p pol The Adventures of Carboman: Kick In The Butt Run & Garmin Forerunner

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Kick In The Butt Run & Garmin Forerunner

Penang in June
Another weekend and another trip back to the island of Penang. The journey was very cool literally, thanks to the rain and showers that accompanied the clan nearly 3/4 of the way. Penang too has seen a great deal of rain lately - it comes down at any time of the day. When it's not raining, it's not too hot - almost ideal for racing. This morning, as I'm typing this, is overcast and very cool. It reminds me of the rainy season during my schooldays here. Somehow it's gives a slightly melancholy feeling. Is British weather the same?

Botanicals & The Forerunner 305
I had my one chance at testing out Chin's 305 and yesterday evening was it. I parked some distance away from the Botanical Gardens entrance as I didn't want to pay for the parking. I'd told my wife that I'd be picking her up in an hour's time at the Gurney Plaza, so this should be a quick run for me. After the satellites were acquired by the 305 (it took about 5 mins to acquire 6 satellites), I set out immediately on a steady pace. I'd programmed the 305 to autolog down my splits by KM instead of Location. I thought that that is one very neat feature. No more twiddling with the buttons! The first K's pace was 5:49 and it fluctuated between 5:29 to 5:43 in the middle. The Botanicals were just a tad crowded with the evening crowd but not too bad as to impede running. A few joggers were in their souvenir Penang Bridge Run T-Shirts, testament that these folks were putting in some final runs. There wasn't anyone running at my pace with the exception of one chap who was huffing quite loudly at certain stretches of the smaller loop. I used to run very regularly at this park and I loved the experience of being there hammering the laps again. The 305 looked a little bulky but to me it didn't restrict movement nor incur too much weight on the wrist. As I started my final lap, I saw 2 younger runners prepping for their runs and these 2 certainly look the faster group among the others. But this is not the time to race...yet. I concluded my lap and headed out of the park and back to my car. At this juncture I hit the afterburners to stretch out the legs a little - at nearly 10K race pace. A quick check on the watch showed that I was near to the 6K mark, so I thought it'd be nice to finish on the dot. Incidentally 6K was just about where I started. Completed the workout in slightly over 32 minutes for an average pace of 5:20.

Later at about 9:30pm I met Chin at a nearby Starbucks to pass him the 305 and I was a little sad to part with it. To me it's a very good training partner even though some route distances are established. My reasoning is like this. Even if you know the distance for your running route, the 205/305 allows you to get continuous feedback on your pace and effort. Not only that, the Virtual Partner is a boon to people who often had to train alone, and therefore is a great motivator. The ability to upload and track your workouts too are great incentives to head outdoors. It allows you to essentially run anywhere knowing for sure that you've got a certain number of miles in without the need to second guess. The trackback feature gets you back to the start if you venture offroad. This feature is so impressive that it flashed out the bend in the road and provides a distance countdown to the start point. At RM750 the 205 is a great training partner, and now I'm torn between this one or the soon to be launched Nike Speed+, the Nike watch that tracks distance and pace without the need of an iPod. While the Speed+ is cheaper at about RM400 (expected price), I'm very unimpressed with the build quality and usability. If I had it, I wouldn't hesitate to wear the 205/305 next Sunday as my race goals call for constant feedback on my pace. It'll be great to have the watch track my pace in case I start too fast and should I lag behind (there are 4 types of alerts that can beep if my pace drops or exceeds a certain customized threshold). It's like having a coach next to you!

Also on the subject of timepiece, a small piece of bad news. My Timex Sleek 50's strap broke yet again after I superglued it. Luckily I had the presence of mind to try it out the last few days to see if it wil cause me any strap problems. Looks like I now have to revert to the heavier Nike. I just hope it holds up. In case you don't know Cheong's Nike has totally spoilt.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home