Week in Review–December 4th, 2013


The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!

So with that, let’s get into the action!

DCRainmaker.com posts this past week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this past week:

Saturday: Week in Review–November 23rd, 2013
My 2013 Sports Gadgets Recommendations
2013 Sports Technology Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals!
A Thanksgiving Kiev (Ukraine) Runaround
A weekend skiing in Switzerland and running at home
Polar Loop In-Depth Review

Woot, check it out!

I was intereviewed by Outside Magazine for a piece on training and racing with sports technology.

Fitness Throwdown: Should You Rely on Technology or Train by Feel?

The ‘opposing’ viewpoint?  None other than Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack (Macca).  Funny thing is I didn’t know that until after it was published.  Still, I think we both get our points across.  There’s no absolute correct answer, everyone is different.

Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:

Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet:

1) Shoplifter tries to outrun man whose run 101 marathons: And thus realizing the secret dreams of every runner worldwide.

2) Filmmaker Creates a Time-Lapse Using 852 Instagram Photos, shows a lot of cyclists:  Pretty cool, especially all the shots taken in Paris.  Best I can tell, I don’t see any of my Instagram Parisian shots.

3) A (not so) Brief History of the Sports Bra: Everything from where it started to the apparent temporary inclusion of an electronic shock system at one point.

4) ’Open Source’ Power Meter bought out: For those who have been following along Keith’s progress building an open source power meter, he’s joined forces with a company to bring it to market.  While all existing content will remain as-is published, no further content will be published.  Given the complexity of bringing a power meter to market, hopefully this increases the odds of getting it to market, while also introducing another option to bring prices down.

5) Amazon Prime Air Drones: I suppose by now everyone has heard of this.  It’ll be interesting to see how this shapes up.  And of course, longer term, if regulations are changed, how these could provide live course-video in races for broader live-streaming of events.

6) Automatic cyclist crash avoidance alert system for trucks on trial in London: Pretty interesting setup.  Video below.  A tiny bit more detail in the link from CyclingTips.

7) Woman trains in industrial freezer: That’s because she’s aiming to be the first woman to cycle to the South Pole.

8) Extremely in-depth piece on Tough Mudder death: Last spring there was a death at one of the Tough Mudder races.  This piece goes very deep on the entire situation.  I’ve just started reading it, well worth it.

9) Interview with Chris McCormack (Macca): A few little interesting tidbits in there, in particular that he wants to basically do a backyard race against Lance Armstrong, nothing sanctioned, just a few guys out on the range.  Oh, and he (Macca) plans to race Norseman.  Very cool.  Also, I thought the facility they were promoting would potentially be interesting for product testing, though a bit of a haul (Thailand).  (Via Janne  K)

10)  World Triathlon Series coming to Cape Town in 2014! Well, this makes for a tempting trip…I’m always on the lookout for an excuse to go to Cape Town.

Crowd Funded Projects of Athletic Note:

This is a bit of a new section. Most of this content used to be found within the main section, but I figured I’d just call it out up here and make it easy to find. I regularly sift through Kickstarter and Indiegogo (plus a few others on occasion) looking for sports projects. Note that as always with crowd funded projects, assume the project will be late and will under-deliver on features. Thus far, on the numerous products I’ve helped ‘fund’ (except a leather bike handle), that’s been the case.

With Thanksgiving in the US last week, I didn’t see much on the Kickstarter front.  Next week perhaps!

Sports Technology Software/Firmware Updates This Week:

Each week I quickly highlight some of the new firmware, app, software and website service updates that I see go out. If you’re a sports technology company and release an update – shoot me a quick note (just one liners is perfect, or Tweet it at me is even better) and I’ll make mention of it here. If I don’t know about it, I won’t be able to post about it. Sound good?

Site/Firmware Updates:

Virtual Trainer Update: Virtual Trainer App now supports integrated ANT+ within Samsung Galaxy Note 2014 edition

Basis expands Android support: Pretty straight forward.  Hit up the link for full details.

Strava has started to re-open up API: This has occurred over the last few months with invites to various past developers.  Now there’s a bit more out there documentation-wise as well.

iPhone Apps:

20131126_005739000_iOS 20131127_225111000_iOS

20131201_215438000_iOS 20131202_225035000_iOS


iPad Apps:


Android Apps:

Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-37-27 Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-36-14

Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-36-21 Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-36-27

Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-36-33 Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-36-39

Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-36-45 Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-36-50

Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-36-56 Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-37-02

Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-37-08 Screenshot_2013-12-04-01-37-19

Windows Phone Apps:

wp_ss_20131204_0001 wp_ss_20131204_0002


Thanks for reading all!


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  1. CaptainChris

    Good stuff Ray!
    Thanks for all you do!

  2. Montana Steve

    Forwarded your comments on Gadgets vs. not to my daughter — her comment — “train with tech, race without.”

    • In general I agree with that, to an extent, and depending on the race and the purpose. Unless your goal is flat-out winning (which, typically isn’t the goal for most), then tech can provide you with pacing, especially in events like the bike-leg of an Ironman where proper pacing (of some time) is the difference between a good day and a bad day.

  3. Scott Gall

    Ray….. whats the story with everyone being out of the Garmin 620 around the holiday season? Is there a glitch in production and/ or firmware?


  4. Gingerneil

    Hi Ray,
    With so many gadgets now using more juice to run, more charging cycles will likely mean reduced battery life. Have you any experience of changing batteries in devices such as the forerunner series? I’ve changed the battery in my 410 and although it required a little soldering, it wasn’t difficult. (However, it still seems to die very very quickly. For example last night I set off on an interval session at 55%, and it died within 5 mins! Doesn’t look good for marathon season – looks like the device itself is dying…)

  5. Turn The Damn Cranks

    Interesting piece in Outside. What’s your take on Macca’s view? It’s not necessarily inconsistent with yours, as one certainly can train with gadgets but race on intuition.

    • Turn The Damn Cranks

      Whoops! That’ll teach me to comment without refreshing the page first. I see that Montana Steve asked the same basic question already, and that you answered it. Apologies.

    • I actually don’t disagree with him. Though, I think he’s looking at (or, the context of the discussion was) around high performance athletes who are trying to earn their paycheck.

      In that scenario, obviously, you need to ignore the device at a certain point if you want that paycheck. It also depends a bit on the type of racing. For example, if you look at ITU (Oly Distance) racing, it’s clearly all about the ‘moment’, and the device is for later.

      But in long course racing, the vast majority of pros are using power meters to limit their effort according to a race plan. When it comes to swim/run, it’s a bit different, but the bike is critical. And while his point is valid in that particular case, one could also look at plenty of examples (in his career) where it didn’t pan out. Not a knock on him, just pointing out that technology likely didn’t decide that day.

      For the age grouper – even the elite AG’ers, technology can be a fantastic pacing tool in a long-course race, and, to some degree a shorter race where going out too hard can be avoided.

  6. Mikey

    I saw that Soleus released a whole slate on new watches. I know the “are you going to review xxxxx” can be annoying, but are these even in the hopper or should I just look elsewhere for a review? I know your time is valuable.

    • I’m in talks with them about some potential upcoming reviews, but haven’t decided which one(s). At this point, for their currently released products, I don’t feel they offer the best value in the market. I think they’ve got some stuff coming down the line that may change that, so I’m most interested in reviewing those item(s).

  7. NewClydesdale

    Here is one for next week, muscle monitoring clothes: link to news.cnet.com