Monday, 31 March 2014

Bryton Cardio 60 Review - Part two: Running

I have worn the Bryton Cardio 60 on 2 runs so far. Run 1 was a 6 km loop in the morning without the HRM chest strap and the unit set up straight out of the box. Run 2 was a 10km slow run focusing focusing on  heart rate and stride rate.

Run 1

I strapped the watch on fully charged, but with only my user profile set up on the unit. By the time I’d walked across the communal garden and out into the street the unit had acquired a satellite fix and corrected the time settings. The unit has three fields configured as standard (which I changed for run 2. It was easy to read and understand in use. I had distance/time/pace to look at on this initial run, which was informative but didn’t massively change my approach to training in any way.

Run 2

Before setting off I configured the screen to show Time running/Current heart rate/Pace/Cadence and made sure that the HRM strap was paired and working. I set off on a loop that I thought would offer me around 10km of running with some quite big inclines on busy roads, finishing on a few quite roads then a lap of the park. The aim of the run was to stay under 160bpm for the whole run but to try and keep my heart rate at around 150bpm for most of it. Throughout the run I wanted to keep my cadence/stride rate above 80.
Monitoring this was easy (I will configure alerts and workouts next) but all in all it was good to have a device confirm my perceived effort on this run. My distance calculations were also about 0.5km off so I was able to add that on as I went rather than discover it on  the iPhone app after I’ve stopped running.

I can see that there is a lot more potential for getting my training right by using this device, however I did find myself checking it quite often and not just as my perceived effort changed. A word of warning. The chest strap works beautifully but I may have worn it both too tight and too high. I have been left with 2 puncture/rub points where the skin in broken under my right armpit. I'm going to check for advice online to correct any error on my part though. 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Merrel Bare Access - A short review after 2 months

Over Christmas I tried on a pair of Merrel barefoot Road Glove shoes and whilst I liked the tread and the fit, I already had a pair or zero drop shoes with zero cushioning. After Christmas whilst perusing the sales I came across the Bare Access shoe reduced by 50%. This is the same upper, built on the same last but with 8mm of cushioning.

During the wet winter months my usual trail section of my park run had become un-navigable and so my runs became exclusively on tarmac. The longer weekend runs were less painful on my legs as they got stronger (and perhaps in no small part to the wearing of compression socks to recover), but the balls of my feet felt it. I took the plunge and purchased the Bare Access Merrells in lemon  and blue.

The first couple of runs left my left ankle sore and so I started to grow concerned that I would forever more be consigned to running in slippers. The first run had been at lunchtime whilst I was working from home and I did wonder whether the time of day had anything to do with it. I reverted to the Saucony Hattoris for a couple of runs.

I noticed in the Hattoris that I was heavier on my feet after just a couple of runs in the slightly more padded trainers. I tried the Bare Access again. They were narrower and slightly stiffer under the arch than  the Hattoris and I had reverted to a flat footed strike that bordered on heel-strike at times.

With careful attention to my running gait and lowering the angle of my forefoot strike I was able to compensate for the additional stiffness and be as light on my feet as in the Hattoris. I vary what I wear now and use the Bare Access for the more roady runs. In fact as they grip better in the wet and on downhill runs I am wearing them more and more. I just need to not  lose sight of how I was able to run again. Light. Easy. Fast will come.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Dunwich Dynamo 2014

Yesterday at a slow late lunch, I was perusing my emails, when  I can across an unassuming email. from a chap called Bill Owen.


Please forgive this intrusion, however, you at one stage last year booked tickets for our Coach Service after the Dunwich Dynamo last year.

So we thought we would let you know that tickets are now available for 2014."

A quick email around my cycling buddies and I am booked to do it again. At the moment only David is coming too but I'm sure that'll change.

It's a fortnight before the triathlon, so it'll also act as my last big ride before I start to lessen off on the training and get ready to flog myself in and out of the water for a few hours. I know this may seem daft, but an endurance event like the dynamo makes an event like a triathlon seem much more manageable... Albeit a little quicker.

Should be an interesting test for the brytonas the battery life is supposed to be 16 hours on it's powersaving mode

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Bryton Cardio 60 Review - Part one: Unboxing

Finally after a couple of false starts trying to purchase a Garmin 310xt that left me £150 down for a fortnight (Gee thanks Amazon) and one returned order I have settled on the Bryton Cardio 60 GPS Multisport watch. There were several reasons for the choice. In an ideal world I fancied the Suunto Ambit 2 or the Garmin Ambit2. I also wanted a bike GPS, wetsuit, new wheels... etc... you get the picture.

Deciding factors were:
  1. Rutland cycles had the unit with the HRM on sale for £119 (about half the RRP)
  2. DC Rainmaker had an OK and fairly in depth review
  3. It looks ok
  4. Vibrating alerts for laps/targets/time etc
  5. Multisport
So I picked it up from the post office on Green Lanes which was an experience in itself as I was the only person in their not conducting a week's worth of business at 9 in the morning. Hard though it was I made myself wait until I got home to take it out and have a play.

The box itself isn't as classy as the TomTom and a little less pro looking than the Garmin boxes.

In the box is the unit, a USB charger, HRM and strap, 2 instruction booklets (One with 12 pages of English instructions) and three copies of the warranty.

The Bryton Cardio 60 (With printed screen protector still on)

HRM and strap

USB Charging clip

Wrist shot (I have relatively large wrists)

The unit is surprisingly light and a little flimsy feeling. I am not massively concerned although the waterproof rating is only 30m. It is comfy on the wrist, does not feel particularly big, and the strap locks quite nicely to the strap loop.

I had already signed up for a account so I just needed to download the agent and update the software on the watch.

The site is pretty basic, but it appears to be ideal for an amateur like me. I'm going to customise the screens after using it a few times and see how it goes.

I tested it this morning on a gentle run and uploaded the info to the bryton site. The info is easier to read and analyse than it had been using the Runmeter app. It also appears to be more accurate (I'll need to test consistency) compared to googlemaps. When I mapped out a route on googlemaps then ran it on runmeter I'd frequently come up a lot shorter than the plan would suggest. I came in at 5.95km on a suggested 6km route but I started recording after I'd crossed the road, so I probably lost 20m. Not too shabby so far.

A main motivator for getting something like this for a race as complex (technically) as a triathlon is that I need to be training to complete each section as fresh as possible, which requires me to monitor my heart rate and pace. Difficult without kit.I entered my current times into a calculator online (at running free) and it reckoned I'd be all done in 03:09:55. Well we'll see.

DistanceSwimT1BikeT2RunTotal Time
Half IM
IM - Expert
IM - Beginner