Sunday, February 10, 2019

Can You Use Stryd in the Snow? Check this out ...

My plans for Saturday changed suddenly when I needed to give my wife and daughter a ride to the University of Utah gymnastics meet that afternoon. My wife asked if I could do Olympus in that time. I doubted it, but figured I could do Grandeur, a peak at the junction of Wasatch Blvd and I-80 and much closer to the UofU campus.

Standstill Traffic on I-15 in Salt Lake City

It had snowed a lot in the few days previous. Salt Lake City was nearly shut down by the storm. I checked Strava and found that some groups had already been up Grandeur that morning, so what the heck, gonna try it.

Stryd pod, right foot, hiding under laces, in orange clip, near the beginning of the hike

I wanted to try my Stryd footpod outside on a steep slope with my Suunto 9 Baro. Pairing in the parking lot at the trailhead was pretty easy. I had had difficulty before pairing to a Suunto HRM strap but it seemed to work out okay today also. I used the orange clip, figuring if it fell out of the clip I'd be able to notice more quickly and perhaps rescue it in the deep loose snow.

The snow turned out to be much more loose, and the trail less defined, than I had anticipated, so my pace was about 40% slower than I had hoped. I checked my watch, in "Trail Running Power" mode and saw that the Stryd was sending info, which was comforting, as I wasn't sure how slowly it would actually allow me to go and still track. The UA Hover shoes supposedly won't work below 11:00 pace, which means they're worthless to me.



As I neared the summit the snow became quite deep in drifts, up to waist high wading, and the wind kicked up, and the snow started falling. I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to see the track back down, especially with the really flat lighting. I had to slip into my down jacket since I was dressed so lightly, thinking I'd be moving quicker.



At the top it looked like there was a trail running event (RUFA) coming up the back side, with a tent to check in at. They asked me for my number and I told them I'd come up the front side. The way down was a lot more difficult. The snow was loose enough that I ended up skiing down on my heels much of the way, despite the Kahtoola Microspikes. I was really glad I'd brought my trekking poles. Even then, I fell once and slid a ways before stopping.

Stryd footpod, right shoe, covered in crunchy snow crystals, at the end of my hike

Finally at the car, I had to dig my Stryd footpod out of the encrusting ice and pop it in my pocket. I synced it with the Stryd App so that I could check it out later.

Verdict: Sure, use the Stryd footpod in the snow. The clip held it in even bashing through the snow on the descent and in spite of the snow crusted around it.

I arrived to pick my family up and take us all out to eat on the way home. Great fun day out for all.




Here are some stats synced from my Suunto 9 Baro to my Strava:






Stay tuned for a video demonstrating some of the tools and techniques discussed in this article.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Stryd Tech Support Question About Incline Speeds

I have been curious about using a Stryd pod for a little while now, especially with Zwift, since it might pair more consistently than the Zwift Pod, or my Wahoo Tickr Run, or my Garmin Pod or my Adidas Pod, none of which are really accurate, or connect consistently.

As a side bonus, if I use the Stryd App and sync to Strava, I can get in my usual steep treadmill training and out in the hills maybe figure out a way to more efficiently move in the mountains. You know, with the Run The Rut Lone Peak VK coming up in like 30 weeks.



Question:
After reading this

https://support.stryd.com/hc/en-us/articles/360002319913-How-do-I-set-incline-in-the-Android-app-

I was curious, is there a maximum incline or minimum speed that Stryd will accept for incline training on a treadmill?

It might be typical for me to set a treadmill at 22% at 3.2mph give or take a little.

Thanks!

Charles Miske


Response:

(Stryd Community and Help Center)

Jan 23, 09:36 MST
Hi Charles,

Thank you for contacting Stryd. Let me try to help you!

The Stryd app allows an incline from -50% to +50% and there are no restrictions on pace. At 22% incline and 3.2 mph, Stryd will still work!

Let me know if you have additional questions!

R

+++++++++++++++++++

So yes, it looks like it will do what I want it to do. More later folks!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Zwift Run Foot Pod - Opening Video

Just posted this on Facebook at my Seven Summits Body Group as a live video. Opening the ZWIFT Run Pod for Zwift RUN. I have tried the Zwift Cycling and totally loved it. Tons of fun.

Open the envelope, open the box, pull out the pod, check the quick instructions, insert the battery, and the rest later when I try to connect to Zwift Run.



Now I will soon try Zwift Run in the next couple of days to see what it's all about. Here are a couple pics from the unboxing:




Here are a couple of pics from Zwift Cycling:




Thursday, December 13, 2018

Icy Spikes Running in the Dark

Had to wear my Kahtoola Microspikes this morning. There was a little bit of snow that started last evening at about 35F and transitioned into a freezing slick surface as the temperature descended with the sun. Check out the pic with my spikes and the frosted sheet of thin ice below.


I ran on the recpath as it circled the Cedar Hills Golf Course hill section. It's a common route for those living within a mile or so. It's a bit dark back down by the creek and ponds. I love the sounds of the creek rolling over the rocks. Every now and then you see the glowing eyes of various critters ducking into the foliage as your headlamp beam reveals them.

It has been really cold and damp. A damp cold. The worst kind that settles into your bones. Today was a little windy, which made it feel worse. I wore a slightly thicker base layer top and it seemed to work while running. While walking the dog prior to the run it was sure cold.

In Seattle my heart strap for my Suunto Ambit 3 Peak had decided to become dead. Not sure if it's the strap or the sender unit. I replaced the battery and still no go. That's why I didn't record heart rate on Cougar or Tiger Mountains, and why I've been mainly using the Tickr Run.


I had gotten a replacement strap and sender combo last year when I thought I'd lost mine, and I finally found it in the secret hiding place I'd never forget. Today I opened it up and it paired instantly. It should, being a fellow Suunto and all.

The main reason I had to get this bad boy up and running is that I am going to run Quandary this weekend. The Wahoo Fitness App is good. It works. It records some interesting data from my Tickr Run sender. Some of it only when I'm moving fast enough. The problem is that cell service is spotty on Quandary. I know the places where it is generally consistent. That's not too much of a problem though, as the packet can be resent to Strava later when I do have good service.

The main problem is that some notifications and any use of the camera can cause the app to die a miserable death. Sometimes the data is recoverable, but sometimes Strava spits it back and says it doesn't taste right.

So I can't take any pics on Quandary or send and receive texts Usually I take a bunch of pics if my hands are warm enough. Generally I text my wife progress reports. So I don't really want to be using the Wahoo Fitness App on Quandary.

That leaves me with having to locate the heart strap. I did. I tested it this morning. Now I'm happy.

Expected Weather on Quandary Summit:


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On another note - Elbrus access might be easier as the US State Department seems to be no longer recommending against visiting the region: Story Here

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Thinking Ahead - Quandary December 15


I have been planning a trip to Colorado in mid-December for a little while now. It's to celebrate an event with a close relative. While I'm there I hope to get a climb of Quandary in. I was hoping to make another climb back at the end of November, but the weather, road conditions, and a transportation issue meant that I could not.

As is typical, I've been monitoring the weather on Quandary, and here is a report from one of my favorite sources... https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Quandary-Peak/forecasts/4348



The top image is from the summit, and the bottom image is for about where the bridge is near the "closed for restoration" sign. So not too bad for wind, temps, or wind chill. I'm in the middle of a little boot "quandary" (haha) since I've outgrown all my double boots. When the chills go below zero I prefer to wear light double boots, like my Scarpa Phantom 6000 Mountaineering Boot, which is what I did when I climbed Greys with Todd Gilles prior to Elbrus Race 2013. It was quite a bit below zero F that day and I was just fine.

Salomon Boots I'll be wearing

The warmest "mountain" type boots I have right now that fit at all are my Salomon S-Lab X-Alp Carbon Boots (link is to a newer version than I have). They should be sufficient. I wore them last year on a winter climb of Quandary, but had issues with socks and slipping around inside on the descent as the slide locker loosened up. I'll have to manage that I suppose, in the worst case possibly even unzipping and tightening the slide locker at the summit, in the cold, in the wind, prior to descending.

I'll be packing up my gear over the next couple of days, so stay in touch here to get the full scoop as I prepare for whatever my goals evolve into over the next few months.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Morning Road Running - Beginning Groove

After my amazing fun adventure running up and down both Tiger and Cougar Mountains near Seattle Washington, I had to make some decisions.





The weather was awesome. Forties and raining. The trails were wet and smooth. I loved it. I managed to get in about seven or so miles each of the three days I had there. That's about the most sequential running I've done in quite a while. I had some really good paces on the flats, uphill, and downhill. It was inspiring.

But then I had to suffer from the backlash of that. Recovery sucked. 

With my goal of doing a VK this coming year, and possibly Elbrus, it became obvious that my running training needed to change somehow. That how evolved into going back to ground zero so to speak. I needed to start at one mile a day a few or so days a week and work my way back up from there.

It was simply that my mind and body were primed and ready to crank out seven miles for a few days, but no more than that. In the bigger scheme of things this wasn't a really bad thing. Quandary is a 6.5 mile out and back. Cake. But the bigger implication was for training. How many miles a day do I need to run how many days a week to effectively achieve my maximum speed?

Right. Enough that my body isn't really ready to do on a daily persistent basis. Back in 2010 I began with baby steps doing various stepmill, elliptical, and treadmill workouts. I started with very low targets and worked my way up on the way to Elbrus Race. Now Elbrus Race Classic is a 9-ish mile out and back with a lot more elevation gain than Quandary.

So back to square one, which is an outside run over a mile a handful of times a week. Outside because I need to get my shivers out of my system prior to either a fast winter Quandary or any Elbrus.

And that's what I've been doing. Our 'hood at large contains a large semi-circular area adjacent to a golf course and outlining the edge of some hills near the mouth of American Fork Canyon. The knots of streets are cut by a local connecting highway or two, and some of the rec paths. If you zigzag around a bit you can hit just about any mile goal pretty easily without too much elevation gain or loss. If you do want some elevation, there are a few nice steeper roads along the hills.

I started running in the morning, normally after a circuit training routine that I'll share later. I'm up to about 2-ish miles a day a handful of days per week. My pace is decent enough. One day in spikes due to recent freezing rain and snow mixed I averaged around 13:00 + but mostly I've been moving closer to 11:00 + pace. Not too shabby for someone who hasn't run outside in the cold in a very long time.






Those are some of the screenshots from the Wahoo Fitness App I'm using on Android. It's got some klunky bits, but otherwise works good in combination with my Wahoo Tickr Run heart rate strap.

I'll share more on that later, but for now, I'm working my way toward a hike or even run up Quandary here pretty soon.

TTYL!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thinking of Quandary This Month

I've been chatting with my wife about my goals and plans for the coming year. One is to finally finish up Elbrus, Race or not. In discussing my plans in regards to finishing Elbrus, we thought that perhaps I should try to get in a once-a-month climb of Quandary, regardless of weather. Elbrus has atrocious weather you know. Cold and windy is the norm most summit days it seems. It's only the non-summit days that you get beautiful blue skies.

Since I was able to acclimatize so well for Orizaba in 2013, in spite of living here in Utah at the time, we considered that I could actually just test my 14000' ability to acclimatize regularly, then once on Elbrus, hang out for a day at the Barrels Huts and go up the first nice day.

In any case, it seems reasonable, based on the past. Now for the future.

What shape am I in? Can I acclimatize? Can I get my "running legs" back in time?

Stay tuned ...