July 25, 2008

Doing it for 2 years today

This morning two years ago was the first day of the new Jan. That morning I laced-up my brand new Nike+ shoes with Nike+ sensor, put on the shiny new iPod Nano and went out for first run. Well now looking back at it it may not have been exactly running, but hey I was moving and doing positive steps. My motivation was to improve my fitness and lose the extra weight that I carried back then (well over 20 kilos to be exact). I was dead after 1.5 miles, but I was happy that I'm doing something to get back into shape. Day later I was back on the road and running another 1.6 miles and I have been doing this since then. Few months later I ran my first 5k - you can see the time on the right side of this page. Then I ran another 5k and my weight loss motivation got a friend - I wanted to get leaner and faster.

Fast forward to January 2007 when I started to feel little bored with just running. I started to think about adding another sport. At the same time I came across book from Joe Friel, read it in two days and was ready to make the plunge to triathlons. I knew I'll stick with it so I went full bore - tri-bike, treadmill (to make the training easier during the winter time and when I can not leave the house), and bunch of other stuff that one needs to get into triathlon. Luckily I already have pool in the backyard otherwise I do not think my wife would be too pleased if I had someone build one for us and justify it with tri-training :-).

And since then I do this swim, bike, run thing and love it. I would not necessarily say that I'm very good at it, but I'm definitely getting better and moving up in the score lists in the races. I got lucky last year when I finished 2nd in my AG in local Half Iron race and two weeks later took 3rd in local sprint race. This year I was 49th in Black Bear sprint (9th in AG) and last weekend 22nd in Anthracite Oly (6th in AG). Definitely an improvement, but here are still few things I need to work on to get better - can you say swimming and running... One thing surprises me though - I never knew I would do so good in biking part of the races. I guess the bike riding as a kid shows in my race results - as kids we usually took bikes to the lake and it was a good 45 minutes bike ride away. On the way to the lake we were descending a steep hill and that is probably helping me with my bike handling skills - I literally have no fear on descends (case in point - in the Anthracite Tri the first steep downhill ended in sharp turn - I still did over 49 mph (80km/h) on the downhill with no fear and made the turn nearly taking the cop that was at the intersection). I also do fairly well on the climbs - I guess it must be related to the rides home from the lake - we needed to climb back up the steep long hill after being pretty tired from all the swimming and running around the lake. Now only if my swimming and running were as good. I guess I still have a lot of laps and miles to do to improve on those two fronts...

July 12, 2008

3000 miles on the Specialized

Yesterday while I was logging my workouts to TrainingPeaks I added my new shoes and retired my old shoes. While I did that I noticed that I'm 4 miles short of 3000 miles on my triathlon bike. Wow that is pretty good considering I do not ride all that much. I bought the bike in March last year. I hope it holds well for another 3000 miles. Now I wonder how soon the wheels will need to be replaced. I may just buy some race wheels and use the ones on the bike just for training. Anybody has any idea how long Mavic road bike wheels last? I do not really want to spend any money on wheels this year if possible.

July 7, 2008

Selling off some surplus HRMs

I used the long weekend to review the stacked boxes with Heart Rate Monitors and decided to sell off few items that I no longer use. In case you wanted to check out the eBay auctions click on the picture below:




UPDATE: The RS800sd is sold. The remaining two are still open for bids.

July 1, 2008

New Polar RS800cx due late 2008

Following some speculation and rumors about the new Polar HRM here are more rumors and picture of the anticipated new Polar RS800CX device. This is a copy of what has been posted in the Polar discussion forums on Yahoo! earlier today:

The new Polar RS800CX Training Management System- now with GPS route tracking and multisensor compatibility- is the most advanced and flexible training tool for the multisport market. The RS800CX is essential for multi-discipline and endurance athletes looking for an accurate way to measure, plan, monitor and analyze their training. In addition to speed and distance, the RS800CX records positioning information with the G3 GPS sensor(tm) and enables users to download route information into the included ProTrainer 5 Software(tm). Route information can also be easily exported to Google Earth mapping software. The sleek, lightweight RS800CX wrist unit is compatible with the range of Polar W.I.N.D. sensors, including the s3 Stride Sensor(tm) and CS Cadence and Speed Sensors(tm). The multisensor functionality allows users to combine different sport sessions into one training file for an enhanced training experience. Available Fall 2008.


Earlier one of the forum members posted the following text that complements and confirms the rumor (note that Polar did not announce this product yet, but the forum turned out to be quite accurate in the past when Polar was about to release the G1 GPS sensor for the S625X/S725X line):

The RS800CX will be compatible with the following accessories.

  • G3 - GPS
  • S3 - Stride Sensor
  • CS W.I.N.D. - Speed Sensor
  • CS W.I.N.D. - Cadence Sensor
  • CS Power - No compatibility.
There are some upgraded features like automatic switching between known measurement devices, and compatibility with Google earth. It is unclear weather current RS800G3 users will be able to use this new map feature. The software will have several upgrades, like full workout files even when using different devices (triathlon/ mutlisport) and the mapping. I was also not able to find out if the Heart rate zones will auto swap between zones (HR zones associated with speed sensors). I use a CS600 w/ Power and an RS800sd and have no problems with merged files and My HR/ Power zones are always accurate to the sports I am doing, no mental calculations during the race. My other question is how the HR/ Zones woudl be notated in the graph if the unit did switch zones auto style. No answer as of yet.

The current RS800 users on the market will not be able to start using bike sensors. this is a new unit based on the orginal RS800 platform. Think S725 to S725x type change.

Most likely not available till octoberish.

From what I'm reading in this semi-announcement Polar will upgrade the RS800 line to get GPS mapping, compatibility with the CS bike sensors (with exception of power - I hope this is not true as if they had power they would have it all - speed / distance / cadence / GPS mapping / power / multiple sensors in one session). If they bring in the Power sensor to the fold this would be the ultimate triathlete device with multi-sensor support and power. Otherwise with the exception of mapping and running cadence the features are already available in Suunto T6c with the multi-sensor support. The only thing I'm still missing in T6c is the running cadence and integration with power sensor. It would be nice if Suunto added at least the run cadence as it is technically possible to determine (Garmin does it with pretty much the same sensor as Suunto uses in their line).