Monthly Archives: August 2014

Using endomondo to track your sports performance

Using Endomondo

GPS tracking has never been so easy. Previously I have only heard elite people use GPS watches. Now that smartphone have in build gps and networks, mobile apps that can track an athlete’s ability gets a lot easier.

I have tried adidas mycoach and nike+ running. Partly I don’t like to use something propriety. And they have (at the time I tried them) focused on mostly running. I like endomondo because I like how endomondo interface.

The main dashboard shows one main measurement, and two smaller measurements directly underneath it. The measurements can changed to a different metric from

  • Current speed or pace
  • Average speed or space
  • Distance
  • Time

There is also a choice of the sport that you will be doing, including:

  • Run
  • Cycling (transport)
  • Cycling (sport)
  • Swimming (manual)
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Martial Arts
  • Yoga
  • And many more

For runs and hike, there is an option to look for a route.

To start the monitoring, press the play/pause button, to pause/stop it, press it again. At the end of the run press the stop button.  At the end of it, the app will request you post to your facebook or twitter account. This will automatically upload your post with the maps

During the run, endomondo may be giving you a feedback on the your total distance, total time, with your average pace. This can be changed in the settings

At the end of your run (or other exercise) you can get feed back on your activity. I personally like to see the graph of my lap pace, I can see when I was too slow or was very fast. Additionally, there is also a feedback on how much water you may need to drink after that activity. I am guessing this is based on your weight which you input into your profile, the activity type, intensity and duration.

In the long run, I like to to see the statistics of my performance, I can see daily, monthly, and annual statistics. I love it that I know quantitatively that I have been able to run faster, further and frequent than I have done before.

I had used endomondo to track my performance in my cycling as well as my running. I really took it seriously when I learned the 70.3 ironman I joined had a cut off time, So I calculated the slowest speed that I needed, and used endomondo to track when I achieved that line, and improved on it.

(note: I wrote the article before I found and saw the video. Its funny to see that the video summarized the features quite well)

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Where do you want to be

What is the purpose of you running? What are your goals? Goals often change, often for the better.

Some people are required to do a run as a fitness test. Some people want to achieve a certain running distance. those distance include 5km, 10km, 21km (half-marathon), 42km (Marathon) and more than 42km (ultra-marathon)

For people who already has distance ability, they might consider reducing the time they finish the race.

You may even be considering running to look good. There are two body types of runners:

  • sprint runners often have muscular and toned bodies.
  • marathon runners are usually thin and scrawny.

For most people it is about health and fitness. Among the noted health benefits of running includes:

  • Prevents diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure,heart attacks, etc.
  • Boost immune system
  • smooth bowel movement – lower cases of colon cancer.
  • Stress Relief, and eliminates depression.
  • Lose Weight (especially long distance)

overall the benefits will undoubtedly boost our confidence

Up Next: Running Gear.

 

Tracking your performance

This post is related to knowing where you are, and before knowing where you want to be.

As mentioned before, it is helpful to know your current ability in order to see improvements.

In running the simplest way to measure performance is by a few simple parameters that are related:

  • Distance is how far you can or have run e.g. in kilometers.
  • Time is the how long it takes. e.g. in hours or minutes.
  • Speed and pace are one and the same but viewed differently.
    • Speed is Distance over time. e.g. Kilometer Per hour.
    • Pace is Time over speed. e.g. minutes per kilometer.

If we were to measure using speed kmph, we would be running at around 10-20kmph. If we were using pace then it would be 10min/km upto 5min/km. Most runners prefer to look at pace.

How do you track performance?

There are two ways. Manually and Automatically.

Manually you can use a running track and a simple stopwatch. lacking in a running track, you can always  measure a route’s distance and the time you took. and later you can do the calculation.

Automatically, you can use a GPS watch OR a Sports tracking App on your smartphone. 

GPS watches you can look at.

  • Garmin
  • Timex
  • Soleus

Sports tracking app on smartphones (android and/or iphone)

  • endomondo (my personal favourite)
  • Adidas micoach
  • nike+ running
  • mapmyrun

Up next: Where do you want to be.

  • mytracks

Know where you are in your ability

Before we head out in a journey, we need to know three things.

  • Where we are now. e.g. Point A
  • Where we want to be, and e.g. Point B.
  • how can get from where we are to where want to be. e.g. How to get from Point A to point B.

So the first part is to know where you are, in this case your running ability. You will need this as a base line so you can see the improvements in your training. The following are two simple questions you can look at.

  • How fast can you run in a certain distance e.g. 1km or 2.4km?
  • How far is the farthest you have run, and at what pace.
How can you test? Simple answer. Run.
For the speed test. Either you choose a route that you know its length, or you run a 400m running track 2.5 times for 1km, or 6 times for 2.4km. Uniformed officers usually are required to perform a fitness test of either these two distances under a a time limit.

For the stamina test it is a bit tricky.You don’t really know until you try. The simplest answer is simply what was the longest run you did previously. Alternatively you can test yourself gradually. Either at the running track and calculate based on how many laps you have done. A bit more risky is you just run a route until you get tired, you may to walk all the way back. which counts to your longest distance. Knowing the pace is a simple matter of calculating time over distance. or during your run you can use a gps tracking watch or app.

Up next: Performance tracking. 

Sharing with others how to do endurance sports

I ran my first ever marathon in 2006 in Brunei’s First Marathon organized by Standard Chartered Bank. I ran for the first half and walk the rest, all in 7 hours and 30 minutes. I had 9 months training. I tried again the next year, I had built up my speed down to 10km in 1 hour, unfortunately 2 weeks before the event I sprained my ankle, I tried to continue my run, but I only last half the distance. For the next few years I stopped running long distance, until I picked it up again 2009. But just doing upto 10km distances.

2012, I picked up swimming again, participated in group triathlons as a swimmer, and for 2013 I decided to do the triathlon myself. That is a 1.5km open water swim, 40km cycling, 10km running. So I picked up running again, and picked up cycling as well. I did my first individual triathlon at the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Triathlon, and continued with the Serawak Triathlon, and 2014, I did a 70.3 Ironman at Putrajaya, Malaysia. htat was 2km open water swim, 90km cycling, and a 21km half marathon run.

Currently, I consider my swim above average, cycling average, and running slightly above average. A have taught a few friends and other people how to swim, trained a few others to run fast and far, and I am still learning myself on how to improve my cycle.

I have now decided to share what I know about endurance sports, in general triathlons, specifically, swimming and running, and I might even share about cycling as I learn myself.

The next few posts will be on Running. The topics I will look into includes.

  • Know where you are in your ability
  • Know where you want to be
  • Benefits of Running
  • Preparations before Running
  • Tracking your performance
  • Running Gear
  • Choosing shoes
  • Where to Run
  • Running Safety
  • Running Technique
  • Training Technique
  • Trainig Schedule
  • Mental State in Running
  • Barefoot Running
  • Risks of Running, Causes and Treatments.
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Joining a Run

Up next: Know Where you are in your ability.