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.

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.

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.

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