Saturday, 13 July 2013

Scoshe Rhythm

A new bit of kit to review: The Scosche Rhythm, a pulse monitor and smartphone or tablet app.

I've tried this out on a run and on the bike, but can be used in the gym or at home on the exercise bike or treadmill and I must say it's a good piece of kit.

The pulse monitor needs to be purchased separately (£99/$99 RRP) but the app can be downloaded for free for the Apple or Android smartphones.

I have an Android phone and was surprised by a lot of negative reviews when I went to download the application. I think a lot of the problem is down to the individuals phone rather than the software. Mine is not the latest of phones (Samsung Galaxy W) but worked fine.

Once the pulse monitor is turned on, your device needs to be paired with the monitor via Bluetooth, this was quick and easy.

The application itself is much like most fitness apps where you log calories burned, distance, speed and pace; but here you obviously get your heart rate in realtime. The screen is clear and can be customised to suit the individual.

You get to have your own personalised home page on the website where you can review your workout or review through the app on your device.

I'm not really a listen to music while I work out kind of person, but you can control your music wirelessly and control from the monitor.

The monitor is strapped to your lower inner arm, a position I thought could be uncomfortable while working out but once I was exercising, soon forgot it was there. 

I would definitely recommend, especially if you like to train with your heart rate zones.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Kalenji Kiprun LD

Being injured wasn't going to stop me taking my new trainers that I had received to review, out for a spin last Saturday.
A beautiful morning so I took myself down to my local parkrun to try out the Kalenji Kiprun LD pronation trainer.
Weighing in at 345g the trainer feels nice and lightweight and to look at appears to be a nice structured shoe. The Kiprun comes in 3 different models. The SD (short distance) MD (mid distance) and the LD (long distance).
Despite not being able to run far at present I chose the LD pronation model as once the ankle injury is resolved I will be ramping back up the distance and training for marathons again. also like many runners I overpronate and have flat arches, so the pronation model was good for me.
The following paragraphs best describe each model:

 The Kiprun SD, designed for races of around 10km, is a lightweight, neutral shoe which is ideal for fast training and interval sessions as well as shorter races. There is a specific EVA component in the midsole which provides a the essential boost for fast running, while the Kiprun’s proprietary CS® technology in the heel, creates long-lasting shock absorption. 
The Kiprun MD has been developed for half marathons, with a focus on cushioning. There are three layers of EVA, with varying densities to provide the optimum cushioning performance and forefoot cushioning provided by an insert which distributes impact reducing pressure on the first metatarsus. The shoe is also available in a neutral and pronation model for both men and women.
 The Kiprun LD has been developed for training for and racing in marathons and provides the most cushioning of all the Kiprun shoes. The heel of the shoe is made up of a series of decoupled pads which individually deform on impact to give the optimum shock absorption on long runs. With the addition of a TPU Pebax plate, which is a high-performance plastic insert delivering energy, flexibility, durability and comfort, this shoe is ideal for those looking to take their running as far as they can.

My parkrun covers a bit of all terrains (fields, towpath and gravel paths) so it was a good run out to put the trainer through it's paces. Clearly this is a road running shoe and the harder smoother surfaces were where they felt at their best.

Retailing at £74.99 this is a reasonable price compared to the bigger well known branded models. I've been through a lot of different trainers and I must say that these compared favourably against more expensive trainers.

The run was comfortable (despite my nagging ankle) and my feet felt secure and supported.

Appearance wise the trainer looks a little 'plasticky' with a lot of detailing on the shoe but no reflective elements which would have been nice but on the plus side good ventilation in the roomy forefoot of the trainer.
Overall this is a great trainer that would quite happily perform the miles for marathon training and I would not hesitate to use them. If you can get over any trainer snobbery you might have and don't mind turning up to the start line in a Micra rather than a Mercedes you may just be pleasantly surprised with the journey, after all it's mostly down to whose in the shoe and not the shoe itself isn't it?

Cushioning - 8 out of 10, Plenty of support in the heel and mid foot areas
Comfort - 8 out of 10, comfortable ride
Flexibility - 7 out of 10, A little rigid
Responsiveness - 7 out of 10, Not bad response from this budget trainer 

Overall 30 out of 40