It’s Official, the 405 is Shipping!

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With all of the speculation surrounding the release date of the Garmin Forerunner 405, I decided to go straight to Garmin and ask them when the new device will be released. I got this response from a Garmin Product Support Specialist in my inbox this morning:

The Forerunner 405 have started shipping. They have only been shipping out for a few days, so it may still be another week or two until some retailers start to receive them.

The 405 still shows up as “not yet released” on Amazon, but REI apparently already has some in stock.

Read Scott’s pre-release review of the 405 here.

Visit Garmin’s 405 site, with specs, manuals, and FAQs, here.

UPDATE: 405’s have arrived at Chicago’s Garmin store, and a tip on getting 15% off from a commenter at Navigadget.

Going the Distance

Challenges, Nike+, Running Add a Comment »

Going the DistanceUsually, when I login to my Nike+ account, I view my personal challenges and the 400mToGo challenges. However, the other day I was cruising around some of the other Nike+ content and I came across the Distance Club.

Distance Club Milestones
100MI, 500MI, 1000MI, 2000MI, 3000MI, 4000MI, and 5000MI

The the basic mission of 400mToGo is to appeal to Nike+ runners of all abilities. When I came across the Distance Club, I couldn’t believe the tremendous distances that some of my fellow Nike+ runners had logged. I was especially amazed at how many people have reached the top three milestones:

Milestone: Number of Runners
3000MI: 105
4000MI: 34
5000MI: 14

User ChuckJonard, one of the 14 at the 5000MI milestone, has logged a total of 8,728.13 miles at an average pace of 19 minutes 32 seconds. What an accomplishment! I’ve definitely found my newest source of inspiration. These amazing accomplishments prove, with persistence, patience, dedication, and determination, nothing is impossible.

Interview with Nike’s Chris Shimojima

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Since 2006, Chris Shimojima has overseen Nike’s online business. E-consultancy.com had an opportunity to sit down with Chris and ask some questions during ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst Conference. Most interesting to me were the questions Chris answered about how Flash heavy the Nike sites are.

“There are some limitations [to Flash], absolutely. We are looking at the whole execution of it. We got a little bit too technology oriented without really thinking about the other collateral benefits or disadvantages with Flash.”

Scott and I have frequently said to each other the Nike+ site is a lot prettier than it is functional. It’s good to hear that Nike is aware of this and is considering making some changes.

You can read the whole interview here.

Map Your Runs With An Online Pedometer

Running, Technology, Tips, Websites 2 Comments »

Back in the day, if you wanted to map a running route by distance, you had a couple of options: drive a route and track mileage with your odometer, grab a map, a ruler, and a calculator, or pick a route that was measured by someone else and hope their calculation was correct. Thankfully, with the advent of online mapping, that’s no longer the case. Route planning, mapping, and distance calculation is now a simple matter of a few clicks of the mouse.

So, what’s a pedometer anyhow? According to this Wikipedia article, a pedometer is “a device . . . that counts each step a person takes by detecting the motion of their hips” in order to calculate distance traveled. I guess that means an online mapping tool that calculates distance traveled isn’t really a pedometer, but now I’m just being pedantic.

Seeing as how each of the three online pedometers below is a Google Maps mashup, the “best” tool becomes a matter of personal preference.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Balance LOVE/Hate Campaign Videos

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The New Balance LOVE/hate campaign has begun, and it’s even better than I thought it would be. Very clever ads, in my opinion. As is common nowadays, New Balance is attempting to take their campaign viral by posting the videos on YouTube. Below are my favorite ads from the campaign.

LOVE/hate Rain: “. . . nothing spices up a relationship like a hot, sweaty, make-up run.”

LOVE/hate Bench: “You broke up with running last week, and now you see running everywhere, looking really, really good.”

See the other LOVE/hate videos at YouTube.

Loic Le Meur Interviews Michael Tchao of Nike+

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Loic Le Meur, a San Francisco based French blogger and entrepreneur, ran into Michael Tchao of Nike+ while in Cannes. Luis took the opportunity to interview Michael for his show Seesmic du Jour. Among other topics, Michael discusses the motivation behind the product, the social aspects of Nike+, and the Nike+ SportsBand. Enjoy.

A Change of Pace

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Ever since I purchased my Nike+ kit I’ve been relying on the collected data not only for motivation, but to track my training as well. I’m currently on hiatus from any serious training until June, when I start training for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. My fellow bloggers and I have all expressed the need to train smart. Part of my “smart” training strategy is to give my body a break - especially my knees.

My current regimen now consists of three types of running:

  1. Up to 4 miles outside
  2. Running to the gym (~1.12 miles from my house), working out, and then running home
  3. Up to 4 miles on the treadmill

This has been my routine since early March and it feels great. My knees are holding up and I haven’t had any problems with motivation due to the fact that each workout is different.

This change of pace is helping keep me on track.

My Favorite Music to Listen to while Running

Music & Audio Add a Comment »

One of my biggest musical influences on a personal level and as a runner, is an electronic IDM (”Intelligent Dance Music”) artist known as TheFlashbulb. What I most enjoy about listening to TheFlashbulb’s music (real name Benn Jordan), is the variety of tempo, styles and overall ambience each soundscape creates.

Listen to TheFlashbulb.

I have yet to find a more perfect album to run to than the 2005 release, “Kirlian Selections“. What’s so incredible about this album is that it spans an incredible 28 songs on one CD - all killer, no filler. This piece of work is more than just music, it’s a complete journey, and it’s a perfect soundtrack for runners because there are a selection of tracks with pounding, electronic beats that help motivate and push you harder, while there are contrasting, gentler melodies played on a piano that can relax the mind and body during a workout.

I will always have fond memories of this album because it was what I was listening to on my iPod when I won my very first 5k race in 2007. I hope the album inspires some more of you to victory too.

Milestone Motivation

Running Add a Comment »

One feature I would like Nike to readdress is the way Nike+ rewards runners with certificates on the Nike+ Web site.

Presently, Nike+ e-mails customized achievement awards to Nike+ members when runners reach certain mileage markers. It’s a great idea and a great way to motivate and congratulate runners of all abilities. At the moment however, certificates are only sent out when runners reach the 100, 500, and 1,000 mile milestones.

I ran my first 100 miles with Nike+ on February 6, 2007 and did not complete 500 miles until over 11 months later on January 19, 2008. That means I went almost an entire year without any extra motivation from Nike+, a long time if you are a novice or beginner runner who needs as much motivation as possible.

It would seem a smart move for Nike to maintain the user’s interest in healthy exercise and to keep them coming back to the Nike+ experience. My suggestion would be to distribute certificates every 50 miles instead of at the 100, 500 and 1,000 mile mark. I think this would reach out more to the average runner and typical Nike+ user who may only run or walk approximately 25 miles per month. Knowing that each additional milestone of 50 miles brings with it a certificate of achievement could really help motivate some people to continue running over a longer period of time.

Nike+, GPS (might be) Coming to the iPhone

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Stuff.tv reported last week that Nike+ functionality is definitely coming to the iPhone. Mark Wilson of Stuff.tv had a sitdown with the guys in Beaverton and came back with the exciting news.

“. . . Nike+ will definitely be extending its compatibility beyond the iPod Nano to the iPhone and iPod Touch. No surprise there really, but the interesting detail is that it could also make use of both devices Wi-Fi (and, ultimately for the iPhone, 3G capability) to let you update your training log on the fly.”

While getting your news straight from Nike HQ would seem to be authoritative, there’s some suspicion at Electronista that Nike+ won’t be coming to the iPhone as soon as we might hope. The clues come from beta firmware slated for the iPhone 2.0.

“. . . earlier references to Nike+ equipment have been dropped and point to delayed or scrapped plans for integrating the sport pedometer with the phone.”

The “earlier references” line comes from comparing earlier versions of iPhone firmware to the latest beta version.

So where does this leave those of us who can’t wait to go running with a Nike+ enabled iPhone? I don’t think there’s any doubt that the iPhone will eventually support Nike+, but it may not be happening as quickly as we hope.

The majority of reports seem to contradict my conclusion. Check them out and decide for yourself.

GPS, Stereo Bluetooth & Nike+ Headed For iPhone

Nike+ on its way to iPhone and iPod touch

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Nike+ coming to iPhone and iPod touch

iPhone/iTouch users may get Nike+ functionality… one day