Thursday, 8 September 2011

Calibratin' mah doodacky

I was at the gym the other day, with a personal trainer. She was checking my running gait pattern for me, because I've been having a few issues with my left hip, and my right lower leg. She also showed me a few good stretches and self-massage thingees that would help me improve my running and avoid injury.

We discussed all things running, and I told her about how I'd moved to treadmill running for several reasons (new city and not knowing where to run, not knowing how far I've run because there's no distance markers, forever coming up with lame excuses to just go to the gym and run on the treadmill because its easier etc etc), but that I would have to start running outside again, to prepare for the quarter marathon that is coming up way too fast (OMG less than two months now!!!). She showed me her Nike SportBand, and how it tracked your distance, time, pace and calories burned (not that I care about calories, but the rest is rather handy information), and told me she got it at Dress-Smart for $40 (normal retail $100).

So what did I do? Drove on out to Dress-Smart in Onehunga and bought me a Nike SportBand!! Unfortunately the only colour they had was pink, but for a $60 saving I wasn't going to complain. And it matches my iPod and headphones :-) For some reason, Deane seems to think I like pink, and keeps buying me pink running accessories...

Anyway, before you go all gung-ho and start running all over the place, the website recommends you calibrate your SportBand by running a known distance (say, on a track) and setting it to your running style/speed etc so on future runs it can get an accurate reading. It took me a few days of research online, but I finally found a park relatively nearby (read: 15 minutes drive away in Mt. Roskill) that had an accessible running track, and I headed down there this morning to 'calibrate mah doodacky'. As per the very minimal instructions, I pressed the wee button down on the wristband for three seconds, then off I went. Five laps later (2km) I pressed the button down again for another three seconds, as per the very minimal instructions. I drove home and plugged the sensor into the laptop, and apparently I'd only run for 0.01 miles, for less than 30 seconds. Something obviously went wrong there! After mucking around with it for a wee while, I figured I had it set.

So I drove back out to the park, and tried again. Another five laps (and another 2km) I drove home again, and plugged in the sensor. It worked! Unfortunately, it was all set to miles. No good. I tried changing the settings to kilometres, and it kept saying it had, but my run still said miles. And I couldn't get it to calibrate on the site - apparently I had no valid runs. The instructions were not helping!!! The minimum run distance for calibration was 400 metres, but they recommended 1.6km (hence the 2km/5 lap thing).

I deleted my profile, and set up a new one. Now I am heading back out to the park for one last 2km run in the hopes that the third time will be lucky. Fingers crossed!

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I'm back, my doodacky is officially calibrated, and I have run 6km today. I think its time for a cup of tea and a hot shower. Technological genius I most decidedly am not :-)

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