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Perfection is not always required

Trail Run, Anyone?

Originally uploaded by Mike.

I demand a level of performance out of myself beyond what most people expect. Except apparently my wife. But I digress. This isn’t always necessary though. Case in point, my Polar S720i heart rate monitor. One of its features is a barometric altimeter. This allows me to match up my heart rate changes to climbs and descents.

Forget the science behind it – just bear with me. It occassionally asks me for the current altitude and suggests what it thinks it is. Do I care my exact elevation?? No. All I care about is the relative change in elevation, which it does a good job of measuring. I want to know how much climbing I’m doing, not at what precise altitude am I at.

Don’t get me wrong, if I take it back out to Utah and tackle running in this scene, I’ll plug in the new altitude value to improve accuracy. But even there, if I plug in 4500 feet and I’m really at 4700 feet, it’s not that big of a deal. Perfection is not required. It’s close enough!!

For those of you thinking of buying this monitor and stumbling on my rant of perfection, I really do like it. I like the recording options (hr, altitude, temperature, and bike functions) and the resulting graphs. Because it’s a barometric altimeter, it gets fouled up when high pressure or low pressure moves through the area (ever hear the weather guy blather on about that?). In science terms, a lower altitude will experience greater pressure than higher altitudes. By measuring the changes in barometric pressure, this device figures out whether your climbing or descending. If a high pressure system moves in while you’re training, it will think you went downhill. It’s really not that big of a deal. I’ve used it for traning sessions as long as 5 hours and have gotten very reliable data. The device is great!!

For those of you wondering about today’s workouts, I was a busy beaver. The morning started off with a swim of an hour – 2300 yards. It was an easy day so there was greater recovery time and a variety of set lengths. I even threw in a couple of laps on the kick board to loosen up my ankles and work my calves.

For lunch I had a 4.75 mile run in 55 minutes and some change. Again, it was for recovery. The first 2.5 miles were in just under 25 minutes, the last 2.25 miles were 30 minutes.

And for dinner, it was time to kick it in martial arts class. It was day 3 for me training in the new studio and it’s starting to grow on me. 45 minutes total with roughly 15 minutes of cardio and stretching and 30 minutes of technique.

What a day!! On tap tomorrow?? For sure there will be 2 hours of spin starting at 5:15 a.m. Not sure beyond that. I might swim at lunch, might go to a sparring class at the do jang. We’ll see what the light of day brings!!

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