Yamaha’s $299 BODiBEAT expensive, lame

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I really don’t have a clue how Yamaha thinks it’s going to compete in the personal audio player/workout market with its new product, the BODiBEAT.  The concept, a personal audio player that automatically syncs the rhythm of your tunes to the rhythm of your workout, is cool.  The execution, a 512MB armband with proprietary headphones/ear-clip heart rate monitor, is not.  Adding to the lameness is the proprietary desktop software, BODiBEAT Station, used to categorize your 512MB of tunes by beats per minute (BPM) for use in your workouts.

From the press release:

“The worlds first music player that selects songs to match the pace of the users workout, it automatically syncs music selections with the steps of the users walk or run. A total workout tracking and personal music solution, BODiBEAT redefines the capabilities of portable music players, and makes exercising more fun than ever before. “

Yeah, right.  Perhaps if Yamaha had brought this product to market five or seven years ago, it would be worth some consideration.  As it stands now, I can’t believe they’ve released this product with a straight face.  Seriously, head over to NewEgg and grab a 1GB music player for about $40.  Then go over to JogTunes or Google and grab yourself some tunes that match a nice, comfortable pace.  Already have an iPod Nano?  Then just grab the Nike+ Sport kit and some BPM’d tunes.  Seriously, any combination of music player plus music you already like has got to be better than dropping $299 on this thing.

Nike+ iPhone Screenshots Leaked

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UPDATE: AppleInsider says that the leaked screenshots are fakes.  Are the screenshots the real deal or are they the result of a hopeful photoshopper?  We report, you decide.

The Nike+ iPhone we’ve all been waiting for may now be one step closer to reality.  Leaked screenshots are showing up all over the web this morning, all of them seeming to come from the french blog iPhon.fr.  Gizmodo has this to say:

From what we can skim, Nike+ users will get all of the nifty performance graphs right on the phone (before this stuff was available on the web only). But the biggest improvement over the old Nike system may be Google Maps support.

Rumor has it that we’ll see the new functionality coming sometime in September.  I’m excited, but I’m not holding my breath.  What have you guys heard?  Let us know in the comments.

RunKeeper

Running, Technology 2 Comments »

RunKeeper for the iPhone

With the release of the 3G iPhone last month, developers have been frantically producing applications for the public, so it was only a matter of time before a decent running application came along that utilizes the GPS capabilities of the iPhone. RunKeeper is an application currently in development that will allow iPhone runners to track speed, pace, running history, and also has the ability to map runs using GPS. If you are an iPhone owner you might want to hold off on any secondary GPS device until RunKeeper is released. View a video preview on the official RunKeeper Web site, or keep tabs on the latest news via the RunKeeper blog.

Fly Like the Wind

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Keep an eye out for new Nike footwear when the 2008 Olympic games kicks off this weekend in Beijing. The Nike Flywire running shoe has been supplied to the US track and field team and weighs in at an incredibly light 96.3g per pair. An even lighter version known as the Zoom Victory Spikes weighs just 90.7g and has been specially developed for middle distance runners (800m). Hopefully the shoe will play a part in the success of the US athletes Olympic mission, but either way, the new shoes, which were inspired by the same material that suspension bridge cables/wire use, will be available to the public in the fall.

July Challenge Winners - New Challenges for August

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Congratulations to our challenge winners for the month of July!

  • Most Miles: Once again, lasabur takes top honors with 250.08 miles. Go lasabur!
  • Fastest 1 Mile: mdoug earns fastest mile honors with a time of 4′47”
  • Fastest 3K: mdoug again, with a time of 9′42”
  • Fastest 5K: mdoug takes the prize with a time of 16′30”
  • Fastest 10K: mdoug sweeps the July “Fastest” challenges with a time of 35′23”

Congrats to both of July’s winners, and best of luck to August’s challengers. If you’re not already running with us this month, head over to the Challenges page, join in, and get running!

DIY Nike+ Battery Replacement

Nike+, Technology, Tips, Tutorials 3 Comments »

Is your Nike+ Sport Kit battery kaput?  Don’t want to spend the $20 necessary on a new sensor?  Why not check out this handy, do-it-yourself article, “Replace battery in Nike+ receiver for under $5.”

The steps should take 10-15 minutes to complete and require tools that you probably already have around the house.  You’ll need to buy a new battery, of course, but the required CR2032 battery is easily found at many online retailers and at your local RadioShack.

Via Instructables.

Garmin Forerunner 305 vs Nike+ Sport Kit

Nike+, Reviews, Running, Technology 1 Comment »

Last month my wife brought home a Garmin Forerunner 305 that her company wanted her to test out.  She didn’t have the time or the energy to test it herself, so she asked me if I would be their guinea pig.  I couldn’t jump in that mouse maze fast enough!  It was the perfect opportunity to perform a head-to-head comparison of the Garmin Forerunner 305 vs the Nike+ Sport Kit.

The calibration for the Garmin took about two minutes.  You have to be outside when you turn the Forerunner on so it can sync with the GPS satellites.  After I zeroed everything out and strapped on the heart monitor, I was off to the races.

The course that I ran was relatively straight and covered a distance of 1.2 miles.  When I finished the Garmin had recorded a distance of 1.27 miles and the Nike+ chip had recorded a distance of 1.19 files.

So, at the end of the run, which one was better?

Unfortunately there isn’t a definitive answer, not from this weekend warrior.  Personally, I prefer the Nike+ chip because:

  • It has an easy setup
  • The music
  • Better online community
  • Less hardware to manage
  • Much cheaper

However, the Garmin Forerunner 305 does have:

  • Heart rate monitor
  • GPS mapping
  • Lap history
  • Slightly more accurate distance

I would recommend the Garmin Forerunner for the serious, hardcore athlete who models their training after a chapter in Lance Armstrong’s book.  For the everyday runner, I can’t endorse the Nike+ Sport Kit enough.  For the price, I don’t think you can beat the Nike+ experience.

Going for Gold (Update)

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Last month we interviewed Jordan Desilets, a US 3,000m Steeplechase athlete who was participating in the US Olympic Trials. Jordan took part in the 3km Steeplechase final at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon yesterday afternoon and finished in 8th place with a time of 8:38.84, missing out on a spot in the US Olympic team by just 17 seconds.

Watch the Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase Final, US Olympic Trials
NBCOlympics.com.

The top three finishers, Anthony Famiglietti (8:20.24), William Nelson (8:21.47), and Joshua McAdams (8:21.99) will all represent the United States at the Beijing Olympics which begin on August 8. We wish Jordan and the three Olympic qualifiers the best of luck for the future.

June Challenge Winners - New Challenges for July

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Congratulations to our challenge winners for the month of May!

  • Most Miles: lasabur took simonji’s place at the top with 293.37 miles!
  • Fastest 1 Mile: robottino keeps fastest mile honors with a time of 5′26”
  • Fastest 3K: robottino again, with a time of 11′39”
  • Fastest 5K: Jay35 takes the honors with a time of 19′17”
  • Fastest 10K: Newcomer keithmichael blazes to the top with a time of 35′49”

Congrats to June’s winners, and best of luck to July’s challengers. If you’re not already running with us this month, head over to the Challenges page, join in, and get running!

Nike+ Running Shoes Ahead of the Pack

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The Detroit Free Press reported results on Tuesday of the 2008 Consumer Reports running shoe survey. Top of the list? The Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ series available for both men and women.

The survey, which involved testers running a total of 1,240 miles on 205 pairs of running shoes, rated shoes based on stability, cushioning, fit, weight, breathability and flexibility. Here are the official top three winners:

1. Nike Air Zoom Vomero+
2. Brooks Glycerin 6
3. Adidas Supernova Cushion 7