy of the air pressure measurement.

The compass is great, works well but uses battery more than other thngs and because of this the watch will turn it off after one minute of operation; you will then have to press a button to turn it on again for another minute. If you have the backlight lit during compas operation it will flash as it goes dark for each measurement that is done – about 2 per second. The compass can be set to try to stay in a certain direction, it will show with arrows how much in error your current direction is and point you in the right direction and the precision is actually pretty good in the woods. Calibration is simple, turn it on, slowly spin a full circle clockwise and it will recalibrate itself. In urban environment there are sometimes problems where there are heavy electrical machinery and other ferro-magnetic materials at work that will confuse it – try looking at it while a metro train in the underground drives past… but most of the time it can be used there as well.

All in all I really love this watch. I recommend it for everyone who loves to be outdoors, hiking, fishing, hunting, climbing, skiing… this is for you!

I rate it 5/5.

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