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The Simple, Smart and Effective Polar M430

A look at the smart yet simple GPS watch, Polar M430, a favourite for runners, writes Deepthi Velkur. 

GPS watches and running have become quite synonymous in the energy-sapping world of endurance sports. From professional to weekend runners, nearly everyone seems to have one of these watches to track their every move and using this data to train harder and more efficiently.

Rewind a few years and owning a GPS watch seemed like a piece of luxury but the scenario has drastically changed today. Aside from the original Garmin Forerunners, there were hardly any companies dabbling in the world of GPS watches but with more companies launching wearable GPS watches and the abundant choices in the market to suit every budget, it has become rather commonplace to see one of these devices perched on the wrists of runners.

When it comes to GPS running watches, one of the leading contenders in the market is the Polar M430.

At first glance, the M430 does appear a bit intimidating but as you use it, you realize that the M430 is an effective watch for your looking for the best performance tracking and recording device in the market.

When Polar launched the M400 in September 2014, it took the running world by storm and become Europe’s top-selling running watch in 2015-16. Fast forward 3 years hence and you find that Polar has taken the winning formula of the M400, topped it up with additional hardware and feature thus translating into one hell of a quality product.

The main difference between the M400 and M430 is the addition of an optical Heart Rate Monitor (HRM). The heart rate monitor measures your heart rate round the clock every few minutes or continuously during an activity.

Apart from the HRM, let us take a look at some of the features the M430 has to offer.  

The Polar fitness test – The fitness test uses your heart rate and other data to differentiate the optimum rate at which your heart, lungs, and muscles can effectively use oxygen during an activity. Using this, you can set up and monitor a fitness plan.

Run anywhere – Indoors or outdoors, the integrated GPS tracks your pace, distance, and altitude.

Running program – using the Polar Flow app, you can design a personalized and adaptive training plan.

Running Index – helps you measure how your runs are improving.

Polar Sleep plus – this function provides you with important insights on your sleep patterns and you can use this to develop good sleeping habits and as a result better performance.

GPS – The M430 comes with two GPS tracking options: 1) high accuracy recording mode that pings every second, and 2) low-power mode that pings every 30 seconds.

Final recommendation

The M430 is a brilliant multi-sport watch that performs very well in nearly every category. At INR 30,000, the M430 is a running watch in its purest form at a fairly decent price compared to the competition.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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The original Anti Chafe Balm

Deepthi Velkur explores a product that tackles chafing, a common runner problem

Chafing is the most common skin problem among long-distance runners and occurs in areas that constantly rub against each other causing friction or is dependent on the type of clothing you wear. Prolonged rubbing can cause your skin to burn and develop a mild red rash that can be extremely painful and distracting while running.The key here is to be pro-active and prevent this chafing by using the right product. The Body Glide anti chafe balm does exactly that offering you a hassle-free run.

The body glide anti chafe balm is said to be ‘magical’ as it forms a satin smooth invisible barrier that helps the skin retain moisture leaving the skin feeling dry, non-messy and resists rubbing that causes chafing.

Product features

  • An all-natural lubricant, made with allergen-free and plant-derived ingredients.
  • Vegan approved and never been tested on animals.
  • Child safe
  • Satin smooth formula that keeps your skin dry and non-messy
  • Rich in Vitamin A, B, E
  • Keeps skin hydrated and retains moisture.
  • Ideal for sensitive, dry and cracked skin
  • Comes in a roll-on stick dispenser for easy application.
  • Lightweight and scent-free
  • A unisex product, available in different sized tubes and has a product exclusively for women.

Why is it good

Here are a few reasons why this balm is a must try –

No.1 choice of athletesThis product is the preferred choice of athletes as it leaves the skin feeling dry when compared to messy wet creams, gels and powders that have a greasy effect and leave you feeling uncomfortable. The dry feeling is due to no petroleum, lanolin or mineral oils being used in its preparation.

Easy and quick application – It can be easily applied in sensitive areas such as inner thighs, neck, under-arms or any place where the skin is rubbed.

Non-messy – The balm does not rub onto your clothes making it messy.

Sweat resistant – The pores are kept free from clogging so the sweat can easily escape helping your skin breathe.

Portability – This tube can be easily carried around and can also be put away in your race bag for later use.

Long-lasting Protection – A super effective and long-lasting balm which can be applied daily even in humid and dry weather conditions for a pain-free active life.

Price

INR 3999 for 70ml(2.5oz) and is available on Amazon India.

Final recommendation

It is a highly recommended for runners. Though it is expensive, it’s long lasting and worth every penny. A quick application is all it takes and lasts you through the entire run preventing your skin from chafing and making the run so much more comfortable.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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The Running Mate: Nike Epic React Flyknit

Deepthi Velkur, takes a look at the Nike Epic Reach Flyknit running shoes designed in consultation with runners.

Sportswear companies are constantly faced with the challenge to innovate and redesign their products with new materials or features to offer their customers an edge over other competitive products in the market. Nike has been at the forefront of technology innovation to meet the demands of their customers.

With the feedback received from runners, Nike developed a shoe using the Flyknit foam technology that could do it all with features such as more cushioning, higher energy return, lightweight and greater durability. To achieve this, Nike embarked on a four-year mission with teams of programmers, engineers, and designers and in February 2018, Nike Epic React Flyknit was launched.

Product features

  • Weight-239g(Men size 9), Women: 195g
  • Offset-10mm
  • Fits true to size for a snug fit
  • Heel shelf stabilizes the back of your foot and helps the heel from rocking as your foot lands
  • Style: AQ0067-002
  • Country of origin: Vietnam
  • Colour: Wolf Grey/Cool Grey/Pure Platinum/White
  • Synthetic suede heel lining prevents slippage and blisters

Why is it good for running

The Nike React foam is considerably softer and handles bumps on the road more effectively when compared to the EVA foam. The shoes upper is kept simple and the forefoot, toe, and arch are made from one-piece of the Nike Flyknit Bootie giving you the snug feel. The mid-sole is kept taller and wider to give better support and stability to the runner. The mid-sole is extended beyond the upper’s perimeter and around the heel to ensure the shoe provides the necessary cushioning, flexibility and breath-ability required by runners.

Price  (in India)

INR 15995. Available at the Nike store and other retail stores across India.

A final recommendation on whether you should try it or not

Some of the feedback received from buyers about the Nike Epic React Flyknit shoe-

  • The Nike Epic React Flyknit is a comfortable and good-looking shoe and the out-sole is surprisingly durable.
  • The lightweight disposition helps in increasing your running speed.
  •  The mid-sole is very responsive and has the snug fit and had the right amount of cushioning neither too soft nor too firm.
  • The shoe allows natural movement, even during fast-paced activities\running.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Guide to picking a Running T-Shirt

The right T-shirt can be the difference between a comfortable run and an irritating one, writes Nandini Reddy

We have come a long way from cotton t-shirts and sweat shirts in terms of running wear. We have a host of options from long sleeves to no sleeves and from cotton to breathable fabric and to dry fits. Today there is specially designed apparel that is suitable for long distance running. Apparel that can maintain body heat, fight static electricity, reduce body odour and prevent chaffing. There is even light wear in special material for running cold and wet conditions too.

So what should you look for when you buy a running t-shirt?

Check the weather – If you are running in warm weather then ensure that you wear clothes that can wick moisture and keep you cool. If its harsh summer weather then it would be a good idea to go for a full-sleeved t-shirt to prevent sunburns. If its cooler weather then check for insulated sports wear. You can even add a light jacket over your dri-fit t-shirt.

Drying– Fabrics that dry quickly will keep you more comfortable longer. Even if you are stuck in light showers, these fabrics will dry out fast and help regulate your body temperature. The dri-fit t-shirts are made from polyester fibres and microfibre material that has the property to dry every quickly.

Chafe free seams –  The seams will be the most important part of the t-shirt while running long distance. You need to turn the T-shirt inside out and check if the seams are welded and flat. Especially around your shoulders and arm holes. A badly stitched seam will cause irritation during run and impede your natural running style.

Mesh Vents – Many t-shirts come with mesh vents on the back and underarms. These will help you cool down faster. If you are running long distance then these style of t-shirts will be more beneficial.

Sleeve Length – Long distance runners generally tend to prefer sleeveless t-shirts. But this may not be suitable in all weather conditions. The regular t-shirt sleeve should be wide and unobstructed. There are several new brands that have 3/4th length sleeves but this may not be suitable for all. If you are wearing a long sleeved t-shirt, ensure that the sleeve has flat seams that do not rub against your arms while you run.

Inner liner – A few brands sell t-shirts with inner liners to prevent chaffing. Chaffing injuries can be very painful during a run so its best to wear a t-shirt that will avoid this situation for you.

Reflective Fabrics – It is important that you are visible to others while you run early mornings. If you are not wearing a bright t-shirt then you need to add reflective strips to your t-shirt. You get reflective strips that stick to clothing and are not affected by sweat, you can choose from brands like 3M. You also get running t-shirts that have reflective strips on the front and back.

When you are on a run be careful not to overdress. You body tends to heat up during a run and its important that your t-shirt also aids in the cool down.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Top Habits that Ruin your Ride

You can ruin your cycle quickly if you cannot get rid of these bad cycling habits, says Nandini Reddy.

A great ride is what every cyclist enjoys. But the great ride means maintaining your cycle constantly. There are many bad habits that can ruin your cycle. A good cycle is a great companion but you might be ruining it because of these habits.

Lazy Bike Maintenance – Everything matters in terms of bike maintenance. Tire pressure, greasing your sprockets and tightness of the gears. If you are a regular rider then it is best to have a maintenance check every month. A well-maintained bike and a neglected bike can be the difference between the crash. Find a proper cycle service that understands your kind of bike. Not every mechanic may be appropriate so its best to go with the experts to ensure longer life of your cycle.

Being too competitive – When you are cycling in a group, you always have that one guy who seems to glide through the distance and is always ahead of the pack. I am sure you would have tried to catch up with him constantly. Riding itself is a great challenge and you need to find your own pace. Its fine to be competitive but in a smart way. If you start over-stressing yourself, you might only pay attention to covering the distance and not other factors that might lead to a crash.

Vetting Trails – Trail riding is the hardest on your ride. If you are attempting a new trail and ensure that you have an experienced cyclist with you. If not then do a reconnaissance of the route ahead. If you go in unprepared then you might end up busting your tyres. Also note that you need to have cellular signal if you need to call for help or at least now the closest point from which you can call for help if required.

Inadequate Nutrition – Eating and drinking during a ride is as important as your pedaling. If fatigue sets in, it can lead to cramps and dizziness which means you can crash. You cannot right with a severe headaches so remember to eat well before the ride and also carry along energy boosters.

Riding without a warm-up – Never start fast right away, you need to warm up your body and slowly set into the pace otherwise you may not be able to complete your race. It might seem easy to ride fast in the beginning when you are fresh but you cannot keep up the pace through the course.

Carry spares – It is important to be equipped with spares for mid-course repairs. Learn simple repairs like fixing tyres, it might be the one thing that saves you during a long distance ride. Remember you cannot complete races with wrecked parts.

Remember to double check everything before a ride. You need to enjoy a ride and not feel agitated by it so its best to get rid of all these habits.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Potential of the Running Watch

After spending a pretty penny on getting the best in class running watch, are you really using it to its full potential, asks Nandini Reddy

GPS enabled running or fitness watches are a rage now. Runners have said that they have become better runners after they have started using the latest wearable technology. But after paying the big bucks, do we really use them to their full potential? The truth is that most of us don’t. If you use it right, you have a digital running coach right on your wrist and a quick reference to all the statistics you need to reach your goals.

So here are a few ways in which you can maximize the potential of your running watch.

Know your beats per minute

When you first get your watch. Wear it and lie down and relax. You need to record your resting heart rate. Repeat this process for a week, every alternate day so that you have a good average rate as reference. If you are recording 10 beats higher than your resting average beats per minutes on any given day, after your workout then you are over training and its time to slow down. You need to check you resting heart rate every three months to check if there are any changes in your average. Erratic resting heart rate could indicate deeper problems that might need your physicians advice before continuing on a course of exercise.

Mark your MHR

Most training apps will recommend a specific heart rate zone in which you need to train. But before you get there find your maximum heart rate (MHR). Clock in your maximum heart rate and your watch will automatically find your zones for you. It will mark you up for endurance training, recovery training, aerobic training, etc based on your MHR. For example, your endurance training will be about 65-75% of your MHR and your aerobic training will be 90 – 95% of  your MHR. Remember that before you find your MHR, you need to warm up and run up an incline for at least 2 mins. Then you need to run at your maximum speed on a decline. This gives your watch enough information to plan your zones.

Find your zone

You need to use the watch for the purpose you want to achieve with your running. Once you decide whether you want to burn fat, build endurance or work on your anaerobic threshold; you can find the right heart rate training zone. This will help you match up your training sessions accordingly. Once you have picked your zone, set a beeping alert to indicate to you if you are over training.

Record your training

Most of the running apps data can be further used in other apps to get a better idea of how your training in panning out. Find one which can maintain a diary of your activities and important statistics such as resting heart rate, the days workout, MHR, calories burnt and time spent, among others. This will help you change and improve your training plans as you progress. These records will prove useful when you need to share them with a coach or coordinate with a running partner.

Use the Interval Training feature

Use your watch’s interval training feature to build pace and endurance. This will help if you are training alone. Combine high pace with elevated heart rate training and mix up time duration as you go along. You can also check if your watch allows you to create a bespoke interval training plan.

Watch your steps

Did you know that your watch measures the frequency in which your feet strike the ground? It does that because its a way to measure how efficiently you are running. This is measured as metric known as Strike per Minute (SPM). So if you were Mo Farah you would have an SPM upwards of 180 but if you are like everyone else you would be lower than 150. A good runner will always find a good SPM and will stick to it if he hopes to get maximum performance out of his runs.

Benchmark your performance

Run your route, mark your time and catalogue it. A month later run the same route and compare. Benchmark against yourself and you will see how you are performing. Over a period of time you pace will get better and your SPM will improve as well.

BPM is not the only thing you need to watch on your running watch. Use it the right way and it will become your best buddy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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7 Free Apps for the Avid Runner

Here is the low down on the digital helpers who ask for no financial investment, yet give you everything you need to enjoy your run, by Radhika Meganathan

Running Apps are a dime a dozen but if you want to seriously map your progress then it is vital that you choose the right app for yourself. Here is a selection of tried and tested apps used popularly by amateur and seasoned runners to track their runners.

  1. Nike+ RUN

https://www.nike.com/in/en_gb/c/nike-plus/running-app-gps

Nike+ does more than a basic app that tracks distance, routes and pace. It also helps you share your runs, add photos, and establish Nike+ Challenges against friends. Latest features include personalised coaching plans based on clocked miles, and a new leaderboard that helps you compete against other Nike+ runners.

Best for: Runners who need a comprehensive, one-stop running app 

  1. Sports Tracker

http://www.sports-tracker.com

Sports Tracker is not just a fitness app but is also equipped to support running, cycling, walking, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or other sports. For runners, this tracker helps you to set weekly goals, compare previous progress date with current stats and has a diary mode through which you can keep track of your training hours, heart rate or speed.

Best for: Runners who also indulge in other sports and want to track their diet

  1. MapMyRun

When you like to run alternating between well-worn and unexplored routes, you need a reliable app that gives you right, accurate results. Using this app, you can map your routes, save favourites and benefit from new route recommendations. The routes that you’ve already mapped will sync up to your smartphone, if you are currently training for a marathon, check out the MapMyRun Trainer app which helps users find training plans for races of distances between 5K and a 50K.

Best for: Runners who want to discover new routes

  1. Couch to 5k

http://www.c25kfree.com

There are many versions of this legendary training program for beginner runners, and for a good reason – it’s such a simple yet effective plan to get you from sedentary to marathon that most amateurs prefer starting from here. The app gives you pre-planned schedules with all the walks and runs you need to train yourself to breaking that a 5km threshold.

Best for: Newbie runners and couch potatoes

  1. RockMyRun

http://www.rockmyrun.com

Let’s admit, music is a god-sent gift for runners! RockMyRun is a music app that works with the world’s best DJs to create mixes and playlists that react to your body.  You can track your workout as you listen to the best music for your pace, rhythm and mood.

Best for: Runners who love to pace their runs with music

     6.  Treadmill Trails

http://www.treadmilltrails.com

So you don’t run outside. That’s no reason to miss out on beautiful scenery! Thanks to this app which has 22 great trail videos, with two new ones added every month, you can now feast on terrific trail scenery while pounding the treadmill. The videos are made with a Steadicam for a smooth run, walk or ride and their narration and soundtracks eliminate the need for separate music.

Best for: Indoor runners who miss the scenery

  1. bSafe

https://getbsafe.com

Safety comes first, especially when you are an adventurous runner who likes discovering new routes. In emergency situations, this app enables you to you to signal for help without delay. It has a one-button set up that, when clicked, turns your phone into a siren, alerting authorities. It also records video of your current situation and informs your contacts of your GPS location.

Best for: Anybody who wants to be prepared for emergencies while indulging in their passion

So which app is your favourite?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

A published author and an avid rambler, Radhika Meganathan is a recent keto convert who may or may not be having a complicated relationship with bacon and butter.

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Pick the right Kicks

Running shoes play a very heavy role in your comfort and keeping you injury free when you are running long distances on roads and trails, here Nandini Reddy talks about what you need to consider when you are picking a running shoe. 

The most important gear for a runner are his shoes. The right kind of shoes can make running an absolute pleasure and prevent injury. The most important things to remember while buying a shoe are the fit, feel, running track and time of day. Does the list sound a bit perplexing? It might but they are the best criteria.

The Fit

You need to ensure that your shoe fits from heel to toe. Consider all the aspects – the toe width, heel cushioning, arch support, snug instep and room if your feet swell during a run. If you feel any irritation while you are in the store than be assured that while running the irritation will be amplified. There should be no points of discomfort in the shoes. Even if the lacing area is feeling tight then check if you need to change the lacing style. You should be able to wiggle your toes inside the shoe. This extra room is important when your feet swell during the last leg of the run. The wiggle room also protects your toes from front foot injuries.

The Feel

The first thing you need to check even before you put on the shoe is its flex point. A good shoe will bend and flex along the same line as the foot. An improper flex will give you injuries like arch pain or calf strain. So when you try on the shoe don’t just walk around, flex you foot so that you can feel the shoe arching. Most shoe stores will let you run around a bit while you try the shoes. If there is a store treadmill you can ask them to use that to test the shoes. The idea is to try and find one that matches your stride and running style.

The Running Track 

Road running is the most common running today and runners need to be aware about that when they are buying their shoes. Road running shoes come in a variety of options, depending on the intensity of the run. If you are a casual, amateur runner who runs for 30 mins a session a couple of times a week then the shoes choice is a simple one. If you are a marathoner on roads, then you need a more resilient shoe that will last through training and the stress of a marathon. If you run on trails then ensure you get a pair of shoes with more cushioning to take care of bumps your feet will be subjected to along the trail. Most stores have specialty running staff who can help you find the right one based on your requirement.

Time of Day

The real size of your feet should be measured after a long day of work when your feet are fully stressed. Measure your shoe size in the evening at the store and then try the shoes on. These shoes might feel slightly roomy in the morning but as you run and your feet swell, they will offer a better fit. If you buy a shoe in the morning, you might end up with a smaller size and as you are likely to get blisters and shoe bites as you run.

The most unimportant factor is how the shoe looks. Don’t buy a shoe because it will look good in a photograph because you might end up never running in it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

 

 

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The Life Of A Marathon Runner!

I was absolutely a normal person in mid-30s, just like anyone else, and one fine day I happened to read this post of my friend Neville j Bilimoria and it changed my life.

‘Run for your neighbourhood’ challenge!

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