Saturday, 31 March 2012

Trail running, and a Suunto Ambit

Yesterday I was out with a couple of friends, trying out a "trailblaze" thing.
A few trails in the UK have been fitted with orienteering like "dibbing" points. You get a dibber from the company that owns the points, do whichever run you want to do, and then send the dibber back. Your times are uploaded onto the website, and... well, that's it as far as I can tell.
Someone else was doing the dibbing, I was just out for the run.

The whole thing was the Trigger route backwards, but having to stick to the paths so that we could dib in to the points every so often. Starting at Edale, we followed the Pennine Way up Jaggers clough, North up the edge of Kinder, past Mill hill, Snake Summit, Bleaklow head, Crowden, Black hill, and finally up past the Isle of Skye road and about 2km down past the road to the final dibbing point, in the middle of no-where.
Mill hill
About 38km all told.

The end
We took it pretty easy, finishing after about 5hrs 45 mins. One of our party was suffering quite significantly from ITB and hip issues, but that didn't stop her from finishing.

The rather exciting thing was that I recently got hold of (read:- convinced myself to spend a stupid amount of money) on a Suunto Ambit, which I mentioned on a previous post Gamechanger?

I just bought the watch, not the one which comes with a specific Heart Rate monitor, because we already have an older Suunto, and figured that it *should* work with the Ambit. There is a lot of cross-talk all over the web as to whether it will or it won't work.
We have a Suunto T4c, and the comfort belt that came with that very much DOES work with the Ambit. Unless you really want the snazzy ANT++ version which comes with the Ambit, if you already have a Suunto HR belt, you don't need to.

As this is very much a preview and I've really only had a chance to mess around with it once, I'll keep it brief.
The finish of the run
On its first outing, it found satellites very quickly indeed, and when with someone else who had a Garmin (a forerunner 610 AND an Edge 800) the Suunto picked them up much faster then as well. Impressive.

The screens when in GPS mode are ridiculously customisable, so much so that I'm slightly confused as to exactly what it all means, but I'll be able to figure it all out once I've had a chance to play. Suffice to say the altitude graph as you are running is very funky, and the sheer amount of data you can access when on the run is mind boggling.
Ambit- Time out, current Alt, and total ascent
You can cycle through the screens you have chosen when on the run, but you cannot change which specific screens you wish to see while away from the computer. This is very much a watch which is designed to be used in conjuction with Movescount, the Suunto specific website. Within the site you can change things to do with the functionality of the watch, but not away from it. Great, but if the website goes down, I'd imagine it might be quite hard to change things on the unit.

Also, at this time, the gps track is on Movescount, but I can't find a way to export it to a .kml or a .gpx file, which is a bit annoying. As far as I can see, there should soon be that functionality, but it isn't there yet.

As far as the post run data, there is an awful lot when you upload to Movescount. HR, EPOC, Altitude, (which is measured barometrically, not via GPS), and a whole host of other gubbins.
On the run Alti graph
As I'm very used to the Garmin website, (and although I've used Movescount before), I'm not totally convinced by it and the way it works. Its almost a bit too social-media-like rather than training focused. Once I can work out how to get the information off the Ambit and use it on another site other than Movescount, it'll be nigh on perfect.
Just need to mess around with it a bit more to be honest.

If there is anything you want me to check out on my Ambit before you take the plunge, drop me a line, I'll try it and see if it is able to do it. (there is a lot of confusing Q&A bits and bobs across the web, I'll try and give you a decent answer, and if I can't, I'll tell you).

Oh, and then Lynne and I went to the Old Hall in Chinley and had an excellent meal, this picture only shows the starter, because by the time the Steak came, and then the Sticky Toffee Pudding, really, we weren't interested in taking pictures. Its got to be the best Sticky Toffee Pudding we've ever had. Definitely a big recommendation. (You might also want to book a table if you go there... its a bit good and you really don't want to be disappointed). 

1 comment:

  1. I've since written a slightly more extensive blog on the Ambit-

    Its not an all singing all dancing review, that won't be along for quite a while, but it gives a few more impressions now I've used it a couple of times.