Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gym In The Pocket...

By Frank
Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass and endurance. Over the years, with patience, the training has brought benefits to athletes all around and even to commoners. There are many ways to do it such as weight lifting and our own body weight. Here, I’m introducing another method which is the rubber exercise tubing otherwise more commonly known as resistance band training. Some advantages of resistance band training are improving muscle performance, correcting postures and balance training. It can even be used for rehabilitation exercises. And instead of moving on one plane of movement, resistance band training moves on all planes and therefore assists in building of the core muscles with each exercise done. Not forgetting too that it’s much safer too compared to lifting plates and dumbbells.

The Gym In The Pocket (GITP) resistance band looks nothing more than an overgrown rubber band measuring at approximately 2M in a loop. It’s made of natural latex and comes in 5 different resistance levels from light to heavy to suit individual needs (I bought the blue colour version which was the second toughest). Roll it up, and it can be brought along to your workplace or even to holidays. What’s so special about the GITP compared with those normal bands is that it is much thicker thus preventing any snapping or tear that may occur. And based on this, the band will be able to last longer and it won’t go out of shape, well at least not as quick as those normal ones.

A view of the Gym In The Pocket...

GITP can be used to work on most of the major muscles groups on our body. For example, it can be looped around the waist or legs to perform exercises like the leg extension and bicep curl. And if there’s an exercise partner around, things become more interesting as each can help another by holding on to one end. If there isn’t, GITP can also be attached to a permanent fixture like a pillar. Be creative and this simple band will offer lots of exercises. It also comes with 6 exercise charts which works from the total body. Pretty basic exercise actually although more can be found on the internet or books.

The box and the included exercise charts...

Just one thing that I didn’t like about the GITP is its roughness. The band is actually pretty rough and when used on expose skin, it might cause blister. I recommend any users to actually wear a training glove while using it. As for the pricing, it’s a little on the expensive side considering the prices on other resistance band around. But for those who are really into resistance training, the GITP will prove to be a very good investment as it is really different.

Overall, GITP is a great training tool. Although it isn’t a revolution, it’s certainly brought a whole new level to resistance band training. Some might say that they can’t see any difference after using it, but bear in mind that those who do resistance training will actually feel the result first rather to see it. Besides, Rome wasn’t built in 1 day. So, for those who are patience enough, GITP can build wonders to your body.

The Gym In The Pocket retails from a recommended price of RM64 to RM99 depending on the resistance level. Be sure to try out each band first before purchasing though. Oh and yeah. With any purchase of the GITP, you can actually attend their classes for free! For more info on the GITP, do visit their website at

Do check out the following links for some resistance band training exercises.

Link 1 Link 2 Link 3

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tesco Walk For Life 2008...

Event: Tesco Walk For Life 2008
Venue: Tapak A, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 27 July 2008
Time: 8.00am
Distance: 4.3KM
Shoe: Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ 3
By Frank

I drove almost the distance of a full marathon to get myself to Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, the venue for the Tesco Walk For Life 2008 charity walk event as I got lost in the glorious city of Kuala Lumpur. Nevertheless, I made it with plenty of time to spare as I left home very early at 5.30am with the vent starting only at 8am. It was my first visit to this huge park and I was amazed by how well it was maintaned.

Tesco Walk For Life 2008...

The Tesco Walk For Life 2008 basically is a charity walk event organised by Tesco in aide of MAKNA's effort to prevent, cure, research and provide support for cancer patients and love ones and also the general public. As a cancer survivor, this event meant a lot to me. A couple of weeks ago, I started on my own donation drive to raise some cash for this event. Though the amount I collected isn't much, I sincerely hope that it will make a difference to those facing cancer out there. I TRULY thank those who have donated on behalf my campaign and certainly you guys made a difference.

I was very suprised and happy with the turnout as it was simply amazing. Seas of people in white t-shirt flooded the venue and most of them were from the normal public. It's always good to see people getting out of bed for a good Sunday morning workout. Sadly, regular runners can hardly be seen. This clearly shows the difference between living a normal healthy lifestyle and a competitive one.

Participants getting ready for the start...

I bumped into Suresh (was suprised to see him) and Chanthiran who is taking part in the walk. Kudos to them for the effort! The walk started at 8am after a warm up session by Fitness First and also a long speech. Although it's a walking event, it isn't stated that one can't run. Therefore, many took the opportunity to run. The sad thing about this is that there were some who acted like "hooligans" screaming their lungs out and also treating the route as if it was their. It was an eye sore to the society.

Participants walking along the lush greens...

And around the lake...

Passing through the Eye on Malaysia...

And finally to the finish line...

Anyway, the walk took the participants around the beautiful lake and into the housing area of some of the rich and quite famous, before re-entering into the lake area. After breathing some really fresh air, going through wonderful traffic control, taking some photos and most importanly a good 4.3KM walk, I completed the walk in a time of 00:50:17. As it was a charity event, I did not expect any goodies to be given out. But I was wrong. I was rewarded a certificate of participation and also a "mini-hamper" consisting of 4 can drinks, a bottle of mineral water, potato chips and also a chocolate malt drink all courtesy of Tesco. WOW! What can I say? Doing charity and in the same time being rewarded. Double thumbs up!

The certificate and contents of the "mini-hamper"...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The North Face 100...

A regional series sprawling across 4 countries, The North Face 100 was designed with one goal in mind - to push the limits of human endurance. The series kicked off in Australia on May 17 taking runners across the Blue Mountains for 100km of stunning views, and not to mention, the aches, pains and crampsthat come along with participating in such a grueling race.

Appealing to the most adventurous of athletes, The North Face 100 is not your ordinary run in the park, but an off-road trail run that promises to test your determination, perseverance and zest for pain! The North Face 100 will stop in The Philippines on-route to Singapore before its grand finale in Beijing, China next year.

Be a part of this inaugural run and you could just find yourself running amongst some of the world's top ultra runners in China!

The North Face 100 Schedule
- 17 May 2008: The Blue Mountains, Australia
- 26 July 2008: Tagaytay City, The Philippines
- 04 October 2008, Central Catchment Area, Singapore
- April 2009: The Great Wall of China, China
For more info on The North Face 100, hit the link.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saucony Grid Fastwitch 3...

By Frank
I first saw the Saucony Grid Fastwitch 3 a few months back when one of my running friends wore them. The sleek looking bright yellow colour shoe was something a runner won’t be able to miss. And not only that it is bright in colour, it sure was one shiny shoe thanks to the amount of reflective materials used. It sure was an attention grabber. However, I know that the rule of thumb in buying a shoe especially for runners like me is not to judge it by its appearance. Therefore, I went and did my homework and lucky enough, I found that the shoe actually suits me.
The Saucony Grid Fastwitch 3...
The Grid Fastwitch is one of the very successful racer series in Saucony’s lineup. Entering into its third generation now, the Fastwitch 3 is made different from its predecessor. Instead of having 2 different models to suit different feet types, the third offers only 1 type. And it’s this one type that it is able to suit all feet types, from pronators to supinators. The secret lies with the low profile outsole that yet still provides the necessary support for pronators with the included medial post support although very minimal which is just perfect for mild pronators like me. A very innovative design indeed. And being low profile, the sole is almost in contact with the ground, something which elite runners will really like as it provides a very fast yet effective toe off.
Pronation support...
And being a racer, it sure was light, weighting at only 205 grams for a US size 8.5. The outsole was made of carbon rubber and EVA which felt really good. It offers great flexibility and the response is one of the best that I have ever experience. The cushioning system on the heel was of the Saucony’s Grid technology while the mid-foot uses SSL EVA. Although I would have prefer the ProGrid technology to be used instead where it offers full cushioning for the entire outsole, I guess what is used on the Fastwitch 3 is sufficient enough considering the weight, flexibility and responsiveness of the shoe. Anything more advance will probably cause some sacrifices.
The arch support...
Though most of the shoes body is built pretty thin, it felt sturdy. For example, the tongue which is of a separate construction felt so thin and flimsy but yet it stayed on its place during my runs doing its job shielding my upper feet. The collar too was rather thin but yet support was there though it’s advisable not to push it. I’ll prefer if it was slightly thicker with memory foam used. But most importanly, the shoe felt like that it was "formed" around the feet. I do not know how to explain it, but it's something like the shoe being moulded to the feet hence the perfect fit.
The heel counter...
Another thing that is worth praising is the ventilation of the shoe. The upper air mesh to the overlays has the largest holes I have ever seen in a shoe with another layer of it at the below with smaller holes. Don’t be fool by it though as it is constructed ingeniously. It was put together with minimal stitching and it felt solid, yet offers great breathability. And it goes all the way down to the sockliner although the holes there are much smaller to prevent pebbles from entering.
The excellent air mesh (notice the amount of reflective materials)...
Ventilation for the forefoot...

The downside of the Fastwitch 3 is probably that it is a low profile racer shoe. And being it, I believe that it wouldn’t last long especially for those who land on mid-foot. And also, this shoe is rather narrow. Although stated that it is of normal width, I felt that it was slightly tighter than others. No worries on the toebox though as it had sufficient room for my toes, at least for me.

As a conclusion, the Saucony Grid Fastwitch 3 is one fantastic shoe. Retailing at a recommended price of RM230, it’s one of the most valued for money shoe around. It’s so light that I can’t believe that I’m actually wearing a pair of shoes, which in the same time providing me with all the necessary support and protection. And with the unpredictable weather here in Malaysia, it sure did justice to my feet with its superior breathability. 2 halluxs up (my running version of 2 thumbs up) for the Fastwitch 3! Thus, my rating below sums it all up on how much I like the shoes.

Comfort: 8.5/10
Cushioning: 8/10
Design: 8.5/10
Flexibility: 9/10
Weight: 9/10
Overall: 8.6/10

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Run A 10K Like No Other...

The Nike+ Human Race 10K, happening on 31 August 2008 will get runners into a unique running experience when they become part of the world’s largest one day running event. And not only that, as participants will be treated to a full blown music concert making it a race plus entertainment event. 25 cities around the world will be hosting this event with Singapore being the only country in South East Asia to be selected. However, it’s considered a virtual race and runners all around the world can run at any place and any route that they wish too. Just get yourself registered at Nike+ and start running using the Nike+ Sport Kit or SportBand, and then transfer the running data into the website. It’s so easy that an average Joe can do it!

To get you excited...

And yes. The Nike+ Human Race 10K will be a charity event too. With every kilometer logged into the Nike+ website, Nike Global will donate to 3 charity organizations being Lance Armstrong Foundation, The UN Refugee Agency and WWF. What a way to run to good health and in the meantime to do some charity work.

Be part of something great...

And so, come early August 2008, I will be blogging about my preparation leading to the race experience itself, as I will be experiencing a very historical event indeed at Singapore. Come experience it your own by visiting the official website at

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Larian Jelajah KSN 2008...

Event: Larian Jelajah KSN 2008
Venue: National Sports Complex, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 12 July 2008
Time: 8.00am
Distance: 6KM (5.39KM by Nike+ SportBand)
Shoe: Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ 3
By Frank

The National Sports Complex at Bukit Jalil is into it's 10th year since it first open for the 1998 Commonwealth Games. And to celebrate this occasion, a run was held. Another training and fun run for me as I have not run since last week's Siemens Run. Therefore, no pressure for me.

I arrived at the National Stadium at 6.20am and it was pitch dark. However, Ronnie was already there as we both wanted to arrive early to secure a good parking spot near the guard house due to the uprising cases of car break-ins. With the run starting at 8am, we got plenty of time so we just hung around and chatted with various people till we hit 7.30am when we began our warming up. The rest like Lai FS, Saiful and Stanley too arrived and we reported into the starting area just inside the National Stadium on the running track. I found myself at around one quarter from the front as was just next to Stanley.

And so at 8am, the run was started. My usual slow start saw runners overtaking me as we exit the stadium via a short climb up a tunnel before running halfway around the stadium. The first stair case appeared shortly later and it brought us down to a park. The path here was very narrow and it was hard to overtake. However Lai FS did a good job and he overtook me. At the end of the park where another stair case going downwards appeared, I managed to pull one back by overtaking Lai FS back. And that's where I think he lost it as we were greeted by a very steep climb next. It sure was tough but I kept my composure. "Just keep running", I told myself. At only around 2KM here, I am already struggling and gasping for air. This has showed a decrease in my running level since starting my break a couple of weeks ago. During the climb here, I bumped in William Chan. He was struggling with the climb too but he managed to overtake me back later on when he paced with Jessica Tang, a really fast female runner.

As I made myself down a slope later, to my horror, a pedestrian bridge appeared! Memories of the Sundown Marathon 2008 return. Climbing it wasn't an easy task, but I managed to conquer it without stopping. *Phew* A water station was there to reward our climb but I skipped it. Heading forward was a few more short stair case climb. I managed to overtake William Chan back when he was reduced to walking. I guess the pacing with Jessica Tang was too much for him. I asked him to continue running at least with me, but he just couldn't. That left me with no choice but to carry on myself. Next, I was into the Commonwealth Park. It was a nice park here with a man-made lake in the middle. It was a time to enjoy before the next horror appeared. A long way up via zig-zag stair case. It was painful to climb it and everytime I have to turn myself around, I lost my momentum to carry on with my climbing speed. At the top, I began my descend down to the stadium. It was a sharp descend and I had to control my footsteps to avoid falling over. It was here also that runners were taken to a "cross-country" run when instead of running on the concrete route, they ran on the grass with tree roots and branches everywhere. It was really dangerous and at one part, I decided to actually use the longer concrete running route to avoid the risk of tripping over. At the end of it, Nazib caught up with me. He cheered me on and I managed to follow him tightly at the back. As we near the National Stadium, he slowed down a little allowing me to overtake him but he eventually overtook me back inside the stadium with around 100M left. At that point, he told me that he was off and I assured him that I would not challenge him and I allowed him to finish the run just ahead of me. I crossed the finish line at position 58, clocking 00:26:43. I was rewarded a finisher's medal and certificate which was just for the top 60 finishers. I was lucky! However, upon closer inspection of the medal, I found 2 spelling errors. Larian which meant run in English was spelled "Jarian" and Ulangtahun which meant anniversary was spelled "Ulantahun"! Major flaw and I do not understand how the organisers can let this happen.
.Tackling the steps...

With the Pacemakers and our rewards...

The run was really tough and it certainly proof that the my rest period is certainly starting to show its effect on my running performance as I struggled very early in run. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the run as it brought me around the National Sports Complex beautiful surroundings. Although my Nike+ SportBand showed only a 5.39KM distance, I believed it will be longer if runners followed the actually running route instead of cutting through the "cross-country" short cut.

Front view of the finisher's medal...

Rear view of the finisher's medal. Notice the spelling error...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Well Deserved Break...

By Frank

Since running my first marathon of the year 2008 at KLIM08, I've been hit by a very hectic running schedule. To train 3 or 4 weekdays followed by a long distance run in the weekend and not forgetting that almost every weekend, I found myself in a race. Since the start of April 2008 till now, I have ran a total of 523.92KM which include races and my training runs, which also equals to 12 races and 2 long runs all done back to back every week. Although it was tiring, I must say that I really enjoyed it. Not only it helped me improve my running and fitness level, I found myself breaking my own personal best at almost every race I ran in. To me, the highlight will be the 3 runs (Larian Bersama Bomba 2008, Putrajaya Night Run 2008 and World Asthma Day Jogathon 2008) I did in a matter of 26 hours and the Sundown Marathon 2008.

With all this, I think I now deserve a break from running, at least for a month. It's been 10 days since I started this break of mine, and although I am still running, I am not runnig as much as I used to. I'm just running to maintain my fitness level. With all the runnings done, I have lost a tremendous amount of weight and with this, I am now focusing on resistance training, to build back my mass and also to build my strength. The training is not easy but with my knowledge and experiences as a personal trainer, I had the upper hand. Besides, I'm lucky that I have my own home-gym and also exposed to other training equipments needed. To me, all these are very important factors and part of my training for my year end push for the major events like the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2008 which I have my eyes on. I believe to train smart over training hard, quality over quantity. And with a strong body, it will certainly help with my running. I might struggle a little once I'm back into the race scene in August 2008 especially there is a half marathon awaiting me there, but I believe it will be just for short time before I'm back at my fullest!

The weight bench, barbell and plates. Part of my many training equipments now...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Get Healthy, Get Active, Get Involved...

By Frank

The Tesco Walk For Life 2008 scheduled to be held at Tapak A, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa on 27 July 2008 at 8am, is a Corporate Social Responsibility program by Tesco that is not only committed to raising money for cancer causes but also encourages the public to stay fit and healthy by encouraging exercise as a vital part of cancer prevention. In support of MAKNA, all proceeds will go towards MAKNA's efforts to prevent, cure, research and provide support for cancer patients, their loved ones, high-risk groups and the general public.

Donations for charity...

I will be taking part in this meaningful event as a cancer survivor and therefore this charity means a lot to me and also to other cancer patients, survivors and families. I do hope that you who are reading this will be able to take some time off in supporting this meanigful event. In the same time, I am raising some donations too. For those who are interested to contribute in any amount of cash, please do let me know by either giving me a call at 012-3959598 or simply drop me an e-mail at Let us all join the fight against cancer!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Siemens Run 2008...

Event: Siemens Run 2008
Venue: Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 6 July 2008
Time: 7.30am
Distance: 10KM (8.65KM by Nike+ SportBand)
Shoe: Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ 3
By Frank

I have set no target for the Siemens Run as I'm currently taking a break from running for a month before restarting my training in August. I'm currently doing resistance training for my upper body and although I still do run, I'm keeping it to a minimal mileage just to maintain my fitness level.

With no sleep at all due to the fact I was coughing badly throughout the night with fever, I was thinking twice on whether to join this run. But as I had a good experience last year, I guess I"ll just give it a shot. Just take it as a fun and easy run. And therefore at 2am, I pop in a Panadol pill hoping that it will help with my fever as I run.

I arrived at the race venue with Andrew Chiam whom I picked up earlier at 6am to secure a safe parking spot as there has been a lot of car break ins lately at races. With 90 minutes still to go to the start of the race, we chatted while waiting for the others to arrive. And it was around 6.40am that Andrew Chang, David, Chee Kong and Ija showed up. Ronnie and the rest of the Pacemakers showed up too. Started warming up at 7am before reporting in at the starting line. Met up with Lai FS and Kenny and we wished each other for a good race ahead.

The run started at 7.30am sharp. Again, I failed to get a clean start as I was squeezed between somewhere around the middle pack. But this time, I didn't mind as I had no intention to race. I just want to enjoy and finish the run comfortably. Anyway, I only managed to get a clean running space at the Bank Negara section. Bumped into Zulazlan here and I thanked him for cheering me on. The first water station appeared shortly and I was really suprised that it was stationed so early into the run. Next was the Kenny Hill climb. Although I'm still pretty allright, I can feel my throat drying up quickly. I regretted not drinking earlier. Sigh... Towards the end of the climb, Ben overtook me. I wanted to call him but I couldn't due to my throat drying up. And so, he disappeared. Thankfully, the second water station was near ahead before the next climb. Took a cup of isotonic drink and continued my run. It didn't really help and this is where I started coughing a little.

The picture tells it all, I'm struggling...

As I began to struggle, I told myself "mind over body"! Although still unwell and struggling, it did help me mentally. As I climb the last hill and enter Jalan Parlimen I was greeted by another water station. Took a cup of water but I swallowed it bit by bit to help wet my throat. As I arrive back at the junction at Dataran Merdeka, I could see the finish line although I know it's not over yet. I need to run to Pertama Complex and make a u-turn there before running back to the finish line. It was pretty nice to run at this section as the cheerleaders (pom-pom girls, clowns, bands) were there to support. I ran and ran till I hit the traffic light area where I started my sprint but I just couldn't take it. And so, I had to run at an easy pace as I crossed the finish line at position 62, clocking 00:41:24, too good to be true for a 10KM distance as I later found out from my Nike+ SportBand that it is only 8.65KM.

With the Pacemakers...

Runnerz Circle and friends...

Honestly speaking, I was really shocked with my results despite my condition. Although I wasn't pushing myself, I was really tired and struggling all the way and the coughing didn't help at all. I coughed like there is no tomorrow upon crossing the finish line. I needed water badly and went back straight to the car to get it before returning to the finish line with my camera to snap some photos. As for now, I'm really glad that this is over as I really need a good quality rest now to recover.

Front view of the finisher's medal...

Rear view of the finisher's medal...

The certificate of achievement...

On a separate note, I'm really proud of Chee Kong who came all the way from Miri. It was my first time meeting him and he clocked around 45 minutes. He is one big guy (no offense), but he clocked an incredible time! This proves, running can be done in all sizes! But I was saddened when he told me that he finish the run at position 152, missing the medal by just 2 positions. Sigh... But that's nothing to worry about as it's a good start to his running career and I foresee there will be much more to come from him!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Nike+ SportBand...

By Frank
The Nike+ concept that was launched a couple of years back brought a whole new running experience to runners all over. The Nike+ Sports Kit which was the first to be introduced was a collaboration between Nike and Apple which saw a transmitter being attached to an iPod Nano which receives information from a sensor embedded into a Nike+ enabled shoe. The end results, to be able to read and monitor the distance, pace, time and calories burned together with the enjoyment of music.

2 years later, Nike introduce to runners the second generation of the Nike+, the SportBand and I had the opportunity to give it a go thanks to Nike Malaysia and Mr. Wong Li-Zren.

The new Nike+ SportBand comes together with the sensor and a small instruction booklet that is packed nicely into a small plastic case. It’s operational once it’s out of the case but it’s better to check if there is power in the wrist unit. To charge it, just detach the receiver from the band and plug it into the computer’s USB port. A full charge will require around 2 hours and it lasts for around 2 weeks with regular usage for running and up to 3 weeks as a watch. Usage is pretty straightforward. Just put the little sensor under the inner sole of a Nike+ enabled shoe, pair it with the receiver and you are ready to go. However, the Nike+ Utility software needs to be downloaded from Nike’s website first before the first synchronization process. And it’s also through this software, is where the user sets various settings like time and user details. Everything is shown on the instruction booklet in pictures. For those who prefer in words, there’s always an online documentation.

The Nike+ SportBand...

The SportBand only has 2 buttons on it. The main button at the top and the toggle button at the side. The main button is used to pair the receiver with the sensor and it takes only like 5 seconds or less to get both connected. It’s also used to start, stop and pause a run. As for the toggle button, it’s used to toggle between information shown on the screen.

The Nike+ SportBand is neatly designed and light weighted. When not running, the SportBand doubles up as a watch and I must say that is sleek looking. A fashion statement indeed. The built of the band is pretty solid. It doesn’t feel flimsy nor cheap. For a first time user though, they may find it just a little difficult to put the SportBand on. It’s not easy to buckle it up but after a few tries, there shouldn’t be any problems. And it fits nicely without moving around too much. I gave it a few swings and it just held its place. No worries of it dropping off.

Fit's nicely on the wrist...

For those who already own the earlier Nike+ Sports Kit, fear not as the sensors are all the same. The receiver is capable of pairing with up to 8 sensors, so there is no need for switching the sensors upon wearing another pair of shoes.

The same sensor as per the Nike+ Sports Kit (notice the Apple logo)...

Key notes:
Nice design.
Light weight.
Good built.

My main concern of the SportBand is the lack of backlighting. As I usually do my runs in the morning before the sun rises, I find it difficult to read the information displayed on it. To make it just little more difficult, the screen is actually pretty small and it only displays 1 information at a time be it distance, pace, time or calories burned by pressing the toggle button. And we runners like to take down our split times for any distance covered say each kilometer or at each 10KM throughout a run. Sadly to say, the SportBand doesn’t come with the split timing feature.

The receiver...

As mentioned earlier, I’m pretty impressed with the built of the SportBand. However, there’s one thing that caught my attention. Nike claimed that the receiver is water resistant and can be submerge for up to 30 minutes at a depth of maximum 1 meter. But, upon a closer look on the receiver, it got me wondering as it doesn't look pretty "tight" for me. And I’m not too sure on how the gold USB plating might react to water. Therefore till now, I have not washed the receiver at all. Just give it a wipe with a damp cloth after each workout.

The most important thing especially for a hardcore runner will be the accuracy. Nike has claimed that the SportBand offers 92% accuracy without calibration and up to 97% if calibrated. And so, into the Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ 3 the sensor goes and I gave it a test together with my Polar RS800G3 GPS sensor and the table below shows the results.

Test results of the Nike+ SportBand as compared with the Polar RS800G3 GPS sensor...

Foot pod distance sensor has always come under fire for not being as accurate as how the user wants it to be. However, I must say that I’m pretty happy with the accuracy of the SportBand’s sensor, after calibrating it of course. It’s not easy to get an almost similar reading especially when comparing with a GPS sensor. And even the top end Polar RS800S3 stride sensor differs and can’t match its own cousin, the G3 GPS sensor, although the reading is much closer.

Key notes:
Lack of backlighting on a small screen.
Water resistant issue.

One last look will be the Nike+ workout site. After finishing a run, just simply detach the receiver from the band and plug it into the USB port. However, for those who own a slim notebook like the MacBook Air, the curved design of the receiver might cause some problem of getting it into the port. Anyway, after plugging it in, the Nike+ Utility will automatically launch the Nike+ website and upload your run to it. It’s here where you will be able to view your runs as a graph displaying the distance, pace, time and calories burned. Previous runs can be seen here too and you can actually compare it with your latest, thus be able to set future goals. Pretty neat and easy to use I will say.

Easy to use Nike+ website...

To sum it all up, the Nike+ Sportband is great for anybody who runs. And to those who want a Nike+ without wanting to purchase an iPod Nano, this is a dream come true for them. Despite having identifying quite a number of shortcomings which doesn’t seem too much of a problem (at least from my perspective), it is still a pretty good training tool to have. It is easy to install and use, and provides useful information about your runs and it doubles up as a stylish watch too. Plus the best thing is, it’s affordable!

The Nike+ SportBand will be available soon retailing at a recommended retail price of just RM229!
Do read about Jamie's take on the Nike+ SportBand too by hitting this link.