Week in Review–April 6th, 2014


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.

Sunday: Week in Review–March 30th, 2014
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Wednesday: TomTom Cardio Runner & Multisport with Optical Heart Rate In-Depth Review
Friday: Behind the scenes at Adidas Global Headquarters, plus updates on future of miCoach and Smart Run GPS

Look, check it out!

There’s been a few recent mentions in magazines in the last few weeks:

Triathlete Magazine Buyers Guide:

I wrote a quick little section on the Top 5 apps I use as a triathlete.  Most of which are free.  There’s also mention of me elsewhere in the magazine, which you can grab either at newsstands or on the Apple magazine rack thingy.


Ultra Running Magazine:

The April 2014 edition made note of my reviews when helping ultra runners decide which unit is best for them.  It’s also found on the Apple rack.  Thanks!


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) Thoughts on the BSX Lactate Threshold system: When it comes to exercise physiology and high performance sport physiology, I generally listen to what Steve Magness says.  Thus, for those looking for a more highly regarded opinion on the BSX unit, his is one to listen to on whether or not to join that Kickstarter campaign that ends this week.

2) Wanna lookup how many doping tests any given triathlete has submitted to? Well, for USAT professionals, now you can.  Cool little site. (via Jay Prasuhn)

3) 25 Year Old at Helm of Lonely Planet: Pretty interesting (long) article on the new leader of the Lonely Planet travel series.  Worth the read if you enjoy travelling.

4) New Bike-o-meter installed in Washington DC: Well, actually, it’s a few hundred yards from Washington DC proper.  But still, sweet electronic counter board.

5) Unboxing of a potato: Awesome, pure awesome. (sent in via Steve F.)

6) Livestrong without Lance: This was an interesting look at the post-Lance world of Livestrong.  Though, there’s still a bit of lack of clarity on exactly what the funding levels looked like in 2013.

7) San Diego Submits 2024 Summer Games Bid Proposal: Looks like San Diego is giving it a go.  Will be interesting to see how this plays out.  As a general reminder, games are always awarded 7 years prior.  Thus, the winner for these games will be decided in 2017.

8) The Secret Pro #4: Always good stuff on this series.  This time, some interesting little tidbits about doping (or not) back a few months ago at a tour in China.

9) GoBe activity tracker under further fire on Indiegogo: This doesn’t surprise me.  I’ve expressed some skepticism here about the project when asked in the comments after noting it a few weeks ago.  However, Indiegogo’s response is even more interesting, since they basically decided to pretend nothing was wrong by changing their terms of service to allow the potential fraud to continue.  Many times companies ask me about whether to launch on crowd funding platforms.  As I always note, if you’re an established company and you’re launching on a crowd funding platform – that implies that you’re just making a marketing play.  If that play fails (you don’t reach funding levels), you look as if nobody wants your product (read: stupid).  Moreover however, the reality is that launching on Indiegogo is akin to saying “We couldn’t cut it on Kickstarter”, which basically says “Our product might be sketchy”.  While I understand Kickstarter takes a higher cut, it also tends to have higher quality projects.

10) Aerial camera copter drops from sky, plunks triathlete racer on head: Someday, that video will make it to YouTube.  What’s notable is this is actually likely a fairly high-end rig given it was a professional film company.  Meaning, this was not likely a DJI or Parrot unit, but rather something a bit beefier that probably left a mark. (via Frayed Laces)

Crowd Funded Projects of Athletic Note:

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.  And finally, me simply mentioning them below is definitely not an endorsement, it’s just me mentioning they exist.

Goccia: The World’s Smallest and Simplest Activity Tracker (via Andre L.)

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:

Withings Scale: Added ‘Indoor air quality touch’, and ‘Rain Alert’ function.

GoPro Firmware Update: Looks like a bit more control over high quality video settings are coming our way.

Garmin Vivofit software update: Mostly just a bunch of fixes, tweaks in behavior.

Garmin Monterra firmware update: Massive list of changes.  As always, the Outdoor handheld team tends to go for the carpet bombing approach to updates.

Wahoo Fitness Android App Released: Finally. ‘Nuff Said.  Well, ok, not quite enough said.  The app has finally released, but there’s still a number of pieces of functionality they’re working on porting over.

iPhone App Updates:

IMG_5946 IMG_5947

IMG_6019 IMG_6020

IMG_6021 IMG_6022


iPad App Updates:


Android App Updates:

Screenshot_2014-04-06-21-33-40 Screenshot_2014-04-06-21-33-50

Screenshot_2014-04-06-21-34-18 Screenshot_2014-04-06-21-34-29

Screenshot_2014-04-06-21-34-36 Screenshot_2014-04-06-21-34-47

Windows Phone App Updates:


Thanks for reading all!


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  1. Tim Dolan

    I was looking forward to that potato since it was announced, but I’m disappointed that it’s not as thin as the G2. I think I’ll wait for the potato 2 and hope that they manage to make it last longer and be better in low light.

    • empewu

      I am also very disappointed with this potato announcement. The product looks half baked. Lack of Android BLT connectivity is a deal breaker for me. I will stay with pasta.

    • Ted H

      Obviously it is a Garmin Gotatoe(c) clone. It’s not boxed, does not have a quick start guide and missing the usual user agreement and usb cord. I wouldn’t buy it…

  2. Bill Fish


    I have a Garmin 910. I have never been able to get any meaning full readings from my heart rate monitor. Once I had an average heart rate of over 200 for the first hour of a trail run. If the reading were true I would be pushing up daises along the trail. It your suggestion I got Spectra 360. Do you think it is worth replacing the heart rate monitor and see if a different one will provide better results or should I just give it up as a lost cause?


    • David Smoot

      First I isolate the problem. If the strap is the problem (and it probably is), it should show the same results on any Ant+ compatible monitor. Find a buddy with a Garmin or a Samsung Galaxy S4 or Samsung Note 3 and connect to the HR strap. If the strap is giving unreasonable results to two different monitors, then you know it is the strap that is faulty. If you are anywhere near Houston I’ll be glad to help out. I had a BLE heart rate strap with similar behavior.

  3. Flo

    There’s already a pretty scary picture of the drone incident in this story:
    link to suasnews.com

    • Interesting, that’s the first photo I’d seen of it. Indeed, pretty much exactly the type of unit I was picturing.

      It is interesting however that different news reports are reporting conflicting things on whether or not the unit actually hit the person, or came really close and the person then tripped and fell. Obviously, still the fault of the controller/unit either way, but a bit of an important distinction.

    • Gary

      What made me laugh was the link above displayed an advertisement for another drone at the top of the page

    • Brad

      The owner is saying that
      A. It didn’t hit her, she got scared, and
      B. That it was ‘hacked’ and
      C. Won’t confirm that whoever was flying it was a qualified drone pilot

      The first suggestion is a bit of a silly claim – paramedics pulled bits of it out of her head, and she was hit in back of head, which is unlikely if she ‘tripped’.

      The second is preposterous. Who would bother hacking a drone at an event for such ‘evil means’. It seems like buck passing.

      The third highlights the fact that the operator was probably inexperienced and caused the accident.

      Having seen drones fly very close to athletes at various tri and running races around Australia, I am not surprised this has happened. Race organisers need to ensure the qualifications of these pilots are current and establish rules about how close they can get to athletes, as well as banning non commercial drones from the area – as any kid could be flying it.

      What if this had hit someone on the bike, and they came off at 40kmph?

    • Brad

      Oh, and the ‘news reports’ that you refer to – they are just repeating the claims of the owner of the drone, which are unsubstantiated. He won’t release the video which supposedly ‘proves’ the drone didn’t hit her, and the ambulance officers claim to have pulled bits of drone from her head.

      If it didn’t hit her, why not release the video?

    • Yeah, it’s interesting.

      I’d agree on the video, though, I suspect that the reason he’s not releasing it isn’t because it hit the person, but because it shows him at the 10M level he claimed, versus the 30M min for AUS.

      Same goes for hacking, I don’t believe that at all either. I don’t know about inexperienced. He had it for a year, if he was flying regularly, then he was probably experienced.

      That said, I’m not sure I believe someone pulled pieces of the unit from the person. Realistically, the props don’t really splinter that way, they’ll potentially cut, but more than likely just bounce/stop.

      Ultimately, it’s like anything else in life – use common sense. There are some really cool UAV-driven videos in the triathlon world today, such as these: link to nxtri.com

      Incredible stuff.

    • Brad

      I agree the videos are great, but athlete safety should be a priority.

      As for the ‘flying it for a year’ – when you look into it, the owner was not flying it – he won’t say who was, or what their qualifications are, or their experience. Why not? What has he got to hide? Had he lent it to his kid, or a mate, or some random girl he wanted to impress??

      If you look at the pictures you can see the drone is broken, missing bits of rotor, and there are bits of rotor on the ground. So it definitely hit something/someone. Personally I would believe the account of paramedics over someone with a commercial interest in the whole thing (the pilot).

      At the end if the day, he should be charged. It should not have happened. The extra stuff regarding the supposed ‘hacking’ and saying the drone didn’t hit her (despite multiple witness reports, and the paramedics) shows this guy to be a bit of a silly person to put it gently.

      My issue isn’t with the drone. It’s with the pilot and drone company. Their behavior has been quite bad.

  4. Bob Goodman

    You forgot the Quarq firmware update 20 from last week.

  5. Nick

    I had the opportunity to test with the BSX LT meter when they came through Austin. Its a cool gadget, however they had a pretty difficult time getting it to stay in the correct spot on my calf. I look forward to see how they roll it out and market it. All these gadgets are giving me data overload!

  6. kaillou

    i tried to buy the digital version of triathlete buyer’s guide, but there is only a itune version.
    Welcome in 2014.

  7. Steve G

    Gawd… you want to see a dud project being managed after being crowd-funded, check out the infinity seat. Total balls up. I’ve just written off the cash and gone for a SMP.

  8. frank d

    dcrainmaker better pull something out of the bag soon, to redeem itself for posting that potato unbagging video.

  9. Joshua McLaughlin

    MegaPickles. Enough said.

  10. Erik


    Have you discussed the possible GSX LT Garmin support with Garmin?

  11. Erik

    Sorry, all types of wrongs in the first post. I was wondering about Garmin’s integration of the BSX Lactic Acid data. If you had discussed that with Garmin. How committed they are to making it happen etc.

    “Watch integration is our first priority and right now we are working with Garmin to fully integrate BSX Insight into both their watches as well as their software platform.”

    • Yeah, I’m not quite sure I believe that. I only say that coming from watching a long line of 3rd party companies ask for similar things from Garmin and never really getting them (and yet those companies saying similar things at the time).

      Now, to BSX’s credit – they have ANT+’s buy-in on creating a profile for it. Thus, that will help a bit as the ANT+ folks have far more sway in the Garmin org that Garmin themselves often realizes.

      Today, it works with Garmin devices by ‘taking over’ another ANT+ channel. Which sorta works, but sorta doesn’t (as I’ve seen on a similar device by Moxy).

  12. Vanilla_Thrilla

    If I understand that lactate threshold device, it looks (potentially) amazing.

    Could it possibly replace power meters for cycling?

    Who cares how many watts you’re pumping out if you know what % of lactate threshold your riding at? Wouldn’t that tell you all you need for both training and racing?

    • I’m not sure I’d go as far as saying that BSX’s implementation of it could, at this point. One of the things is that in order for BSX to make the product more understandable to the masses they have to make some assumptions to provide a given recommendations (actionable coaching essentially). Sometimes, those assumptions don’t apply to everyone.

      Thus, it’s a bit different than a power meter which is reporting a value that isn’t up for debate. Whereas the BSX value reported to the athlete is somewhat debatable (not saying it’s wrong, just pointing out that it’s downstream of the original data they are obtaining).

    • Vanilla_Thrilla

      Ah, so it might be able to read the lactate level in your blood (and heartrate, etc), but it has to do some ‘guesswork’ or make some assumptions as to how this relates to your actual lactate threshold.

    • Yup, correct. And again, don’t get me wrong – I think it’s pretty cool. But, it’s just one layer up in the stack at the ‘analyzed’ layer vs the ‘raw data’ layer.

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