This morning I decided to run at the gym so I could get a weight session in afterward. To measure runs on treadmills accurately and prove I’ve done the run, I’ve bought a Garmin Foot Pod that links to my GPS enabled watch.
Normally when I run outdoors, the GPS links to a satellite and that tracks my run. Obviously if I’m on a treadmill, it can’t do this as it looks to the GPS as though I’m running static and it shows me going nowhere.
The Foot Pod acts as a pedometer, counting the number of strides I take and has been calibrated with me running outdoors so its’ pretty accurate when it comes to measuring how far I’ve ran as it takes into account my stride length.
The thing is, for the Foot Pod to work, I need to turn the GPS off otherwise the two methods of measuring the run send conflicting information to the watch and hence the record goes all out of whack – which is what happened today.
I’m pretty sure I turned the GPS off before I started running and the watch showed that it had detected the Foot Pod, so set off on the treadmill, turned my headphones to the Andrew Marr show that was on one of the TVs and settled into a rhythm watching first Ed Milliband announce how we would lead the Labour party if he gets the job and then David Cameron say how he’s going to lead the country now he’s got the job.
After half an hour I looked at the treadmill, saw I’d done 5.5km (3.4 miles) and stopped…. only to look at the watch and see that it had only recorded one mile as the GPS was still turned on and it was overriding the Foot Pod.
Clearly, I’d done more than three miles but was almost ready to go outside and run another two to prove I’d really done three for the day. Thankfully, when I downloaded the details to Garmin Connect (that hosts all my runs) I noticed there is a ‘cadence’ value that shows how many times my left leg (the one with the Food Pod) hit the floor during the course of the run.
This showed I’d averaged 84 steps a minute with my left, ie 168 steps a minute with both. I reckon each of my running strides is around 3.5ft long, ie I was covering 588ft a minute! As I ran for 30 minutes, I covered 17,640ft, which is almost 3.4miles… and verifies was the treadmill was saying! Phew! I’ll add just three miles to my totals to be safe rather than sorry.
Miles today: 3
Miles to date: 953.07