Monday, January 28, 2008

More on the Garmin elevation correction and WKO+

In my last blog post, I talked about the elevation profile issues with the Garmin 305, but how it can be corrected with WKO+ software. I didn't go into how to do this exactly, because I figured the people at Peaksware would describe it well on their blog, and sure enough, THEY DID!

You can read about the procedure to fix your elevation profile for your run, step-by-step, with pictures to illustrate the process.



Thursday, January 24, 2008

Power 101 Clinic at B+L Tonight

Another B+L event to tell you about:

TrainingBible Coaching Presents “POWER 101”

Join us on Thursday, January 24th, at B+L Bikes in Solana Beach, for a presentation by TrainingBible Coach Jim Vance, discussing power and power meters.

At this free clinic, you’ll learn:

  • What is power?
  • What is a power meter?
  • How does it work?
  • What does a power meter tell me about my training?
  • How can a power meter make me stronger and faster?

Not only is the clinic free, but B+L will be supplying pizzas for the event! Come eat, talk cycling, and learn about power!

Time: 6:00 Pizza served!

Where: B+L Bikes in Solana Beach

What: POWER 101

Cost: FREE!!!

Hope to see some of you there!

Coach Vance

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Garmin 305 Continued

In my last post, I mentioned how the Garmin 305 Forerunner GPS isn't a perfect tool, but any flaws it has can be accounted for. Here is where I want to discuss them.

The biggest inaccuracies of the 305 is the altitude/elevation profile information. However, it seems to be better when your runs are not completed along the ocean. For some reason, all my runs along the coast end up with excessive errors, claiming I have climbed a few thousand feet in 10K. Clearly, I barely left sea level.

If you're using the new Training Peaks WKO+ software to monitor your running, with rTSS, NGP and IF, you are in luck! You can actually correct the elevation profile of your Garmin 305 files, to get the right data.

How does it do this? WKO+ takes the coordinates of your run, and connects to a database of your choice, (I like the USGS website), to get the exact profile of the run you completed. This becomes very important, because a profile which says you are running more up and down than you are will give you a Normalized Graded Pace which is faster than you actually did. This in turn affects all your other calculations, such as run Training Stress Score, and Intensity Factor.

Just how much of a difference does it make? Here's an example from my run, a 10K loop around the bay and on the ocean, mostly at sea level...

Duration: 45:23

Data from Garmin before correction of elevation profile:

rTSS: 83.8
IF: 1.026
NGP: 6:32
Elevation Gain: 1917 ft
Elevation Loss: 1879 ft
Grade: 0.1 %

Data after correction of elevation profile in WKO+:

rTSS: 77.7
IF: 0.967
NGP: 6:47
Elevation Gain: 255 ft
Elevation Loss: 259 ft
Grade: -0.0 % (-3 ft)

When we examine the data above with more detail, we can see a difference of nearly 1700 ft in elevation profile alone! IN ONLY 10K! This counted for a difference in my intensity factor at the time as being above threshold pace, or below it! That made a difference of 7.3% in Training Stress Score, or in other words, the measured affect of the workout on my body was 7.3% lower than what it said. That's a pretty significant difference in stress on the body!

As I said, the problem seems to be more exacerbated near the ocean, and as I go inland it seems to get better. However, I have not tested this theory, and certainly haven't seen if it is any better or worse at significant altitudes.

So this one example how the Garmin 305 as a training tool is not perfect, but it's inaccuracies can be accounted for.

Next time I will discuss the accuracy of the 305's distance measuring.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Joe Friel is coming to San Diego!

If you've wanted to hear Joe Friel speak, here's your chance! Joe will be speaking at B+L Bike & Sports in Solana Beach, on Saturday, January 19th, at 2 PM.

To find out more about Joe Friel, visit:

Joe will be speaking on "Preparing for the Upcoming Season".

The event is FREE of charge, and open to everyone. Joe is focusing his talk for those who will be participating in the upcoming San Diego Century, in May. The event will last about 90 mins, depending on questions and responses.

Hope to see you there!

Coach Vance

Monday, January 7, 2008

Garmin 305 Forerunner

One of the coolest products I use in my training is the Garmin 305 Forerunner. Honestly, used with the new WKO+ software, you can be more in touch with your fitness and race-preparedness than ever before! And I'm saying this as a runner of over 16 years, who has competed at the NCAA Championships, and some of the biggest races in the world.

This item will really help you to understand better what your economy is, by showing you the relationship between your pace and your heartrate, much like a cyclist uses power and heartrate. If you pay attention to my coaching blog, I will be discussing the importance of this feature, and how it works to keep your training precise and maximize your training time.

The features included in this GPS system include:
  • Current and average pace
  • Lap recording with lap pace, auto lap recording by distance, (every mile or km), or a lap point on a course
  • Distance, with alerts for every mile or km
  • Heartrate zone settings, with alerts to keep you in the zones you want to be in
  • Elevation, with total ascent and descent per lap and throughout the workout
  • For cyclists, it records speed, and will even give cadence with some additional hardware
Is the Garmin 305 a perfect tool? No, of course not. But it is the best tool out there for running, and even it's imperfections can be accounted for, and even while it isn't 100% accurate, it is very consistent!

If you're considering getting one, you can order it here for under $200! (One of the best prices I've seen!):
Garmin 305 Forerunner

In the coming weeks I will discuss the 305, and how to maximize this tool for your training.


Coaching by Jim Vance, TrainingBible Coaching

I get a lot of requests and emails about coaching, and what services I offer and the costs involved. I figured it was probably best to address this in a post for people to refer back to.

I am a TrainingBible Coach, working with Joe Friel, and utilize much of his methodologies.

My services and costs are best summarized in the table below:

S Gold PlanSilver Plan Bronze Plan
Phone contact with your coach Unlimited2/wk 1/wk
Email with your coach Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Totally personalized schedule for you on yes yes yes
Edits to your schedule as things arise Unlimited weekly weekly
Power and Pace analysis of your workouts - online meeting & phone weekly 2xmonth monthly
Feedback on your workouts daily weekly monthly
Online video analysis of your sport  yes yes discounted
Coach Support at RaceAvailable  Cost/race dependentCost/race dependent
Free TP Therapy Kit Yes discounted discounted
Price Contact Contact 500/mo.
Start Up Fee N/A Contact250
Contact @ coachjimvance at g mail dot com

Other Services Offered
Sport and Training Consultations:
  • Underwater Swim Video Analysis - Send me a video of you swimming, and I will analyze it for you, sending you my thoughts, tips for improvement and WHY! Cost is $100/analysis
  • Run Video Analysis - Send me a video of you running, and I will analyze it for you, sending you my thoughts, tips for improvement and WHY! Cost is $100/analysis
  • Race Nutrition Plan Analysis - $80 per analysis
  • Phone consultations at $100/hr, minimum 1 hour - Annual Training Plans, Race Strategize, WKO+ file reviews, season reviews, and MORE! Tell me what you need, I can help. 

If you'd like to work with me, send me an email, "jvance at trainingbible dot com" and I'll be happy to discuss working with you.

Best of luck in your training!

Coach Vance