April 2018 – Reviews, Changes and Watches

instagram-the5krunnerThis is an alert of reviews and content to follow in April as well as an update of some of the changes being made on this site.

All of the social media side of sites like this is ever-changing. The idea of what the ‘best’ overall solution might be, changes too. For example, I recently decided to devote more time to providing additional imagery on Instagram accompanied by new, ‘short-form’ commentary on the images.

Techy improvements already made on this site include investing in a Content Delivery Network (CDN), which effectively duplicates this site in the USA and in the UK to make it faster. Alongside that I have invested a considerable amount of time in improving the general performance of the site through image compression and other technical stuff that I now understand better than I ever wanted to!

One of my important revenue sources are the ads that probably annoy you a little bit and which also slow the site down when the USA comes online. I’ve negotiated the removal of some of the most annoying ones (I see them too!) but, even so, the occasional errant ad slips through that contravenes the guidelines that I signed up for with my ad provider – monumetric.com. For example an ad might start playing audio – none should do that. Apparently it’s an industry-wide problem. I seem to have exhausted all that I can do with that, otherwse helpful, ad provider. Sorry.

On a related note, DCRAINMAKER kindly pointed me in the direction of COZMOSLABS software that can be used to manage reader types and hence to turn off ads for certain reader types (subscribers/supporters)


I will also be releasing one or more pieces of new content each month exclusively to supporters of the the5krunner for a day or two. Everyone will still be able to read that content but will have to wait a day or two until it becomes available.

April and May should start to hot up with new product announcements. As a few examples, I have the following posts planned:

  • Ditch the Smart Phone: Running with onboard and streamed music – did you know there were 3 notable sports watches that could live-stream music? ie more than Apple Watch 3. Did you know that TomTom’s Runner 3 Music still had a firmware update in March 2018?
  • Garmin Forerunner 645 Music Review – Will the sensors live up to the feature set this time? Has the GPS improved over the Vivoactive 3?
  • Suunto Fitness 3 – Either a review or at least some more detailed commentary. Suunto recently partnered with Barclays (bPay). Will that be in the Fitness 3 or will it just be the Adaptive Training algorithm from Firstbeat? And really…no GPS, how does that work then? Connected-GPS?
  • An update to the expected watches and cycling computers for 2018 – I’ll organise it a bit better and add some new stuff.
  • There should be some super exciting triathlon gadgetry announcements, I think Ray has one already. But if it’s the one I’m expecting we’ll be looking at May/June (don’t ask I won’t say!)
  • On a less exciting, but still interesting, front I will probably later review existing products like the LG Watch (WearOS) and maybe another of the WearOS watches.

What prompted the Supporter, ad-free service? Apart from the need to continually change and adapt I am devoting more time to the5krunner and less time to my day job. With the increased time spent on the5krunner, I’m earning far less money. The day job pays for food and I’m working harder overall. I’m loving it but I’m hungry and need to eat 😉

here -contribute grey
More details here if you want to Support the site to go Ad Free now

Comments very welcome below – especially if you think delaying content and adding a small charge for ad removal is a BAD idea. I don’t want to unduly annoy people.


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22 thoughts on “April 2018 – Reviews, Changes and Watches

  1. Getting everything up to speed is quite hard and time consuming, specially when we are not developers or sys-admins… I totally feel you.

    Have you started working around GDPR? It’s going to be our next nightmare.

  2. I don’t mind paying money for something that provides value and I love your website!
    If you’re already overhauling the site, any chance you could make it mobile friendly?

      1. The site is mobile friendly, but not really user-friendly on mobile. The scrolling of posts gets a bit wonky. Doesn’t do this on my tablet, on my phone though it goes wonky. I just end up launching it on the website.

      2. it’s not perfect. I have just tinkered with some of the rather limited settings available.
        i am using the standard AMP plugin for wordpress by wordpress. i am nervous to use another one. especially as i am spending a bit of time figuring out how i can change the AMP pages to work better with the SUPPORTER stuff.

    1. Ben
      i made some mobile changes today
      it should show a list of latest posts…is that an improvement?
      does it work for you?

  3. Noticed the “Donate” button has disappeared. Are you no longer taking one-time donations?

    1. 🙂 I just knew that question was coming !
      thank you for asking tho.
      there is the Supporter+ option (a one off) or the regular Supporter level could be cancelled.
      there are some kind and generuos people out there (who are awesome) but I think most people are happier to pay for something in return…that’s why I have gone down the ad-free and other stuff route. TBH I feel more comfortable in being able to give something in return.

  4. “super exciting triathlon gadgetry announcements”

    You might be showing your hand, or am I cold? You could say I’m polar cold?

    FYI The comment button states I should consider becoming a supporter, as a supporter. Is it just a blanket statement for everyone? Or a bug?

      1. ty !! I appreciate it. I’m going to have to invest in a developer who knows what s/he is doing to handle all the wierd scenarios that arise for AMP/supporter stuff

  5. Thank you for the recent improvements, I’ll be honest I’d pretty much given up on accessing the site by mobile, but you can’t keep me away that easily! How long before the FR645 review drops? Sorry I’ve got the option to get one for 25% off via a race I entered. Seems to be a few running dynamics and stryd dropouts floating about the net. Although others report no problems.So maybe not as bad as the f5

    1. i think it’s a bit flakey on the firmware side but that can be sorted eventually. i’m not quite decided yet on the rest. tbh i’ve not used it yet with stryd, i don’t want that to interfer with the sensor-free watch…no hrms etc etc. not yet.

      1. I’ve been using it with a stryd pod and it seems ok, non-music version mind you. The wrist HR readings went to cr*p for me but found that holding in the power button ’til it switched off (is this a soft reset?) worked wonders. In my treadmill test, it went from recording a HR of 144 at a pace of ~5:55/k before the on/off to 101 afterwards.
        Did a test outdoor run today & HR looked fine but again I did the on/off thing beforehand. Looks suspiciously like some s/w bug?

    2. i’ve made another change today to mobile which shows the latest post….does it work for you?

  6. Well my 645 turned up today £262,49 direct from Garmin, let’s hope it’s money well spent. One of the races I’ve entered has partnered with Garmin and it eniteles you to 25% off. I’m suprised it included such a new device. Anyway first run tomorrow. I would go today but I’ve a date with Gregory Porter.

    1. Hmm I had a date with the similarly named HArry Potter last week. Also 645 related. I have managed QUITE a few runs tho. Tell me if yours conencts properly to a PC as a WINDOWS DRIVE (ie NOT as a phone). MTP vs GARMIN USB connection mode. driving me mad. Garmin say its a bug…i don’t beleive them

  7. Mine connects perfectly as a windows drive. I’ve just spent the last hour or so setting up all the sensors and data screens to my preference. Also it’s the music less version. Your not mistakenly using a fr630 cable? DC mentioned the pins are different lengths. Although both cables will charge the fr645 only the proper lead will transfer data. Not trying to teach you to suck eggs. Might be worth getting back onto Garmin. I’ll let you know how it gets on with styrd soon

  8. Old watch question. On the FR630 when you have finished a structured workout the timer stops unlike the FR645, anyway to resume running without going through the rigmarole of stopping and saving the workout, and starting a new run?

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