Garmin Forerunner 405

Running, Technology 17 Comments »

Meet your new best friend, the Garmin Forerunner 405. Scheduled for release in the US on April 21, 2008, on the same day the Boston Marathon takes place, the new Forerunner model will take personal training to a new dimension.

UPDATE: While the 405 was available for purchase at the Boston Marathon Expo, the general release date has been pushed back and has been difficult to nail down. The 405 could be released anytime between today and August of this year. You can pre-order your Forerunner 405 on Amazon now.—Ed.

UPDATE: The 405 is shipping! —Ed.

Building upon the success of the feature-rich but somewhat clunky-looking Forerunner 305 and Forerunner 205 predecessors, the GPS-enabled 405 has been redesigned as a stylish watch that can be worn all day long.

Unlike Nike+, which is based on an accelerometer sensor, the 405 uses GPS satellites to continuously track and record all your runs. So instead of having to attach anything to your shoe to help record or relay data, the Forerunner 405 records everything within the watch. Time, distance, calories, pace and even heart rate data (via a corresponding heart rate monitor accessory), are all collected by the 405.

Here’s the clincher: As soon as you’re done with your workout, and you get back home, your run data is sent wirelessly to your computer. While the Apple iPod Nano can only communicate your Nike+ data through iTunes via a USB connection, the Forerunner upload involves no wires whatsoever.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Marathon Application

Running 1 Comment »

A Marathon Application

My good friend and fellow Nike+ challenger Derek, who currently averages 80 miles per month, applied to run in this year’s Flora 2008 London Marathon. I was surprised to learn that Derek was turned down and would not be allowed to participate this year. “You keep winning the Nike+ challenges; you’re too good for us,” they said. I’m kidding about that quote of course, but I’m not joking about the decision.

It did not even cross my mind that runners had to apply to enter. I’m so used to running in fairly small local events that I thought runners just paid their money to register, and then show up on the day of the race. Not so for the London Marathon! I was quite shocked by this realization.

I have fond memories of watching the London Marathon each year on TV, as it is always shown live each April by the BBC on a Sunday morning. It’s a national, televised event that raises a lot of money for charity, most notably by a large number of runners who wear wacky and colorful costumes, competing not only to complete 26.2 miles, but also to see who can get on TV. So if “Wacky Steve” from Liverpool, dressed as a giant, yellow banana can be allowed to run the London Marathon in eight hours, surely the race organizers should let Derek from Birmingham, with a likely 4 hour 30 minute finish time, take part. Think again.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Nike+ Device(s) Imminent?

Nike+, Technology 7 Comments »

New Nike+ Device(s) Imminent?

There has been a flurry of speculation this week (Engadget and Gizmodo both reporting the same story) regarding a possible new Nike+ device that works without the need for an iPod. Tentatively titled the “Nike+ SportsBand,” the device will negate the need for an iPod and will function instead by communication between the Nike+ chip (in or on the running shoe) and the SportsBand device. The new device, which appears to be a bracelet/watch, features a removable section that would connect to your computer after a run via a USB interface.

What the reports this week haven’t realized or reported is that this is actually an update or variation to the Nike Amp+ device that has already been released. Take a look at the prototype image below and compare against the existing Amp+ device, the interface console/button is exactly the same:

Current Nike Amp+ device New/prototype Nike+ device

My personal view is that Nike most likely always envisioned the possibility of an Apple iPod-free device way before the Apple and Nike partnership. The obfuscation of Apple from the scenario obviously maximizes potential profit for Nike. What I hope will happen now however, is that Apple and Nike will continue to work together to build upon the success of Nike+ (in the Apple and Nike collaborative sense of the word) to develop a new Nike+ device that continues to be based around the Apple iPod Nano. My wishlist of features and improvements that I would like to see in the new Apple/Nike+ device will be listed in the near future in a separate post.

Slow and Steady

Challenges, Running, Tips 1 Comment »

Now, please don’t take my post title the wrong way. It’s not a lack of creativity or dedication to the cause, but rather I believe Scott must’ve read my mind when he published his last post.

My mom’s training for the ING half marathon in Atlanta, GA. She wanted to spend some quality time with me, so we went running last Saturday. Our desired distance was eight miles. I was a little nervous because the last time I ran that distance, I ended up killing myself for the sake of having a better ranking in the challenges. This has been stated before, but I really feel that it can’t be reinforced enough: while it’s good to push yourself, you definitely SHOULDN’T over train.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jeremy Screws Up

Nike+, Tips Add a Comment »

Does anyone remember the Far Side cartoon, “Roger Screws Up?” Roger is a cymbal player in an orchestra. He’s thinking to himself, “Don’t screw up, don’t screw up, don’t screw up . . .” The punchline? Roger is only holding one cymbal. Roger screws up.

I was Roger this weekend at the Celebrate everyBody 5k. I packed all of my running gear into my gym bag the night before (don’t screw up). I made sure my iPod was charged and full of great tunes (don’t screw up). I got to the race early to make sure I got good parking and to get registered (don’t screw up). I pulled my iPod and ear buds out of the gym bag and went to plug in the receiver and, oh no! I forgot my receiver!

What a monumental mistake! I had fallen victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never leave for a race without ensuring you have every component of your Nike+ Sport Kit!

I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten my receiver. By the time I realized it was missing, it was too late to go back to the house and get it (no way was I giving up my sweet parking spot). I had two choices: go home now and run a 5k in the neighborhood with the receiver or stay and run the race without it. For those of you who don’t yet know the joy of Nike+, staying for the race might be a no-brainer. For a Nike+ addict like myself, it was a thinker. Ultimately I decided to stay and run the race sans Nike+. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but having paid the price for my forgetfulness, you can be sure I won’t forget my receiver next time.

Inside the Nike+ Box

Nike+ Add a Comment »

Remember the first time you purchased your Nike+ and opened it for the first time? Or maybe you have yet to purchase your first Nike+ and want to know what’s included inside the box? All the pictures you need are right here. Fresh new box scent not included. ;-)

Fighting My Way Back

Injury, Running 4 Comments »

As previously posted, I’ve taken the past week off due to shin splints. During my hiatus, I noticed my mind and body were going through withdrawals because I wasn’t running. I was more irritable and not sleeping very well. I was going to run after work yesterday, but unfortunately I got home to find that ALL of my workout pants were in the wash. I was extremely disappointed because I was looking forward to my run.

So today, with fresh, clean clothes, I laced up my shoes, hit my power song, and was off for the four-mile comeback. For the first mile or so, I felt really good - my troublesome shin wasn’t causing me any problems. By mile two, I was feeling the effects of not having run for a week - fatigue and tight thigh muscles, as well as it being drizzly, cold, and desolate down at Tom Lee Park. Honestly though, what could I expect? I had basically returned to zero and was now fighting my way back to where I was prior to the injury. I kept thinking to myself as I approached the final 400 meters, how sweet victory would be and to have finished my run. Though I was extremely tired, I knew this was the run that was going to set things right.

Celebrate everyBody 5k - Lessons Learned

Nike+, Running, Tips Add a Comment »

When I first started running, I had no idea how much fun racing could be. This weekend was no exception. Held in the beautiful Shelby Farms park, the Celebrate everyBody 5k was a blast! The race was small but well attended, the course was beautiful, the event organizers were friendly, and the weather, while a little on the cold side, cooperated nicely. All in all, a fantastic experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Winning is for Losers

Challenges, Running 3 Comments »

Although I’ve been running regularly for the best part of 16 months now, I hit a point this month where it was really hard to get motivated and go running. A couple of factors influenced this state of mind, including a lack of sleep that consequently left me feeling too tired to run first thing in the morning (my preferred time to run), but also perhaps because I increased my mileage by 36% between December 2007 (69.69 miles) and January 2008 (95.47 miles) in an attempt to win a Nike+ challenge. As experts will attest to, the 36% increase in miles is too much of an increase within one month. The strange thing however, is that it wasn’t physical fatigue I felt this month, but more psychological fatigue. Why do I suddenly not want to go running? Why does the mere thought of running not interest me at the moment? Questions such as these have been running through my head and keeping me lying in bed first thing in the morning instead of embracing the dawn sunrise and getting out there to run.

Read the rest of this entry »

100 Miles Down, a Million Miles to Go

Nike+, Running 2 Comments »

Running has been really challenging lately. The combination of too much work, too little sleep, and cold, wet weather have made it tough to get out and rack up the miles. I’ve been pushing through these past couple of weeks and running anyway, making the post-run feelings of accomplishment even more rewarding than usual. It made it all the sweeter when I achieved my 100 mile Nike+ Milestone on Tuesday morning.

It took me three months and 36 runs to get to 100 miles, but that’s not the whole story. It took a lot of pain, sweat, determination, commitment, and perseverance too. The feelings of accomplishment and pride that I feel now make every cramp, every cold morning, and every difficult run worth the effort.

If you’re not a Nike+ runner, head over to the 400mToGo store right now and pick up a kit. It’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys, incredibly motivating, and when you reach your own 100 mile Milestone get in touch. We’ll celebrate together.