Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category


Well I should not have been surprised.

The Garmin 310 XT records accurate time data in the swim. I’ve been having all kinds of weird distances recorded by the GPS (ratio of 3-to-1 actual miles), and my teammates have asked me to investigate. I’ve been getting 3.54 miles and 3.58 miles in the last two times I wore it in a mile-long course.

When you swim, the safest way to keep it on is to wear it under your wetsuit. Barring that, you wear it securely and snug on your wrist. For a normal swimmer and moderate ocean conditions, the arm can go about a meter under water. That depth doesn’t compromise the 310’s waterproofing (up to 50 meters advertised), but it does wreck havoc on the GPS signal. The unit will acquire, lose, and re-acquire the GPS signal multiple times in the swim. Even for a short quarter mile course.

In choppy conditions, the arm can go literally about 3-4 meters difference from stroke to stroke. The swells will push you up and pull you down (2 meter range) and then you put your arm under water for another meter. The GPS signal would be completely unreliable.

I did lend the device to a strong age grouper who recently swam a 1K in an olympic distance race. He swam in a protected cove under perfect conditions. He also wore the device under his wetsuit. For that race, the GPS recording is a joy to see because it was almost like he ran the whole thing slowly (1-3 miles per hour). I don’t think you can duplicate those conditions in most races.

A look at the Garmin site confirms my field test results. Here is the FAQ for it.  I will post 3 attachments later on to show the actual recordings (visual).

To make a long story short, just use your 310 as a timer in the water and ignore the GPS recording.


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And got the following:

  • a rear flasher that straps to the seat post (a new toy perhaps)
  • Perpetuem, plain flavored
  • a full rear wheel assembly with Continental trainer tires and 12-26 SRAM gears. I don’t know what the 12-26 ratio stands for, but they said it’s pretty standard (other choice is a 12-22).

I checked out the Specialized road bikes, but still too steep for me even with the discounted rate. Maybe I can find one that’s not too pricey.

So I walked out of my LBS a little poorer. I think I would have bought the additional rear wheel for the trainer sooner or later. The Continentals are designed for trainers, to cope with the heat better. Normal tires tend to overheat and then cause flats and inner tube replacement.

Trainer wheel

Trainer wheel

BTW, my coach suggested this expensive tool (PowerTap): I need a sponsor now!

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My new toy!

20 hour battery life, better GPS reception, waterproof to 50 meters, wireless sync. Compatible with power meters, display contrast. Minor differences from the 305 in setup; I was able to get all the settings right on the first try and it took but a few minutes. The wireless sync setup is the same as the 405 so no problems there either. What’s new is that the activity level and what type of athlete you are is also recorded. So for me, I maxed the activity level to 10 (>15 hours per week) and specified that I’m a lifetime athlete. I have to figure out what distinctions are made using these settings in the results compilation software. The G405 wireless USB attempted to acquire the 310XT as well, but I disabled the paring. I’m going to install the 310XT on a separate laptop just in case there is an incompatibility with having multiple GPS.  Someone else lost some training history when he installed two on the same laptop. Better safe than sorry!

Garmin 310XT

Garmin 310XT

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I was looking at my older running shoes when I suddenly got interested in comparing the wear patterns on the soles. I’ve been buying the Asics Gel Kayano series, not seeing any reason to change my choice from year to year. The Kayanos are Stability Plus shoes, which I really don’t need except for the excellent cushioning I’ve gotten used to in this series.

Like everyone else, there is a use pattern in the outer heel portion. Very slight compared to what over-pronators typically present. What I find interesting is the wear in front. It looks like it is mostly in the mid mid-foot area. The outer left and right mid-foot area are not worn down. I don’t know how that’s possible, other than the mid mid-foot area is somewhat raised? I don’t know.

I seem to produce the same wear patterns year-over-year. Which is a good thing. It also seems like for a new pair to fit my running form, the same wear pattern has to be put in place. What makes me think this is that my newest pair (GK15) is hardly a month-old as far as use but the wear pattern is already evident.


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Press releases with more details are here and here.

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Here is the link: www.primalwear.com

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I didn’t realize I had all these requirements in my head.

  • must be low to the ground
  • must be flexible and less protected against errors in biomechanics
  • must not be too heavy and can be used as a race pair
  • I must be able to wear it for a long time

I’ve purchased Gel-Kayano 13 and 14 in the previous years. I’m no longer convinced the stability stuff is working for me. So the model I chose is now performance neutral.

And here it is:


It is the Zoot Energy, size 10. I had worn a 10.5 in my other pairs, but for some reason that extra material felt funny on this pair. It comes from the triathlon world, so it has these attributes:

  • speed of entry — get in and out as quickly as possible (grabbers and quick-lacing system)
  • sockless wear — some triathletes prefer to go without socks (inside feels like a sock, Dri-Lex material)
  • water retention — it doesn’t gain water weight during the race (has ducts and drainage holes)
  • biomechanics — athletes run differently after racing a bike ( sole set up for midfoot strike)

I tested it on the treadmill at 10mph. The pair can handle the pummeling nicely. And there is give, making the shoe feel like a sock with a sole.  This will work fine for the purpose I have–to have a track-specific and race-specific pair of shoes.

I’m hardly original, as my teammates run with Zoot shoes. I’m looking forward to using it this week!

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