Monday, July 28, 2014

Are Wearables a Threat to Fitness?

Wearables are electronic devices that you wear on a regular basis. Think of the various BitFit wristbands and the like. That's the most basic way to explain it. A lot less complicated than a Heart Rate GPS Watch. Though a science fiction branch of this is offering blood pressure readings remotely from your phone and a wealth of other really important functions. In spite of that though, a growing swell of intense marketing is trying to convince us that we all need to wear one that calls home (the insurance database) on a regular basis to make sure you're making all the right healthy choices.

walking at about 3.0 mph with a 70 bpm heart rate is decidedly worthless for fitness
The problem is that the "settled science" rarely is, and if you've been around as long as I have, you'd have seen all the various government and medical institutions making royal fools of themselves flip-flopping over what they consider to be "healthy" at any given time, and that's the crux of the matter IMHO.

Right now I think fitness is considered to be a 20 minute walk at a heart rate of about 66.6% so maybe about 80 BPM for us old dudes. Which is almost worthless to me. I'd get old and fat at that rate. The problem is that with all of us in the huge mega-pool of insured we'd all be liable for the cost of everyone, so the unhealthy unfit people tooling around for hours at a time at Anaerobic Threshold would be penalized for the effect they have on the general population by raising the group % probability of a heart attack. You got it. If you are what we who actually exercise consider to be "fit" then you are a greater risk of causing others to become sick, so you must pay. [Compare Crap Cardio with Good Cardio HERE]

I'm not kidding.

I'm not sure how they'll track it and enforce it, but I assume you'd also have to take a pic of your meals and it would analyze it to ensure that you were getting your daily dose of Monsanto. Or grains. Or fat. Or whatever it is this week that is "healthy" as per the FDA or USDA or whomever is currently under Big-Pharma control. At least Colorado and Washington have taken big steps in breaking that hold on our health.

protein powder, non-fat plain yogurt, raspberries and bananas - the leading cause of obesity and a slew of diseases. the USDA said so. Believe The Man.

Assuming that the only way to control the pool is to monitor the pool and issue feedback in the way of tax hikes, fees, fines and penalties, this is a really bad idea. It's easy to sell though to the people that most desperately need the opposite of this. Sure, go get your healthy meal at the drive-thru. Exercise pushing a shopping basket around the Walmart. Push it to the car for a .23% reduction in your income taxes this year since now you're super-fit. Spin your call center cubicle chair 100 times to game the system into thinking you did a few bodyweight pilates exercises. It's all good.

We who are fit though will be forced to stop running, stop lifting weights, stop cycling, and stop eating decent foods that have stood the test of time.

Aside from that the only other issues would be a clear violation of HIPAA, privacy, security and a slew of other horrendous issues that stand to break the back of the infrastructure of society. Just sayin'

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bunch of Running Shoes

I've been rotating my running shoes since 2011 when I began running sort of seriously. Unless you take my various RUNNING articles under consideration. In that case it might be difficult to apply the word "seriously" to anything I write regarding running.

I began with a pair of Asics Gel something or other. Classic shoes with a classic fit, huge rock solid heel and heel cup. I believed myself to be an under-pronator, based on a slew of articles, many of which were designed to sell shoes to the relative majority of runners who were not actually over-pronators. My knees and soles hurt and it was obvious that pounding my heels on every step would cause my ancient body to self-destruct if I continued to run.

I went into Runners Corner, a store in Orem UT which was quite close to my office and had them analyze my running and they had me test a few of their shoes in the parking lot. Sadly it wasn't the best of surfaces to test on and the distance was pretty short too. Too short for someone who typically runs at a 12:00 pace. I ended up with a pair of Pearl Izumi Peak. Trail shoes with a fairly low drop (height of heel vs. height of ball of foot), thin sole and great sock style upper.

After a few months I got a pair of PI Peak, and then based on the recommendations of a friend who did a lot of marathons, a pair of Hoka Bondi.B. I loved them so much I put a few hundred miles and a trail marathon on them. I got a pair of MafateWP for winter running and spiked them for snow and ice.

When it became obvious that trails would be my thing and I might never ever run on pavement again, I got a couple pair of Stinson EVO, and for my treadmill training Stinson Tarmac. That was a few years ago. My marathon maniac friend (one a month for a few years) suggested a rotation to let the foam rest and recover so that I could reduce injuries. Since then I've experimented with a lot of shoes (most on clearance or at a factory outlet).

Depending on the season and terrain, my normal rotation would be something like

  • Hoka Stinson EVO
  • Pearl Izumi Trail N2
  • Asics Fuji Racer (Gen 1)

Recently I slipped in

  • Pearl Izumi Trail N1
  • New Balance MT10

Not sure how that's going to work or whether I'll be doing a 5 day rotation or what. Just thought I'd share a few thoughts on running shoe rotations. Notice that for the most part those are all quite different shoes.