Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Toys for Training

Often times I've heard that buying something new will help to encourage you "get out there" and train more. You should see all the swimsuits and goggles that I have still in their packaging as well as all the other STUFF. I should run a gym out of my basement, but I digress.

My latest purchases were a pair of New Balance Wind Blocker running tights that I snagged from an REI Clearance sale for $25. I'm picky when it comes to tights since I don't like to wear things that are.. well, tight on me. My usual riding/running tights are a pair of Novara Headwind Pants from REI which are tight in the rights spots with enough bagginess in other spots. I have two pairs of these pants and always were a pair of tri shorts underneath. Love the fit. So I'm really picky when it comes to a NEW brand of tights. I was a little leery at first, but wore them Friday AM paired with my other recent purchase.

As with tights, I'm picky when it comes to watches. My first Timex watch I got back in 1992 and it lasted up until a few years ago. It had gone through multiple band and battery replacements, you couldn't read what each button was supposed to do, but that darn thing kept ticking! That was until the buttons stopped working and I had to 'fall back' whenever I wanted to tell time since I couldn't change it for Daylight Savings. When that battery died I knew it was time for a new watch. I won a watch for placing well in my division at Ironman Wisconsin in 2004, but that watch wasn't me even though it was free. It was pink for goodness sake! I've since been using a Polar S410 HRM which is a bit outdated, but does what I expect of it - keeps my lap/mile splits and tells me my HR. Simple. I don't ask much of it, but I still yearned for a good ol' Timex.

For Christmas I thought I did my research when looking for a watch that has interval settings. Aside from that ability, I was picky in its appearance, fit, and other functions. My dad is not as picky as I am and just wants a watch that tells time. Are we related?? I did receive what I had put on my list, but when looking for the interval Mode option, I could not find it. I was upset to have spent so much time researching a watch that I didn't want. It did find a home, and my father took the watch instead of returning it since he had asked for a watch, and one that tells time. Enjoy, dad!

My mom felt bad and gave me about $40, the cost of that watch, to buy one that I wanted. I went back to a watch I had first looked at but thought was 'too much watch' for me and too pricey, but tried it on during a lunch break and purchased it online later that day.

"But why buy it online instead of at the store when you tried it on?" you ask. Because it was $15 cheaper at the same stores online shop. I found the same watch at a Target, but was happy with my decision to get it online even if it meant waiting a few days for it to arrive. The total cost came to around $46, cheaper than at Target - beat that!. I'm sure I could've asked to get it for the online price, but, whatever.

Features 100-hour chronograph with lap or split option; 150-lap memory recall and 100-hour, 3-mode countdown timer; 1-button lap reading--auto-release

Includes 12/24 hour time format, nine interval timers, five programmable alarms, 5-minute back-up alarm and second time zone with date display

These are just some of the features and it's obvious that it has more 'stuff' than I need (150 laps??), but what I'm most interested in are the nine interval timers. The most I'll probably use are three, but I tested out 2 of them Friday with my new nights.

I went out for a quick 45 minute run (would've been longer if I didn't stall so much) and programmed in a couple interval times - 4:30 and 2:15. I figure on a good day I could run a 9 minute (metric) mile, so 4:30 would be my 800m split and 2:15 my 400m split. I set it to cycle through both intervals (4:30, then 2:15) and stopped the watch at the end of the workout. I would pick up the pace on the 800 and slow down and recover for the 400, but not to an "I'm running in place here until the sign says WALK cuz I'm an idiot" pace. The point of the run was to get in a speed workout without stopping to rest and completely dropping my HR. Looking at MapMyRun.com later and tracking my route, it looks like I covered roughly 4.3 miles in 39:45 (9:12 mile pace). Not bad for actually seeming like I care about distance and pace. I do hope to drop my time splits to 4:00 and 2:00 as well as mile pace to something closer to 8:50-9:00 for longer runs. If I keep caring, and running, it will come.

I love the watch and the tights were great. I wore tri shorts under them since I like a little more padding and protection on my thighs and did have to adjust the gripper legs on the tri shorts a couple times pre-run. I didn't feel like I was running with newly formed basket under my crotch due to saggy pants, so that's a plus. I dig zippered ankles and some reflective strips, which they also have.

I plan to do more interval work like this by incorporating them in with longer runs during the week as well as on weekend long runs. It's a fun way to train and an even better way to annoy anyone else around you with the constant BEEP, BEEP, BEEPING of the interval timer.


At 8:26 PM, Blogger Neal Jamison said...


I just stumbled across your blog. I too am a big fan of the Timex Ironman. Nothing beats it for durability, style and most important: function. I got a solar one for Christmas last year.

Anyway, I'm enjoying your blog. See you on the trails.


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