Suunto Spartan Battery Life


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Suunto Spartan Compass Calibration

In ‘Away On Holiday’ Mode

Suunto Spartan ULTRA: Full GPS Accuracy but no sensors. Fully depleted after just under 6 hours of sports usage PLUS 6 days of use as a daytime watch. The claimed life for the ULTRA is 18 hours, for a one-off race usage you would probably easily get over 12 hours…needs testing to PROPERLY verify continuous race/train usage.

COMPARE: Used simultaneously for sports but not as a day-to-day watch ie reduced power used for screen display:

Garmin 920XT – Full GPS+GLONASS, HRV/per-second recording, HRM, PM – 30% remaining with identical sports usage but not wearing as a watch.




Garmin Fenix Chronos – Diamonds, pearls and gold bullion version


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Fenix Chronos - Detailed ReviewOh dear.

I did predict premium aesthetic forms for Garmin to move into quite some time back.

I was rather hoping the 3 new Fenix models would be the F4 though. Instead, these are glorified F3HRs costing £$£$£$£$.

Summary: Oh well. They do look good though.

Nathan and Suunto Spartan Compass Calibration


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Nathan Water BottleThis was just an excuse for a couple of nice photos.

I waved around the Spartan like an idiot for about 2 minutes before resorting to taking some pictures.

Great location, wannabe photographer still in training.

I should have come back a bit later as it got darker. The Nathan water bottle is both reflective and insulated. OK I couldn’t have photographed the insulation in an interesting way but it would have lit up like a Christmas tree with the flashlight.

Compass calibration worked. It now points North, declination can also be set but as I had to Google it, it proved that I didn’t really need that functionality.


Suunto Spartan Compass Calibration

September 2016 – Possibly a watershed in sports gadgets?


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Suunto Spartan Ultra vs Garmin Fenix3We’ve already seen some interesting moves in running/tri and related watches over the last few weeks. The trade shows in September and announcements soon at Kona soon after should give us a VERY good idea of what the gadget landscape will be both leading up to Christmas 2016 and, in reality, the subsequent two years.

I’ve banged on about the expected Garmin Fenix 4 and Garmin 930XT so  I won’t dwell on those. They are the more specialist devices. Yes, they are ones that I am super-interested in and I know many of you are too. But we should also look at the other end of the market for populist devices of varying degrees of quality of construction/design. The reason we should look there is because that is where the new market leader may come from in 3/4/5 years time.

PREVIOUS VERSION WERE NOT GOOD ENOUGH: So we see a likely Samsung S3 and an Apple Watch 2. Maybe more form Sony, Asus, Pebble and Xiaomi.

NEW OS MOVES: We know that Polar are moving into AndroidWear with the M600. Hopefully more devices to follow in the future on that OS. But we also expect a successor to the awesome but aging V800. That may be called the V900 but there are some highly interesting developments with high-end Polar HRMs – not just because I like unusual HRMs (I do) but because the innovations in such accessories strongly imply new functionality in new watches. We are hoping that Polar has something ground-breaking to show here in September/October.

NEW HIGH-END COMPETITORS: Suunto will get the Spartan ULTRA’s firmware onto a competitive footing in September and will soon after show us the Spartan SPORT as well as an oHR option.

I know for sure there are other Swim/Bike/Run watches from at least 2 other manufacturers.

OPENING UP OF ACCESSORIES: We finally see Garmin getting write-to-FIT working for 3rd party devices like those of STRYD, MOXY and BSXInsight. That MAY see competitive accessory-offerings in those areas from Garmin but it finally means that some of those devices can be used in anger just as you would a normal footpod or HRM. IE you just put the sensor on it automatically pairs up and off you go to collect some new types of data as you run/bike/swim – WITHOUT THE NEED TO EITHER CARRY A SMARTPHONE OR FIRE UP THE SENSOR WITH AN APP ON A SMARTPHONE…grrrrrr.

OS COMPETITION: Whether Connect IQ will be a long term winner as an ‘app store’ to rival Apple’s or Google remains to be seen. (It won’t).

NEW PLAYERS…OLD PLAYERS: There’s new FINIS swimming stuff coming out (not sure if September is the date) and a Garmin Edge 1010 may come as soon as October. Polar will likely have a replacement V650 cycling/navigation computer at some point (not sure if September is the date). The cycling market is a funny one – in terms of units sold the market is huge and growing worldwide; yet Garmin dominate. Wahoo, MIO/Magellan and ACER/XPLOVA look on as do LEZYNE, CATEYE and many other small players. Maybe TomTom will go dedicated cycling too?

That’ll do for now. Start salivating.

Source: whatsontech

Source: whatsontech

New STRYD Gen 2 – There’s a new STRYD device announced today.


stryd-v2-gen-2A couple of days ago I got a press release from the STRYD company who are releasing a new Stryd device (officially announced today 24Aug).

Rather than the original HRM version (STRYD Pioneer) this one is a tiny wearable power meter that clips on your shoe and introduces some new efficiency/form metrics which, possibly, might be able to pinpoint specific weaknesses in your run technique (read below)

I don’t know much more about it than that. I guess it will do footpod-esque things like cadence and be a source for footpod derived pace.

OPINION: a LOT of improvements have been continually made to the original product. I confess to not be fully up to speed with them all. But I do know that there is now a Connect IQ app (NOT data field) from Garmin that writes power data directly into the FIT device (similar to muscle oxygen data from BSX/MOXY via the MOXY data field) and I do know that the new Suunto Spartan ULTRA (as well as the AMBIT3) already have built in ‘proper’ support for running power. Wind is still not taken into account, STRYD claim a minimal effect from ‘normal’ wind strengths.

A great thing with the original STRYD HRM was that it was dual-band. So if you occasionally run with two watches (me, sigh, sad) then this can make it easier to adopt into your current gadget regime. Much easier. It has also introduced HRV support since my review too.

One thing that lacks is the writing of the Running Dynamics data to a Garmin FIT file – but that is a peripheral need at best. STRYD’s ‘Power Centre’ dashboard is pretty good on the whole (avoid IE) and shows that info anyway but I suspect most people want a simple device that just pipes in correct power (cadence) data to a Garmin/Polar/TomTom/Suunto watch. On the whole STRYD does that.

HOWEVER the manufacturers seem to be claiming to be able to measure new running form metrics (below) such as LEG SPRING STIFFNESS. *IF* much more biomechanical information can be CORRECTLY obtained from what seems to be a relatively simple device then this COULD revolutionise ‘run-technique coaching for the masses’. Let’s face it: the existing ground contact time, vertical oscillation and related metrics do not add THAT much to the coaching mix.

Having a new shoe-based STRYD could well be a good idea. Let’s see the price point (US$200) AND if it delivers anything new to the mix.

Summary: Cool!

—- Press Release follows in full —————

August 24, Rio: Stryd to announce performance-enhancing power meter used by Olympic athletes to run more efficiently

Exercise physiology research demonstrates that running 10% more efficiently (economically) can cut 5k time by almost half a minute. Until now, efficiency couldn’t be measured outside the laboratory, so runners trying to improve it were flying blind. Stryd changes this with a tiny wearable power meter that clips on your shoe.

Stryd will be in Rio and learning from Olympic runners and triathletes using Stryd technology to enhance their performance. On August 24 Stryd will announce an unprecedented product that measures the power runners produce and knows how efficiently they use it. It guides runners to personalized performance- enhancing training and form changes.

Here’s how it works. Stryd measures more than twelve metrics quantifying athletic performance, technique, muscle strength and condition, as well as external running environment, and encapsulates these metrics into a single number, power. Power is the key to monitoring training intensity (exertion) and efficiency. Power has given the cyclists who use it a tremendous competitive advantage for years. Now Stryd brings this revolutionary technology to running.

Using power, you can see how efficiently you recycle energy from stride to stride instead of wasting it through poor form. You can pinpoint the biggest opportunities for improving performance. Then training plans prepared by world-class coaches and physiologists guide you through personalized drills and exercises to strengthen your body so you can maintain good form, and Stryd shows you which specific form changes make you more efficient so you can go faster with the same effort.

Going deeper, leg spring stiffness is a measure of efficiency. If you model your legs and body with springs and masses, the mechanical stiffness of the springs determines whether your form and conditioning are wasteful or efficient. You can increase leg spring stiffness with conscious form changes and by conditioning your muscles and tendons to supports good form. Leg spring stiffness has never been available from a wearable during running before. Now it is one of the many metrics Stryd uses as a foundation for power.



Spartan goes nuclear



Apologies for the poor image from my all-expenses paid camping trip to Dungeness. Living the dream. I’d just cycled 90 minutes into the wind on a MTB. AND I’d forgotten my cycling shorts and was wearing running shorts and some long lycra swim shorts (seriously). Half way there!

I can confirm that the Spartan ULTRA works in high radiation areas, also making it a bit easier to find in the evening due to the afterglow. As you can see from the image I can also confirm it doesn’t work with an ANT+ HRM…sigh.

If someone could tell me why there is a lighthouse at Dungeness (nuclear power station in SE England) I’d be interested. Well. A little bit interested. Suunto Spartan

SPOTY – BBC Sports Personality of the year 2016 – RIO Edition


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Source-Wiggle-2After a 2012 look at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY). Here is my “analysis” of the likely 2016 winner based on my personal favourites and what I think the GB public will vote for.

Let’s narrow it down to individual and team Gold medal winners only. The likely winner will be a gold medallist.



  • Liam Heath, gold (solo kayak 200m)
  • Nicola Adams, gold (boxing)
  • Mo Farah, gold (5,000m, athletics)
  • Nick Skelton, gold (eventing, showjumping)
  • Alistair Brownlee, gold (triathlon)
  • Jade Jones, gold (taekwondo)
  • Giles Scott, gold (sailing)
  • Jason Kenny, gold (keirin, cycling)
  • Laura Trott, gold (omnium, cycling)
  • Charlotte Dujardin, gold (dressage)
  • Justin Rose , gold (golf)
  • Max Whitlock , gold (floor, gymnastics)
  • Max Whitlock , gold (pommel horse, gymnastics)
  • Jason Kenny, gold (individual sprint, cycling)
  • Andy Murray, gold (tennis)
  • Mo Farah , gold (10,000m, athletics)
  • Joe Clarke , gold (K1, kayak)
  • Adam Peaty , gold (100m breaststroke, swimming)


  • Saskia Clark & Hannah Mills, gold (470 event, sailing)
  • Jack Laugher & Chris Mears , gold (men’s synchronised 3m springboard, diving)
  • Great Britain, gold (women’s hockey)
  • Men’s eight , gold (rowing)
  • Women’s team pursuit , gold (cycling)
  • Helen Glover & Heather Stanning , gold (women’s coxless pair, rowing)
  • Men’s coxless fours , gold (rowing)
  • Men’s team pursuit , gold (cycling)
  • Men’s team sprint , gold (cycling)

Before we narrow it down two quick awards

  • Overseas Personality of the Year goes the USA’s Ryan Lochte for his medal haul and rectitude.
  • On a more serious note, a Team won’t win SPOTY. The proper SPOTY team winners must surely be the Women’s Hockey Team, with a special mention for Maddie Hinch’s heroics in goal.

Back to SPOTY: Let’s eliminate the medallist or put them through to the next round

  • Liam Heath, gold (solo kayak 200m) – minority sport, sorry
  • Nicola Adams, gold (boxing) – She makes me smile whenever I see her interviewed. You’re through
  • Mo Farah, gold (5,000m, athletics), (10,000m, athletics) – Obviously
  • Nick Skelton, gold (eventing, showjumping) – minority sport, sorry
  • Alistair Brownlee, gold (triathlon) – Title retainer, you’re through
  • Jade Jones, gold (taekwondo) – Title retainer, you’re through
  • Giles Scott, gold (sailing) – minority sport, sorry
  • Jason Kenny, gold (keirin, cycling)(individual sprint, cycling)   – Obviosuly
  • Laura Trott, gold (omnium, cycling)  – Obviosuly
  • Charlotte Dujardin, gold (dressage)  – minority sport, sorry
  • Justin Rose , gold (golf) – lots of people like golf
  • Max Whitlock , gold (floor, gymnastics) (pommel horse, gymnastics)
  • Andy Murray, gold (tennis) – too tennis for my liking
  • Joe Clarke , gold (K1, kayak) – minority sport, sorry
  • Adam Peaty , gold (100m breaststroke, swimming) – Top Scot, through

Leaving us with these who we now have to be harsh with

  • Nicola Adams, gold (boxing) – If not put through she will beat you up. You’re through
  • Mo Farah, gold (5,000m, athletics), (10,000m, athletics) – Obviously
  • Alistair Brownlee, gold (triathlon) – I’m too biased towards tri to be fair. You’re out.
  • Jade Jones, gold (taekwondo) – If not put through she will beat you up. You’re through
  • Jason Kenny, gold (keirin, cycling)(individual sprint, cycling)  – You’ll get a knighthood, no SPOTY for you
  • Laura Trott, gold (omnium, cycling)  – You’ll get a dame/knighthood, no SPOTY for you
  • Justin Rose , gold (golf) – too golfy
  • Max Whitlock , gold (floor, gymnastics) (pommel horse, gymnastics) – Unique achievement, You’re through
  • Adam Peaty , gold (100m breaststroke, swimming) – not front crawl

Being even harsher

  • Nicola Adams, gold (boxing) – Again, if not put through she will beat you up. You’re through
  • Jade Jones, gold (taekwondo) – Again, if not put through she will beat you up. You’re through
  • Mo Farah, gold (5,000m, athletics), (10,000m, athletics) – Obviously through but I’m pretty sure you can’t beat me up.
  • Max Whitlock , gold (floor, gymnastics) (pommel horse, gymnastics) – too gymmy. Although just one of his biceps could easily knock me out. He seems too nice to get involved in a fight though. Phew!

So. We are down to Farah, Jones and Adams. Unless Mo buys this site for a huge sum (remember🙂 ) he can’t go thought as I am too biased towards his greatness. Which leaves me with two women who can both beat me up. AND I used to do martial arts for 10 years, which makes it even worse. Hard to choose I still reckon Karate is better than taekwondo. I could outrun Jade Jones, I’ll take my chance eliminating her.

Winner: Nicola Adams. Because she lights up Sports on TV.

Please feel free to comment. State your bias and kudos points for any funny reasons to eliminate gold medal winners. Further kudos points for selecting a better overseas SPOTY than Lochte.

Sorry for the ‘beat me up focus’. It just turned out that way once I started emptying my brain. Which is now empty. Good night.

PhySoc: How to be an elite cyclist – Science of Cycling


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duathlon-cycling-running-5kAn interesting lecture/video on the Science of elite cycling. Given by The Physiological Society.

Is there any hope for you?

It was quite interesting, for me, to hear many of the Rio athletes attributing much of their success to ‘graft’.

If you think it’s in the genetics then why not get one of Andrew Steele’s DNAFit tests done on YOUR sporting DNA?

Here the video:

Hey Brazil – quit the booing Rio 2016


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I haven’t met many Brazilians. Without exception ALL of those I HAVE met have been very nice people.

My limited experience doesn’t seem to square with the behaviour at Rio. Why all the booing? I think booing at football is fair game (I don’t do it myself) and maybe also at Mr J. Gatlin (drugs cheat). And indeed at any other drugs cheat.

But the Brazilian crowd were at it again today in the volleyball against the Italians.

As I write you, Brazil, have 18 medals including 6 golds and about 380,000 boos – the former of which is a great achievement.

One of the longstanding memories I will have of watching the 2016 Olympics will not be your beautiful country and awesome U23 football team but rather your poor sportsmanship as a crowd.

OK I’m British and the Brits (well, mostly English with the occasional Scot) don’t have a great record of crowd behaviour in football but I’m certainly not one of ‘those’ people. Yet you all seem to boo everything that comes up against a Brazilian. If it were greyhound racing and there was a Brazilian dog would you do the same? Most strange.

Perhaps if you got behind YOUR athletes your medal tally would have been slightly improved. Just a thought. Perhaps there would be an even better impression of your country after the Olympics to boost tourism in the future.

Perhaps if you had got MORE behind the WHOLE SPORTING EVENT then there would have been more funds, from ticket sales, available for the para-Olympics.

As I say. All the Brazilians I ‘ve met have been very nice.

Write to FIT – Finally SmO2 and THb – MOXY and BSX

So finally the MOXY data field from Connect IQ is allowed by Garmin to write the muscle oxygen data into the FIT file.

Here is proof positive. I turned on a BSX Insight and used a Garmin Edge 820. The BSX paired as a speed/cadence sensor but the MOXY data field showed the SmO2 and THb data perfectly. Uploading to Garmin Connect and VOILA it appeared.

Doesn’t  import into SportTracks though. Suggesting there are yet more changes to the FIT file spec which only Garmin support. Expect problems with 3rd party software. Fit File Repair Tool will fix but no data imported to ST3.1

MOXY-BSX-Write-To-FIT-garmin Connect


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