GO>ID Review

 Posted by on June 4, 2013  No Responses »
Jun 042013

Staying fit is one thing, staying safe is a whole different game.  As we’ve mentioned before, staying safe while out for a run, hike, walk, ride, climb, or swim is an extremely important factor to consider when participating in these activities.  For the most part, this can be achieved through simple means: going out with a friend, keeping yourself well-lit or wearing reflective clothing, running with a cell phone for emergencies, knowing your surroundings, and paying attention to the time of day (if trail-running, mornings can be hazardous because of animals; if road running, nights can be bad due to crime or traffic).  Unfortunately, even if you take the aforementioned precautions, I would be lying to you if I told you that they make you magically immune to accidents.  For those times that something does goes wrong, it is best to be prepared.

Enter GO>ID, with which, as they so elegantly put it:

You’ll have the peace of mind to do everything you want to with the confidence to go anywhere.

As far as big ideas go, the simple ones are always the best. Continue reading »

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Mio Alpha Review

 Posted by on April 26, 2013  No Responses »
Apr 262013

Shorts? Check! Shirt? Check! Socks? Check! Shoes? Check!  Water-bottle? Check!  Watch? Check!  You open the door, go outside, stretch, take a deep breath, and hit start on your watch.  No heart rate….  Has this happened to you before?

It’s funny to me that the most common complaint about wearing a chest strap is the lack of comfort, but, honestly, that is the least of my issues with it.  The only problem I have with it is after a 10 hour day at the office, all I want to do is come home throw on my running clothes and shoes, put on my watch and hit the pavement.  Unfortunately, for those of us interested in heart rate monitoring, we are immediately delayed by the extra three, four, or even five steps (depending on your device) involved with getting the heart rate strap diodes wet, strapping it on, getting the sensor snapped on, and the then connecting the sensor/monitor to the watch itself .  I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, that’s a first world problem…”, but we all know that sometimes you’ll take any reason to avoid your evening run.  The Mio Alpha Heart Rate Monitor aims to solve this problem. Continue reading »

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Garmin Forerunner 110 Review

 Posted by on March 15, 2013  2 Responses »
Mar 152013

The Garmin Forerunner 110 (henceforth known as the FR110) has been around since early 2010. It is the least expensive model in the Forerunner series ($179.99 w/o a HRM strap, $229.99 w/ a HRM strap) that offers both GPS and heart rate tracking (the FR70 and Forerunner 10 are $50 cheaper, but the former is HR-only and the latter is GPS-only). I have been running with the FR110 since August of last year, which is about the time I realized that my iPhone’s battery wasn’t going to be able to make it through longer and longer training runs for our half marathon with the GPS feature running. Overall, I have found the FR110 to be a good investment in my running career. The quality of both the data and the device itself live up to the high standards I have for a product from Garmin, one of the leading GPS companies in the world, and, perhaps more importantly, being able to review how my heart rate changes throughout my run and getting accurate measurements of my pace and distance have helped me to better evaluate my fitness goals and progress.  Continue reading »

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Fitbit One Review

 Posted by on December 18, 2012  No Responses »
Dec 182012
FitBit One

In November of last year, after a failed trial with the Jawbone Up, Steve and I became Fitbit converts, and for the next 12 months, I diligently used my Fitbit Ultra to record essentially every step I had taken (over 2 million!), every staircase I had climbed (over 4000!), every minute I slept*, and, through their online interface (and LoseIt!), every meal I ate**.  Of course, as you might imagine, a device that is on your person during every waking hour, can start to show some wear and tear, especially when it belongs to someone like me who has a propensity to bump into things (sometimes hard enough to knock the device off of myself).

So, with a Fitbit Ultra that was cracking at the hinge, and starting to act a little weird, I was pretty excited to find out that two new Fitbits were being introduced in October/November, and, as I noted in my earlier post about their release, I set my sights on the Fitbit One. I’ve now spent a month with the device, and, although the Ultra and One are, at their cores, very similar devices in terms of how they work and the data they collect, the One boasts several new and improved features that are worth considering if you are in the market for an upgrade.

*At least, I did, for about the first 3 months, until my armband fell apart, and I got tired of seeing the same data night after night.

**You say I skipped entering that pint of ice cream because I felt guilty about eating it? I admit to nothing… Continue reading »

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Polar RCX5 Review

 Posted by on November 28, 2012  1 Response »
Nov 282012

I use my Polar Heart Rate monitor more than any other piece of exercise equipment. Ever.

My obsession with this watch-turned-monitoring device started innocently enough two Christmases ago, when, after pouring over reviews online, I decided to order an FT4 (see Meagan’s review here) to help me better track my workouts. After one joyous run together, my watch and I were a unified team. No longer did I have to guess how hard I was working out, instead my heart rate served as a steady barometer of my efforts. I knew how many calories I was burning, how much to refuel, and when to dig deep and push myself harder.

This love affair between me and my watch was pretty spectacular. I took my FT4 everywhere, from long runs and triathlons to trips to different states and countries. I wore that watch every single day, and when I wasn’t working out, my exercise-conscience fashion statement told the world how awesome I was. In fact, my Mom had to remind me to take it off before I walked down the aisle to get married. Apparently it “clashed” with my vintage pearl bracelets.

It was only due to a life changing decision that I decided to upgrade to a more feature-laden Polar RCX5 a few months ago. I’ll skip ahead and ruin the ending of this fairy tale: I thought I loved my FT4, but now, after using my RCX5 for three months, I now know what true heart-rate-monitor love is. Continue reading »

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Nike Plus SportWatch GPS Review

 Posted by on October 1, 2012  6 Responses »
Oct 012012
Nike SportWatch02

Before I begin to bury everyone in stories and specifications of the Nike Plus SportWatch, I want to explain my decision to try out a Nike HRM/GPS watch rather than a more popular Garmin Forerunner or Polar.  Anyone who knows me would be able to explain my passion for electronics and my obsession with reading product reviews, along with doing tons of research on a product before making a purchase. With that said, you can understand the trouble I had when choosing a product that meshes two of my favorite things, technology and running.  This decision can be explained by one important word: ecosystem.  Apple has it, Google has it, Amazon has it, and Nike has it.  Other watch/fitness competitors are trying to build similar communities for the fitness world but, unfortunately, no one has it quite like Nike.  The recent Nike Plus website rebuild is one of the best examples of a company realizing a major flaw in a major market and turning it into something that could ultimately become Nike’s biggest selling point.  From what I have seen, no competitor has a similar community to Nike Plus and with as many miles as I have logged on their website, I wouldn’t dare leaving it without something amazing on the other end.

Continue reading »

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Jul 122012

Manufacturer4iiii Innovations

Model: Sportiiiis Heads Up Display

Base Price: $149.99

As much as I love my Garmin, I am constantly bothered that I can’t read off my pace and heart rate at the same time.  Obviously, the two are intricately connected.  The Sportiiiis easily solves this problem with a nifty LED indicator that sits below your eye and lets you know if your heart rate is in the correct zone, or if you’re pumping too hard.  Furthermore, it will actually tell you exactly what your heart rate is, requiring no switching between screens on my Forerunner.  The Sportiiiis is a great little device, but requires a bit of setup, equipment, and knowledge to use.  In this review, I will be breaking down the positives and negatives of the Sportiiiis and letting you know how it works. Continue reading »

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