swimming
Running, Swimming, Training, Training Sub 1:25

Injury Wk 2: Swimming and Swimming

As I finish week 2 with my calcaneus stress fracture, I can’t help but think…how is it already been two weeks? Continue reading “Injury Wk 2: Swimming and Swimming”

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Form Goggles Review
Gear Review, Running, Swimming

Form Goggles Review

Form Goggles Review

“Back in my day” of swimming (IE before 2012), we didn’t have GPS watches to count laps, underwater headphones, or goggles that gave you feedback directly through the lens.  My how have things changed since then!

Form Goggles Review

It’s been fun taking a break from the sport and coming back when there is so much technology.

As both a runner and a swimmer, there a lot of things that track running.  Watches? Pods? But there aren’t a lot of things that track swimming. In fact, you’ll either need to get an expensive GPS watch or the latest Form Goggles.

I was given the opportunity to test out Form Goggles. As an “old school salty swimmer,” I wasn’t sure I wanted all of that technology in front of me at all times. Part of the reason I like swimming is just to get back in the pool and have nothing but my thoughts and myself.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I appreciated all of the feedback from Form Goggles plus they didn’t take away from my actual swim.

Form Goggles Review

Pros of Form Goggles:

  • Just an excellent goggle. If you break down Form Goggles to the most basic component, they are a good goggle. Form Goggles is anti-fog and keeps water out of your eyes.
  • Accurate at Tracking Laps
  • The display is easy to read (and also doesn’t give me a migraine or make me dizzy)Form Goggles Review

Cons of Form Goggles:

  • $199 is expensive for goggles, but if you are a serious swimmer and training, it’s a great tool.
  • Swimming only
  • Must be able to continuously swim to get the full benefits

Form Goggles Review

So What are Form Goggles?

Form Swim Goggles are goggles with a smart display inside the lens of the goggle. The augmented reality smart display shows various information, including:

  • time
  • stroke rate
  • laps
  • splits

So while you are swimming, you have that information in front of you like an onboard computer.

Form goggles are controlled by 2 buttons on the side of the goggles. In the lens of the goggle, you have a small display of your laps which you can program to include splits, laps, or distance. You aren’t getting high definition inside your goggles, but do you need it? No. Form Goggles displays information inside the goggle in real-time. Programming Form Goggles is easy; in fact, I did it 5 minutes before I went for a swim.  There are a few different displays to go through and once you’re done, you can get to swimming.

Form Goggles shows you the following:

  • Stroke Count
  • Split Time (you can program 25 meters, yards, 50 meters, or yards, and custom or unknown length.
  • Total lengths swam

Form Goggles connect back to your phone, which can give you an overall breakdown of your performance. Like a running GPS watch, you can see every split and it points out which is your fastest.

How do Form Goggles Know How Far You’ve Swam?

According to Form Goggles, they use a combination of an accelerometer, gyroscope, and algorithms.  Swimming in a pool also makes it easy to track when you turn around (flip turn, turn around, or whatever).

I’ve swam about 20,000 meters in Form Goggles now and haven’t had an issue where I question if it was accurate. I’ve compared to both my Coros APEX GPS watch and both have come up with the same laps each time.

The difference between Form Goggles and a GPS watch for running, is they don’t need to include a GPS function to determine your route. Most pools are standardized, so it just needs to know the length of the pool. Based on that, it determines when you change directions.

Swimming Continuously:

Form Goggles relies on you swimming proficiently down the lane. So, for instance, if you are attempting to swim 25 meters and stop in the middle at say 12 meters; it might end up counting as a lap. I’ve had to stop a couple of random times and it will count it as a lap midway through.

If you are thinking of swimming 500 meters of start and stop (which is fine), it’s not an investment I would make. If you get in the pool and swim laps and laps, or are a previous swimmer, training for a triathlon, or just like swimming, then it might be something I would consider. The system and tracking of Form Goggles rely on you being able to swim consistently.

Form Goggles Fit:

At the fundamental principle, Form Goggles are a goggle. A goggle should be able to keep water out of your face and the silicone eye seals do just that. In the about 20,000 meters I’ve swam using Form Goggles; I haven’t had an issue with water getting in my eyes or Form Goggles fogging. So at the fundamental principle, Form Goggles are well designed for lap swimming. Form Goggles also comes with several different nose bridge sizes to figure out which one fits the best on your face. Plus, Form Goggles have a 45-day fit guarantee, which is nice.

How I Felt While Using Form Goggles:

I was slightly worried Form Goggles would feel heavy on my face, but they don’t. They feel like a lightweight goggle and I don’t notice a difference. No one seemed to notice I was wearing Form Goggles while swimming my laps either.

I was also worried that Form Goggles might trigger a migraine or make me dizzy from staring at a screen while swimming (something I get from something too tight on my head or reading something while moving, but it hasn’t done that either.).  I can’t wear tight headbands because they trigger migraines.

Are Form Goggles Right for Me?

A great question and it’s pretty easily answered. If you are swimming multiple days a week and for a substantial amount, you can benefit from them.  If you are only swimming and don’t want a watch that can track running mileage than yes.

If you swim a couple of times a month for a little bit, you don’t necessarily need Form Goggles.

If you’re a “serious or competitive swimmer” and someone who trains competitively (whether it an open water swim or triathlon), I would recommend Form Goggles.

If you are more casual with your laps, than finding a GPS watch that can do other fitness activities would be beneficial. There is no hard line there, and you certainly don’t need to be Micheal Phelps to benefit from them.

You can see all the product reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Form Goggles?

Do you like swimming?

aftershokz xtrainerz
Gear Review, Running

Aftershokz Xtrainerz Headphone Review

As many people know, I use Aftershokz Air headphones will running. I appreciate that they go over the ear, and you can hear your surroundings as well as listen to music or podcasts. They are completely wireless, and after using Aftershokz Air for about two years, I haven’t had an issue.

Recently Aftershokz has made a few new changes to their headphones. This includes removing the “Trekz” from the name Aftershokz “trekz.” Instead of being called the “trekz air” or “trekz titanium,” they are called Aftershokz Air, Aeropex, and Titanium.  This might not mean a lot, but it keeps people from confusing brands and thinking “trekz” and “aftershokz” are different…which we’ve had multiple times in running specialty.

Anyway, I was excited when Aftershokz contacted me to try their newest headphone: The Xtrainerz. The Xtrainerz are pronounced: “Cross Trainers.” As the name suggests, they are designed for cross-training and swimming!

aftershokz xtrainerz

While Aftershokz did send me a pair of the Xtrainerz, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

What makes the Aftershokz Xtrainerz different from the Aftershokz Titanium, Air, and the Aftershokz Aeropex?

The Xtrainerz are waterproof, which means you can use them while swimming.  Swimming and headphones still blow my mind! They also are not Bluetooth capable, and all audio is downloaded directly into the headphone. This is easy, and I usually find something to keep me entertained 5 minutes before leaving for my workout.

Aftershokz xtrainerz
Image via Aftershokz website

The Xtrainerz have all of the following features:

  • Waterproof
  • 4GB of MP3 storage.  I downloaded a couple of my favorite podcasts to take swimming. I think I’m going to find a podcast download just for swimming.
  • No need for phones. All of the music is stored in the headphone so that you can leave your phone in the locker room or car.
  • Aftershokz Xtrainerz supports the following files: MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, and FLAC files.
  • 8 Hours of battery life. I’m not swimming for 8 hours, but maybe you are!
  • IP68 Certified: This means the Aftershokz Xtrainerz are fully waterproof and great if you run in a torrential downpour.
    open-ear headphones can keep you company wherever your training takes you.

All Aftershokz Headphones Have the Following Features:

Open Ear Design:

Aftershokz headphones have an open ear design and send sound through the ear canal. Aftershokz uses patented bone conduction technology to deliver the audio through the cheekbones.  This leaves ears open to hear your surroundings. As a former lifeguard, I think it’s awesome because now swimmers can listen to the noises of the pool around you. If there is an emergency, you aren’t in la-la land while swimming in the pool.

Since Aftershokz uses bone conduction headphone technology, the headphones are not noise canceling. That would go against the grain of what the brand stands for. So far, I’ve logged about 6 hours using the headphones underwater while swimming and they hold up well. I haven’t had any issues with sound quality while swimming, and I forget that I’m even listening to music underwater.

I’ve also run twice with them, and I do appreciate that you don’t need to carry or bring anything but headphones. If you hate running with your phone, especially at races, these are a good choice. These are not Bluetooth capable, so if you want to listen to anything, you must download it directly to the Xtrainerz.  This comes in handy if you are doing a race and want music but not a phone (think the ipod shuffle).

You can find them here or hopefully if your local run specialty store (LOL even though you can swim with them).

Aftershokz was kind of enough to send me a 15% off link for readers. Just use this link.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. 

In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you ever listened to music while swimming?

What is your favorite music to listen to while working out? 

 

me run track
Big Cottonwood Marathon, Running, Training

July Training

July went by fast.  Does anyone else feel like they say that every month?

For the most part, training went well. I’m slowly increasing mileage and building a base.  There were many days that tested me to get out the door (or on the treadmill) between weather but I only skipped a couple of runs or moved workouts to better days.

Miles Run: About 215
Range of Paces: 6:07-11:30-untimed
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Longest Run: 20 miles
Rest Days: 3
Swimming Days: 7

Races:
Firecracker 5k (20:10)
Allen Stone Run-Swim-Run (41:07)
Run for Toilets 5k Recap

Workouts:

Thoughts:

It feels like the summer is just moving right along.  July brought some fun races, but nothing I was overly proud of.  The Firecracker 5k early in the month would be my fastest 5k.

It was fun to do the Allen Stone Run Swim Run again. While it wasn’t my highest placement, I’m proud of how I raced, and I slowly picked people off. After the first 1k on the beach, I was 55th, then 22nd after the swim, then 10th overall and no one passed me on the 5k run.

One of the highlights of July was doing the “Run for Toilets“, a 5k that benefited the local Elks lodge to fundraise for new bathrooms. I got to break a tape made out of toilet paper!

Run for the toilets onancock breaking tape

I late July, I was able to get my first 20 miler in. Summer has humbled me that running 20 miles is never easy, but it’s even more challenging when it’s above 85 degrees.

I question myself regularly about my marathon and marathon goals. I haven’t run anything that I’m substantially happy with since NYCM last year. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy running, but training cycles haven’t come together. August will be my highest mileage and peak month of training. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Posts from the Month:

Hoka Carbon Rocket Shoe Review
New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review
A Recap of 250 NJ Diners
29 Years Old
Flying to Essex County

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. This week is all about running on the treadmill. 

Questions for you:
How was your month of training?
What has been your best race of 2019?

me running workout
Big Cottonwood Marathon, Running, Training

Big Cottonwood Week 8: It’s Very Hot

Like many people, I was affected by the heat. I won’t take dangerous risks with running. The feels like temperature was 110 and for me, that isn’t worth running outdoors. The 5k I was fundraising for was canceled, which was disappointing, but I know they made the right choice. I raised over $600, so I cannot be upset about that.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: AM: Easy 60 minutes
PM: 1-hour swim
Wednesday: 2X2 mile averaging 6:55, total mileage 8
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 10 miles Treadmill averaging -1.5% decline
Saturday: Treadmill 5k: 22:15 -2% decline, total mileage 10.5
Sunday: Treadmill Long Run 17.1 miles 1-2% grade downhill

Week 1: Hello Humidity
Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw
Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW
Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW
Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW
Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW
Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets

Week 8: It’s Very Hot

Thoughts:

The heat was brutal (for everyone), but I’m proud of how I handled the entire week. I adjusted my paces as needed and opted for quality miles on the treadmill.

Since the Big Cottonwood Marathon is downhill, it makes sense to practice downhill running. When I ran my second marathon, Phoenix, I equated downhill with easy. That marathon didn’t go as well as I hoped and it took me the most time to recover from because my quads were wrecked from 26.2 miles of the same thing. So this weekend I opted for quality downhill miles, and I’m happy with how each run went.

Workout Wednesday: 2X2 mile averaging 6:55 pace  with 1-mile jog in between

This is much slower than I hoped, but it’s been hot. I adjusted and worked hard for the day.  Not else much to say other than it was hot.

The Weekend of Treadmill:

Because it was dangerously hot this weekend, I opted for the treadmill. It didn’t bother me to run inside because it was safer, and I could run quality miles. Big Cottonwood is a downhill marathon, and I haven’t done any downhill running (Southern NJ doesn’t have hills). I used this weekend to set my treadmill on -1-2% and just run. I didn’t think I would be sore, but I am.

Saturday: 5 miles easy, 3.1 miles hard (22:15), 2.4 miles easy (total time 90 minutes)

Since the 5k I was running was canceled due to heat (they made the right call), I ran a 5k alone on the treadmill. I cranked it to -2.0 grade. I felt good, and I’m proud of my effort. Personally, I find the treadmill hard to gauge anything because you set it and go.

Sunday Long Run: 17 Miles with 1-2% downhill

The run was easy and I watched TV the entire time. The point of the run wasn’t to run fast, but to get a long, steady downhill state. Something I cannot get anywhere but the treadmill (around me). I am proud of how the effort went and by about mile 13, my quads were burning. I know it was the right thing to do because I know I’ll have the same feeling during the full.

 

Swimming:

I don’t have any more swimming events planned this year, but I’ve been enjoying the change, and I believe the cross-training has made me stronger.

Posts from the Week:

Allen Stone Run-Swim-Run (41:07)

Run for Toilets 5k Recap

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. This week is all about race day nerves! 

Questions for you:

What is the furthest you’ve run on the treadmill?

Has it been hot where you are?