Weekly Mailbag–July 24th, 2010

WeeklyMailbagIconHere’s this week’s edition of the weekly mailbag.  This is a weekly series where I feature a handful of the e-mailed questions I received from the previous week or so.  I try and pick a wide variety of questions. Some are technical in nature, some sport related, and sometimes all sorts of other randomness – as you’ll see below.

This week’s mailbag covers the following topics:

1) What I eat prior to a weekend of workouts
2) Compatibility of Nike+ and Garmin ANT+
3) What to do with fading Garmin Forerunner 305 battery

Question #1: What I eat prior to a weekend of workouts
From Angela-

“Hi, I recently stumbled upon your blog. I am currently training for a half marathon. I am nowhere near as hardcore as you are :) my question is, I typically run my long runs Sunday afternoons, sometimes late am. What should I be eating Saturday night and Sunday am so I have a good run fuel wise.”

First off, it should be noted that I’m hardly the poster child for the perfect eater.  I eat pretty much what I want within a very wide highway of food.  I have some bounds, but I’m not one to follow a book on how to eat down to every bite.  I use some great books (like Racing Weight) as a general guide, but that’s about it.  With that said…

In many ways, you want to start you’re eating cycle out a bit earlier than that actually if you have bike workouts.  From a carbo loading perspective loading really takes about 2-4 days to complete.  Keep in mind what the goal of carbs is though – which in addition to in-taking carbohydrates to burn, it’s also to increase retention of water.  I typically start out on Thursday-ish and tend to eat about 60% carbs, 30% protein, with variant filler for the rest.  Note that you aren’t really going to touch the carb pile until about 90 minutes into an activity – so you want to be sure you aren’t overfueling with respect to carbs.
On the morning of, based on my weight I tend to eat about 600 calories.  In my case, it’s usually just bagels, cream cheese and juice.  It’s sorta an experiment to see what works for you.  Ideally you follow the same 60/30/10 type rule for the breakfast.  I also try and get in about 16-24oz of plain water as well, to ensure a good hydration base.  Though, leading into the weekend I increase hydration quite a bit to counter-act the impending loses.
Again though – this is just what I do – and isn’t really official nutritionist advice.  Hope this helps a bit – and good luck with the training!

Question #2: Nike+ Foot pods and Garmin Devices
From Scott-

“Do you know if you can pair the Nike/Apple+ foot sensor with the Garmin watches? It would be great to not have to spend $62 and buy the footpad if I don’t have to.”

Hi Scott!  Unfortunately, the Nike+ foot pods utilize a different protocol than the ANT+ ones that Garmin utilizes.  And further, the recently released version sorta adds another protocol to the mix, making things even less ideal than if they had chosen one of the existing ones out there.  Nonetheless, since I’ve been using the Nike+ functionality a bit this week in my hotel’s gym on a work trip, I can see the appeal to it – especially given that ANT+ compatible treadmills and stationary bike’s has pretty much fizzled.

I found a pretty good post talking through all the details of the different sensor protocols in use today, helps to outline the issue.

Question #3: Garmin 305 Battery Fading
From Carla-

“I have the Garmin Forerunner 305 which my dear husband bought me as a present for Christmas this past year. My battery seemed to be fine for the first few months, but now that I’ve hit the summer months, my battery won’t hold its charge. After I complete a workout, I’ll download the details to the Garmin training center and leave my GPS on the cradle to charge. However, if I let my GPS sit for a day or two after charging, it says low battery. I think it’s a pain to plan on charging my GPS watch immediately before each workout. Is this normal or had my battery just gone bad?”

Hi Carla – it’s definitely not normal, especially for just a device that’s only a year old.  I have a few different FR305’s floating around the house, none of which is younger than 2 years, and most are more than 3 years old.  That said, here’s a few quick tips:

1) Clean the contacts of the watch with an eraser (like a pencil eraser).  Sometimes it’s just not making good contact during charging.  An eraser is the best (and safest) way to clean the contacts.

2) Do a http://www8.garmin.com/support/faqs/faq.jsp?faq=5880’>soft reset on the watch.  Sometimes the battery levels get wonky, and doing a soft reset will reset that (press Mode + Power).

3) If all else fails, give Garmin support a ring.  It should absolutely last longer than that, and it may just be a bad battery on the unit.  Given you’re under a year, they can probably help ya out.

For a bunch of other similar tips for your Garmin Forerunner 305 – check out my good ole Top 10 Forerunner 305 Tips post.

Recent Mailbags:

Weekly Mailbag – July 17th, 2010
– Wheels and training/racing
– How to use Google Bike Routes to create Garmin Course Maps
– Whether to buy a bike trainer or Garmin Forerunner 305

Weekly Mailbag – July 10th, 2010
– Merging files using Training Peaks
– What car to buy for sports/triathlons
– Choosing between Garmin Forerunner 405 or FR60

You can find all past mailbags here.


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  1. DC. I just wanted to chime in on the FR305 Battery thing. I experience the same thing. I’ve done some “research” on the issue and I think I have figured it out.

    Basically when it is done charging somehow it is turned “on” and then when I go to use it it is dead. I’ve noticed that if I take it off the charger, turn it “on” and off again it is fine. DUMB…but it works.

  2. I also had that same 305 issue. It persisted for about four months (on a four year old, well-used and well-cared-for 305), until it got to the point about a month ago where it will only turn on when charging – it has no battery charge at all, ever, for anything else. I’d used it successfully for a 13 mile run the day before it died.

    Your mileage, of course, may vary….