The Garmin Edge 500 has to be the standard GPS device out there. You can hear the familiar chirp of the “Timer Started” at the start line to any bike race. The 500 is a great piece of equipment but sadly lacks the ability to interface via blue-tooth or similar to a phone. Thats what the 510 and higher models are for. In a couple of weeks I’m heading to a family function about 100k’s away from home. Being the proverbial bike rider that I am I thought I would ride my bike up to the event before returning back in the car. At first this sounded great but then the real big issue dawned on me, if I go I won’t be able to upload my Garmin observations to Strava till the next day! I might as well just not go. Late last year I made the switch from iOS to Android with a Sony Xperia Z3 and for the most part have been pretty happy with the switch. The one thing I do think is great is the ability to use the extra ports and sockets for meaningful real world interfaces.
1 Make sure you have the following
- Garmin Edge 500
- Android Device
- Micro USB OTG cable
- Standard USB A-Mini A cable
2 Connect the cables
3 Connecting the Garmin
4 Android device and USB connection
5 Open Chrome
7 File upload
8 Select documents
9 Navigate to the drive
10 Select Garmin (drive)
11 Select your .FIT file
12 Return to Strava upload screen
14 Check Dashboard
15 Unmount Garmin
16 Unplug device
17 Get Kudos
1 Stop the victim mentality
Huh? That’s not nice. No it’s not but this isn’t going to be one of those little fluffy articles that list some little changes and steps to shed massive kilos. Weather you like it or not this all comes back to you (ok I will point out something here. There are some medical issues and some medications that will make you gain weight but if your reading this and you think this might be you, please go and see your Doctor. If they say your fine read the rest of this article and take note. If they find issues, thankfully you went and saw your doctor!)
But it is so easy and we are all guilty of allow these mental state to happen. “I had to go out for dinner that night”, “My partner brought me that cake as a surprise”, “I had a bad day and needed a pizza to make me feel better”. This cycle has to stop. Nobody else is responsible for you or the decisions you make in your life. Nobody. If you don’t agree, don’t bother with the rest of this article.
Ok so how do I stop? The first step is to reflect upon yourself and ask if this is a behaviour that you consciously or unconsciously follow. “I’m not fit enough”, “I just can’t do it”, “I’m not making any progress so why bother”. I want to be blunt and write “At the end of the day nobody cares” but that may be a bit mean. The reality is though they may care but they can’t be responsible and that is the insight you need to take. “I like eating bad food”, that’s fine I accept that you can make that decision in your life and won’t judge you but you are responsible for that and the side effects that will come. If you want to make this change and want to make it stick you need to reflect on yourself and stop the victim mentality.
2 Be accountable to yourself
This really does lead on from point 1. You are accountable for the food you put in your mouth. I could really leave it there but I extend this to say that nobody will know what you do or don’t eat at any given point in time. If you sneak food and don’t record it in your diary it still counts. It’s very easy to fall into the little traps and just say “I’ll eat this, it wont matter”. It all matters and part of the process of effective weight loss is the learning about making informed food choices. You can push this element more by making yourself accountable to others. IE if you plan to lose 5kg then tell your friends or family, want to run a 5k then put it on Facebook or Twitter. By making yourself publicly accountable, you “need to succeed”. Weather you admit it or not the only person that can achieve this goal is you so how do you explain to yourself why you did not make it? Are you happy with that reason? We all fail, the ones that succeed are the ones that pick themselves back up and do it again.
3 Use tools such as MyFitnessPal (aka Keep a food diary)
There are a ton of free and paid tools available that will help you to record your food an activity. Weight Watchers and Michelle Bridges 12wbt both have some great paid tools and support processes in place to help but remember, just because you pay for something does not make it their responsibility to make you lose weight (See point 1). My tool of choice is MyFitnessPal (MFP). Its free and available on both iPhone and Android. The brilliant thing about this tool is that it uses the camera on your phone as a bar code scanner, making it super easy to record everything. It sends you a reminder if you haven’t logged your food and gives you a clear sign if you are in or out side of your daily goal. It even gives an estimate at the end of the day to help keep you focused on your goals. One silly little thing that helped me here is that MFP has the “streak”. Its how many days in a row you have logged and recorded your food. I set a goal to make it to a year. I was desperate to keep my streak running and be ahead of my friends that also used the app.
4 Don’t use gimmicks and weight loss supplements
I worked with a person for several years who was desperate to lose weight. Every other Monday she would come into work and show me her latest weight loss tool, fad diet, supplement or gimmick. After all her time on the “5/2 diet”, “the only green diet” the “mono-oxy something or rather diet” and drug store of powders and pills she kept in her draw she still has not lost any weight.
They don’t work for a reason and that’s because you have not accepted point 1 and 2.What do you mean? The mental state of the supplement is a quick fix. Most weight loss supplement are not tested well their clinical effectiveness, let alone to a rigorous scientific standard and nearly all of them recommended they be used in conjunction with a calorie controlled diet and exercise regime. I remember when the craze hit for some shoes that did not have the flat soles, the tag line being that you could lose weight through micro instabilities caused from the shoes whilst moving and walking. Wow, shoes that help you lose weight whilst walking! Brilliant! We see these sales promises all the time from online to infomercials. I cite the Dr Oz Green Coffee bean incident here. And whilst the video below is making fun of the situation, think about it next time you see a TV infomercial.
5 Find something you love to do.
Keep finding goals in the things you do enjoy, get out with friends or your kids. Find ways to incorporate aspects of exercise into your daily life, got little kids? Do all the Wiggles dances next time you put on the DVD. I could probably easily do another 5 or even 10 points to help people lose weight, keep it off and have a better life. Find a friend, have goals but… don’t rush it, stay on target, pick yourself back up, avoid fads, Heart rate zones, don’t give up everything, know your BMR. Maybe these more complex items are for the another list in the near future. And if anybody owns a tug toner please let me know.
A beginners guide to triathlons Well not sure if its a guide so much as, this is my experiences undertaking my first triathlon
6 months ago I would have never even thought about entering a triathlon. I was not the most active person, I hated running but had just discovered cycling. As luck would have it I blew my rear tire out whilst cycling with friends in the Ourimbah state forest. This was early January, it was only the November before that I had a friend ask me to come out and try the course. I must have been 1500m in to it before I hit the first hill and sat half way up trying to vomit for 15 minutes.
I was standing out the front of a local bike shop waiting in earnest for it to open so I could buy a new tube. Whilst I waited another customer turned up and joined me in waiting for them to open. We ended up talking whilst we waited and the conversion was surrounding bikes and he asked if I did anything else. I said just mountain biking but would like to try road. He mentioned that amongst other things he did was triathlons. Now this was something I had always wanted to do but they always seemed to be longer then I felt capable of.
He then told me about CCTRI and how they offered shorter locally based triathlons and did the “try a tri”. After waiting for nearly an hour to no avail, I drove around till I found an open bike shop and was finally able to replace my tire. However this did give me more time to think about doing this…
When I got home I looked up their website and low, just as he said they did offer the try a tri option to give you a go. 200m swim, 10k bike and 2km run. I thought, “I can do that”. I was unable to make the next one but this gave me about 7 weeks to train. I had been cycling quite hard for the last couple of months and felt that 10k would be straight forward. The run would take some work, but how hard would a 200m swim be right?
I had planned on doing it on my mountain bike but was lucky enough to secure a Scott Speedster s20. This made a massive difference to my training but took some time to get used to the position, riding style and lycra. But before I knew it within a few weeks I was pushing out regular 30k rides. Even did 50 on one day.
I started my running training on the treadmill. I think this gave me some false hopes but either way it did allow me to believe I could run the 2k. As I got closer to the event I ran outside more which was hard at first but got better as the days went on.
I was silly to think the swim would be straight forward. I knew I would not excel but I figured I would be ok. So I took myself down to the local pool and didn’t even make one lap! I only needed to do 4! I think my pitfall here was that even though my overall fitness had increased, I had (and still do) have poor technique. I was only able to do swimming training twice more but I elected to do “dry” training. That is focused upper body training on land similar to what I would undertake swimming. For this I used a TRX
Leading up to race day I just decided to ride one day and TRX and run the next. On the weekends when I had some more time I went on a 30km+ ride. A couple of times I did all 3 in the weeks leading up, ie TRX then bike 10k and then ran 2k. Whilst it was tough, mentally I knew I could do it. Even if I had do breast stroke or walk for parts of the run.
I had read varied ideas surrounding nutrition when it came to the race. As it was short I did not want to overdo it, nor did I see the need for any food whilst I was out. I did have some breakfast 2 hours before the race, a banana/choc smoothie and some peanut butter on toast. I then got everything prepped and set of with the family in tow.
We arrived at the event with a friend and his son that had agreed to join me for our first Triathlon. His son was in juniors and we were in B-grade which had 22 competitors.
After the juniors had completed thier short swim we ventured out into the lake. It was 100m to the buoy, go around an then swim 100 back. Sounds easy right? The water temp turned out to be great and we all lined up along the markers. As the sirens went I had a brief hesitation but it was more that I did not want to get in the other competitors way. After a few moments and some bumping into the nearby swimmers I was feeling ok. It suddenly dawned on me that we had a slight current towing us along, so when we passed the marker buoy we were heading back into the current and the wind. This did become somewhat harder and I must admit to swimming a good part of the return leg doing breast stroke. There was a noticeable loss of time doing this, but I was here to complete, not compete. A rogue wave caught me as I came up for breath and I copped a lungful of salty lake water, thankful I was very close to the marker and could start to walk.
I made my way from the water tired yet glad to have completed the stage that from the outset I knew would be the hardest. I emerged from the swim 19/22. Not the best but was just glad to be out. The transition to the bike went smoothly. I have not purchased any “clipin” shoes so I just used the ones I would be running in, this would also save some time later. Donned my helmet and race number then walked the bike out to the area in which I could now start the next leg.
I passed my friend almost straight away, even though he had over a minute on me coming out of the swim he had lost time during the transition. It took a longer time then I expected to find me groove with the bike. Primarily due to some straining in my quads/glutes. I’m putting this down to the lack of kicking in the swimming training and my workouts not having squats. I was able to work through it but the hills were tough. Normally I would try to get out of the saddle but my legs just did not want to help!
However I was able to set a good pace and got past a number of competitors of my field. I sucked it up and pushed the last hill as much as I could. By this stage the “A grade” and “Sprint grade” competitors had caught me and were overtaking at a fast regular pace. I completed my 3 laps of the circuit and return to the transition area. I was really stoked here by the encouragement given to me by all of the officials. I was really starting to feel like I was going to finish. I came out of the cycle much further up the field in 4th spot!
I racked my bike and dropped my helmet. As I turned to run down to the timing area I heard cheers from my wife and children. Nice to have some support! I got about 500m into the run when both my legs started to cramp up, but I was able to push. The run itself felt slow and was difficult to muster the energy I needed but I pushed on slowly. The turn around mark was a very welcome sight and did feel a renewed energy knowing that I only had 1k to go. Now I must admit at this I figured out that I was further ahead then I thought and my “complete not compete” mentality did go out the door. I knew to kids in my grade had passed my and whilst I was very tired I was determined to not let the 2 people behind me past.
I tried to set a regular pace just to keep 50m or so in front. I started to catch the competitor in front and as we approached the line he too picked up his pace and we finished within side a second of each other.
I finished with my family cheering on, well expect my 4yo daughter who had the poops because she wanted to go and play on the swings!
I had come in 6/22 and the 4th in mens. Overall very happy with it and very tired.
Whilst I had initially undertaken this to see if I could do it, I actually had quite a bit of fun and found the training to be quite varied. There is one more race for the summer season, I think I just might become a member.
For the last few months I have been using Runkeeper to track all my activity. Originally this was to sync with My Fitness Pal to help me lose weight but has turned into a great tool to work with as my fitness picks up. Whilst Cycling/Mountain Biking is my preferred choice of activity, it is not always possible to get outside during daylight hours. I have a treadmill at home, so problem solved right? Well kinda but how do I log an activity that 1/ I’m not in GPS range and 2/ I’m not actually going anywhere to log? The good people at runkeeper have thought of this and do offer a solution to add your treadmill (or other non GPS) activity in thier software that will still sync back to apps like my Fitness Pal. However it is not initially all that straight forward.
Using Runkeeper to log your “non-gps” related activity is actually quite straight forward, however on the surface it does not appear so. Lets take the example of running on a treadmill. For me I can’t always get out in the daylight hours to run but I like the idea of centralising my activities and having it sync back to My Fitness Pal.
Open up Runkeeper as normal and got to the main map page. On the right hand side you will see the “Log” option. Touch it to open the side banner. Select the type of activity you have completed, in this case running and it will open the manual activity log.
Touch the more details option. Here enter any additional information you have but primarily touch the gym equipment option and select treadmill. Once done select back and input the duration, distance and calories. Add your notes if required and the “Save activity”
What this does not do is “track” the activity. So if you are using a heart rate monitor or similar you will have to enter it manually. But it still allows you to easily keep a track of all your activities.
[I’m trying to take a more personal vain on my blog. If you are after my professional services please visit higginsproductions.com.au ]