Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Garmin is in route!

I just got the tracking info for my Garmin and I should have it well before Saturday. That said, I may get a huge dose of reality at Afton and then probably for the rest of my summer. Actually, it's quite possible that I may relish the days before the Garmin.


Well before I could always use my Nike+ inaccuracy to rationalize that I was faster than it appeared. With the Nike+ my 7 mile run on trails could come in at 5 miles or even 7.5, I have never figured it out exactly other than pace, foot strike (side-steps, etc.....) all seem to matter. That 7 mile run has come in at 5, 6.5, 7, 7.3, 6.8 so I rationalize it as a 7 mile run. With the Garmin 205, I will get accurate stats in all areas. I will see the time and the distance with almost no error along with elevation and pace.

Garmin 205

So if I run my normal loop in Lebanon Hills which I think is about 7 miles and the Garmin comes in at 6 miles then I will be crushed and I will have to face the fact that I am not only slow but I am real slow. On the other hand if it confirms the loop then I will be able to just consider myself slow. Regardless I am looking at modifications to my training specifically the diet as I plan to focus on dropping some weight between now and fall. I have not gotten into a consistent eating plan focused on weight reduction as I was counting on my running consistency to be the solution and with injuries and motivation struggles, well it hasn't worked out. Instead this year I lose 10 pounds, gain 5, lose 5, gain 7, lose 3, gain 6 and all of a sudden I am back where I started. This cycle needs to end or I am never going to accomplish what I want to with my running (I want to be free of fear of cutoffs and I do want to get faster too :-). So after reading multiple books, my conclusion is that they all say the same thing - eat more vegetables and fruit, less processed stuff and do watch the calories you consume. More on this later

For now a new reality is approaching specifically on Thursday, UPS willing.


Wayne said...

Hey Mike, I don't want to temper your enthusiasm for your new toy too much -- you should get pretty consistent readings each time you run a course, but 'accurate' can still be a question. I like to think my 305 is perfect... but when Alicia, Kel and I swept most of the Zumbro course, Kel and I were each wearing 305s and they differed by a whole mile by the end of the ~15 mile walk. Of course I dealt with my 'frustration with the technology' by figuring Kel's 305 is defective :)

SteveQ said...

I'm with Wayne on this. On a cloudless winter day (no leaves in the tree canopy), the Afton course measures 15.2-15.5 miles by my Garmin. In the summer on a cloudy day, it's 12.5-13.

Elevation is ridiculously inaccurate, due to the fact that the satellites are all exactly the same distance from the ground. My favorite hill varies in elevation by 50% day to day.

Kel said...

I will also add that my Garmin 305 doesn't even agree with itself when you plug it into different software. For example, I recently did a run at Afton that measured 19.24 miles with 11,482 total vertical feet using Garmin Training Center, 19.55 miles with 4869 total elevation using Sport Tracks, 20.17 miles with 17,238 total elev using Motion Based without the gravity elevation correction feature, and 19.65 miles with 7185 total elev using Motion Based with gravity elevation correction. I usually go with Motion Based using gravity elevation correction since it seems most accurate when compared to wheel measured routes.

I've also had problems with my Garmin losing it's satellite signal during the summer when the trees are full of leaves. For that matter, it lost it's satellite signal at about the 25 mile mark at Chippewa this past April before the leaves had sprouted. Frustrating!

Londell said...

I will say that on a cloudy day, my 4-5 mile lunch run was always within .05 miles. On a very sunny day, I could be off .3 miles (I think solar flares impact it.) I also found wearing the 305 twice at grandma's they were within .25 each time. But if you see my post, the 405 was 26.22...

Now depending on how they are worn... Wayne may have had his outside his shirt but others may be in the shirt. One may be set at auto stop, the other not... One may have auto stop at a 20 minute mile, one may not... One may be set for bike mode, unintentionally, one may not... I will argue three watches set the exact same, on the same wrist, walking single file, will result in the same number with less than a 1% variation.

I also found some lose the signal on the right side of the body, others left. I also read that an I-Pod can impact signal... I noted more inconsistancy with my i-pod shuffle placed on the watch band.

So I will debate with the best that when all variables are the same, you get the same reading... But the variables (clouds, solar flares, tree cover, clothing (static electricity), electronic devices and such) all have some impact. i just love that it gives me an idea... Try what I did for fun... Run the same course many times, left wrist, right wrist, short sleeve, long sleeve, jacket, without I-pod, with I-pod... makes it interesting.

RunWesty said...

Great comments all, UPS delivered so the experiments begin tomorrow. I do expect better results maybe now I won't expect perfect consistency.

Wayne said...

I think the real point of all this is that you can still go with the "gee, I thought I was doing better than that... the garmin must just be off today"!! :)

Anonymous said...

I have found with my 305 and the 201 i had that the steeper the valleys and hills the more it would short me. It is a good tool and i continue to use it but do not be depressed if it reads shorter than you think in hilly terrain. It shorted me a half mile a loop at mcnaughton and almost a mile at the superior 50k. the benefit on a unknown course is you are done sooner than you think Steve L see you at afton


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