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GPS Mobile Phones & other gadgets

PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
I can't afford a fancy GPS HRM / Stopwatch so instead I bought a nice £75 Times Ironman jobby which does everything I ask it to do.

Unfortunately I haven't asked it to tell me what my current running speed is because i know it won't tell me.

Outside of buying a GPS watch or running alongside my bike and looking at my bike computer, are there any gadgets I can buy than can tell me what my running speed is?

iIm happy to buy a pedometer and accept the errors it might make, but I don't want to have to be looking at my pedometer & watch and make mental calculations.

Now, I'm due a free mobile phone upgrade. I'm happy to run with my phone in my hand so are there any phones that I can use? Does Nokia's Sport Tracker application do this? My only phone requirements are (a) phone calls and (b) accessing emails, though from a pop3 server, not enterprise.

After MK Tri in 2 weeks I switch to marathon training mode and want to develop a feel for what speed I'm running, and also to follow a programme I'll be following.

Any suggestions on gadgets that can tell me my run speed at little enough cost appreciated.

Comments

  • PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    First sentence should read "Timex". I still can't see how to edit posts on this infernal new forum,.
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Nokia sports tracker does do this, a mate of mine uses it for his running and likes it. I wouldnt be able to run with a mobile though. I was excited when they were handing out free software and the bike mount at Windsor, just a pity my Nokia is the wrong model.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    like bman says - nokia sports tracker will do gps mapping for cycling and running, and there is some suggestion that they are going to expand the service to allow for hrm and cadence.

    but... i've been using it with my n95 for the last 8 months or so and come to conclusion that i couldn't be arsed with it. main reason is signal quality from the satellites - if you have an unlimited data plan then you can set it a-gps and it works quickly and more reliably, but i don't and half the time it doesn't collect enough satellites under the normal gps setting.

    too many times i started a ride and when i got home to find it started 2 or 3 miles in. i think i got it to work once on a run out of maybe a dozen or more attempts. not good enough for me.

    because of this i've never got into the full features of it (downloading routes, uploading routes etc). on a bike i'm happy enough to bung it in a rear pocket or saddlebag but carrying an n95 gets a bit irritating on a run!

    my last little criticism of what is potentially a good system, free and really interesting as a way to use your mobi, is that it properly eats battery life. if you are going to use it a lot make sure you have access to a charger where you are going.

    it is free and very clever, but if you don't have an unlimited dataplan then you might find it unreliable (although model type probably makes some difference to this).
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    iPhone does this, too. There's a free app you can download which integrates with MapMyRun and allows you to upload to your training plan.

    Not sure if I'd want to carry an iPhone around with me when training, though.

    There are quite a few other devices that are position enabled, but I'm not (yet) aware of any that have a specific sports application other than the Nokias and the iPhones.

    Satellite position reliability should be identical to any stand-alone GPS device. Mobiles have the advantage that they can connect to an Assistance server (A-GPS) which can tell your phone where it probably is which means it should get going much quicker then normal - called TTFF or Time-to-First-Fix.

    The assistance server is usually a free address, so you shouldn't get a huge data bill as a result but if you are on PAYG then you might be in trouble. Yes, it will kill your battery.

    Anybody still awake?
  • PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    yep, I'm still awake.

    thanks for theb above.

    So, is there any other type of affordabler gadget that can tell me waht my run pace is when out on a long run. My local park is exactly 1500m but I'll be fcuked if I'm going to run around it 15 times just so I can measure my lap splits.

    Interval & tempo runs I can do either on the track or just by RPE / HRM but my longer runs are a bit hit & miss. My goal marathn pace is 8 mins per mile while my training pace is likely tio be slower a lot of the time, say 8:30 / 8:40. I guess I could go to the track and just learn what each feels like, but hey, if there's a gadget out there to be bought, I'm a gadget kind of guy. Even a cheap pedometer that I can read 1 mile, 2 miles etc and take a separate look at my watch.

    I don't think Timex does a foot pod thing that transmits to my watch.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    i think it depends on what watch you have a friend of mine has a timex watch/hrm which has a footpood/gps compatibility. he had to buy the gps unit seperately but then it just worked with his watch.

    Do you wear an ipod when training? If so, you could try the nike+thingy, once calibrated it will talk to you through your ipod telling you time distance etc (i think - i'm going on what other people tell me).

    Or just shell out on a garmin 50 or something else with a footpod (or gps)
  • Ron99Ron99 Posts: 237
    Like Ris, I have an N95, but sports tracker on it is a right [email protected] ache - slow to find the satellite is one thing, but mine has to be facing the sky to see any at all. In the bike bag doesn't work, and I'm definitely not going to run around with it held out in front of me. Maybe it's just mine, but I couldn't find any real use for it. Suunto mate.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    Ron99 wrote:
    Like Ris, I have an N95, but sports tracker on it is a right [email protected] ache - slow to find the satellite is one thing, but mine has to be facing the sky to see any at all. In the bike bag doesn't work, and I'm definitely not going to run around with it held out in front of me. Maybe it's just mine, but I couldn't find any real use for it. Suunto mate.
    i think with the first gen n95 the gps reciever is under the 0 key so to get the best out of the sat reception you should have the keypad open. this does not make it easy to bung in a pocket and i got a lot of accidental keystrokes.

    i have a vague (and possibly incorrect) memory that in the n95 8gb they moved the reciever to a different part of the unit that didn't require the slide to be open.
  • Something similar to the sportstracker that I use is SPortypal
    I was using the sportstracker, but since i switched the phone to HTC Wm edition, i couldn't use it any more since is only for nokia, so I found this, is very similar and is multiplatform, works on every phone with Gps.
  • huwdhuwd Posts: 228
    I experimented with sports tracker a few times but never actually got a gps signal - plus I hate carrying anything (even anything like a phone strapped to me just annoys). gave up on that idea anyway.

    For running I tend to use mapmyrun and just time my run myself then get an average speed for the whole effort. Once you do a route regularly you can set target points over the course and aim for estimated time splits at those points.

    Who needs all these gadgets - no substitute for a calculator
  • For me running with the phone it's not a big problem, i have a nice waterproof arm holder for it, and I'm using it for listening music too. My opinion is taking the phone when we are talking about up to 10Km runs, than taking one watch, one device for GPS and another for music.

    When I don't go away from the city on the weekends, I usually go running in some park or stadium like this:
    [img:35soosvl]http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/3558/picture26l.png[/img:35soosvl]
    And great option that I found in this application is that I can split the run manually in separate parts, so i can even know what is my lap time.
  • Another tool that I'm finding very helpful is showing the pace while running on the main screen.
  • PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    Thanks for this postiva.

    As it happens I bought a Timex Bodylink GPS watch just this week. I took it out today and I didn't get a signal! I suspect a battery problem and will give it another go tomorrow.
  • doh i'm a bit late for this, but i've got a Sony-Ericcson C905 that comes with GPS, as long as your wap is free, its pretty accurate (i used to think i was running 11K in 49 min and this confirmed it). screen is big and its not come out of my pocket so far and has worked under trees (i even stopped it, walked 100m and started it again and it left a gap - had a stitch!).
  • I'm using it on my HTC Touch, is a windows mobile platform type of phone. With this
    armband http://www.gadgetcase.co.uk/acatalog/info_741.html
  • That Sportypal looks brilliant. Many Thanks
  • This software is truly brilliant. I used it for the first time this morning. This has saved me buying a £150 Garmin watch as it does the same thing. Has anyone thought about using it for swimming?
  • backtothecaves wrote:
    This software is truly brilliant. I used it for the first time this morning. This has saved me buying a £150 Garmin watch as it does the same thing. Has anyone thought about using it for swimming?
    For swimming would be nice , you can try with something like this http://www.sz-wholesale.com/shenzhen_Ch ... ases_1.htm , but the thing is that the cell phone must be on the surface (on the water) otherwise i think the gps won't get the signal. I have never try it though.
  • wyno70wyno70 Posts: 189
    Why not pick up a Garmin Forerunner 305. You can usually find them on ebay for about £100.

    It's been superceeded by the 405 so there should be plenty of them knocking about.

    I love mine, gives you plenty of info and I've never had a signal problem. I bought mine mainly as I was doing a lot of off road running in Epping forest and had no idea how far I'd run. Also very useful for heart rate info etc.

    I've tested it to my bike computer and mileages vary by about 0.3 miles over a hunder miles, so for a run it's perfect and also gives you analysis of what speed you were doing where etc.

    It's probably got too much info but I love it.

    The map it prints up is very basic but I believe the Garmin 405 uses multimap or googlemaps to show you your route but that'll probably cost you another £100 on top!
  • For now I'm fine with this sportypal for the phone, in the future if I'll be buying some GPS gadget it will be Garmin for sure.
  • Cool new stuff on www.sportypal.com, after uploading the track you can edit the map, fixing the route or adding new points on the workout. http://sportypal.wordpress.com/
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