Tag Archives: Mio Alpha 2

Review: Mio Watch

explore_mio_products_product_lineup_v1Source: www.mioglobal.com

If you know me well enough, you’d know that I am probably the most low tech person, EVER! Of course, I am talking about running gadgets and running gear.

I bought my very first pair of running shoes 2 years after running around in my “shopping-trainers” (the equivalent of Converse). And I got my first running outfit a year later.

GPS watch? Don’t even go there, I am not there yet. I own a G-Shock which tells me the time. I ONLY started using the TIMER function after being pressured by my friends who kept pestering me about my finishing time (after EVERY race!). Previously, I would just take the difference between the flag off time and the time when I arrived at the finish line. And that was it. Ask me down to the very second and I wouldn’t have been able to give you an answer (that’s what timing chips are for, right?).

 

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When Mio approached me to try out and review their new Mio Alpha 2, I did not hesitate. Because, why not? It was good to see effort in numbers. And your heart rate is the best way to measure effort.

Like I said before, you can fool your brain but you cannot fool your heart!


 Mio Alpha 2

135Z_2Source: www.mioglobal.com

NO CHEST STRAP!

Ok, this is actually THE BEST thing about Mio (to me). I own a heart rate watch that came with a chest strap. Let’s just say the chest strap has never seen the outside of the box.

I find chest straps uncomfortable – I just don’t like having a tight strap around my chest. For us women, it is even more of a hassle. We have to attempt to make the chest strap play nice with our sports bras. Too fussy!

Previously, I used a chest strap when I did the VT1 and VT2 test on a treadmill. Just when I was about to hit my max, the chest strap slipped off, and I had to hold it up against my chest to get it to continue recording my heart rate!

With Mio, I don’t have to deal with any chest straps!

How does it measure heart rate?

Mio measures real-time heartbeat with an electro-optical cell and two green LEDs. Together, they detect your pulsing volume of blood flow. This technology is also used in oximeters in hospitals.

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Is it accurate?

Well, Mio Continuous Technology boasts that it is highly comparable to ECG and chest strap readings. If you are interested, you can read the study done here. It is also very accurate at high speeds and performance training with 99% EKG accuracy. You can check out the study here.

IMG_3948This was from my interval training. As you can see, the warm up was done in zones 1-3 (easy); sprinting my heart out in the red zone 5 peaks (MAX) and rest in between zones 3-4 (moderate).

I was skeptical at first but after taking it out for a spin, I found that IT WAS very accurate. I was out on my easy run and my heart rate matched exactly what it should be based on my 10KM race effort.

Keeping Tabs on Your Heart Rate Zone

As mentioned in my previous post, it is important to be training in the right heart rate zone.

The Mio Alpha 2 allows you to do JUST that. You can put in your maximum heart rate (MHR) based on what you know or you can use their formula.

For males: MHR = 214 – (0.8 x your age in years)

For females: MHR = 209 – (0.7 x your age in years)

The heart rate indicator light will flash different colours of light according to the zones that you are training in (real-time). You can choose either the 5-zone training mode or the 1-zone alert mode.

5-zone Training Mode

Light Blue – Rest

Blue – Very Light

Green – Light

Yellow – Moderate

Pink – Hard

Red – Maximum

1-zone Alert Mode

 Blue – Below Target HR Zone

Green – Within Target HR Zone

Red – Above Target HR Zone

Based on your maximum heart rate, the watch automatically sets the heart rate zones. But you can opt to customise them manually. Also, the different zones can be set based on beats per minute or as a percentage of your maximum heart rate.

If you have enabled audio alerts, it will beep whenever you switch between the different zones.

Get Connected

I pair my Mio Alpha 2 with the Mio GO app on my iPhone via the Bluetooth Smart (4.0). You can use it as a GPS device if you pair it with your phone (I don’t really bother much about the distance and pace so I have yet to try this out!). You can also pair it with your GPS watch and/or bike computer and they are compatible with a few popular fitness apps for both Android and iPhone. You can check out http://www.mioglobal.com/apps/ for more information on compatibility.

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Track your progress with the Mio GO app! Training with the Puma Running Club members!

Other Features:

-It has a back-light! I cannot stress how important this is to me! I don’t know how people can survive without a back-light. I’m an evening/night runner so I love this feature. PLUS, the light comes on AUTOMATICALLY! Just position your wrist at an angle and VOILA! Or, you can double tap the screen for the light.

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BIG buttons! You know how I always fail to press the buttons on my watch? Is it just me or does anyone else have this issue too? But yeah, this definitely comes in handy.

-Built in accelerometer to track distance, speed and pace without the need to connect to your external GPS device (phone, watch). However, I found that the distance was not that accurate. But I am not aiming to track my distance (I use Google Maps for that) so it doesn’t really bother me.

-Gives accurate measures of calories burned after every workout. I am not looking to lose weight but it is always good to see how many calories I managed to torch with each run!

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BURNNNNNNN!

-Records lap time

-Up to 20 hours (workout time) of battery life. I was able to use mine for close to 2 weeks before needing to charge it again.

IMG_4091-The watch itself can store up to 25 hours of your workout, after which it will overwrite the oldest data. Sync your workouts regularly with your favourite app to track your progress!

-It has a countdown timer, repeat timer and chronograph. But I just use the timer. I like to keep things simple.

-The watch is water resistant up to 30m.

Soft and comfortable silicon strap!

-1-year warranty!

-Comes in 3 different colours (Black, Yellow, Pink!). The Black and Yellow colours have longer straps compared to the Pink (available in June!).


But it doesn’t come with a GPS function!

I have survived my whole running life without a GPS watch.

Do you really need one? Well, I would say not really. Yes, there are many benefits of having a GPS watch which can accurately track distance covered and pace (among many other things!). However, if you are seeking for improvement, having a GPS watch is not as important as having a heart rate monitor. You need to be training at the RIGHT intensity to elicit the necessary training adaptations (Read about it here).

What about judging your effort based on pace? Well, you improve overtime so how would you know that you are doing your best at that particular pace? Again, your heart knows best!

Why do you need a heart rate watch?

-Train smart by training in the right heart rate zone

-Know when to pull back, maintain or push the pace

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-Prevent fatigue and injury caused by overtraining. Your resting heart rate can give you an insight into overtraining syndrome. An elevated heart rate of more than 5bpm over several days would mean that you need to schedule in REST!


If you think the Mio Alpha 2 is a bit too big and chunky, check out the MIO Fuse!

mio-fuse-hrmSource: www.evanscycles.com

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Mio Fuse is very much the same as Mio Alpha 2 with an added all-day activity tracking (steps, calories, distance) feature. The interface is also a bit different (swipe the screen to change modes instead of having to press any buttons). Also, instead of beeping when you switch between the heart rate zones, it vibrates! It comes in two different colours with different strap length (Aqua – shorter, Crimson – longer).


The good thing about Mio is that it works for anyone who wants to improve their fitness – whether it is performance training, aerobic conditioning, weight loss, anaerobic threshold training or just wanting to maintain general health and fitness.

Ultimately, it tracks your heart rate and your physiological response to ANY type of exercise.


PSSSTTTTT!

Mio was kind enough to offer my readers and friends a 10% discount if you order through me with the code MIO 003!

-Mio Fuse (Crimson – longer strap & Aqua – shorter strap): RM639 (Before discount)

-Mio Alpha 2 (Yellow & Black – longer strap; Pink –  shorter strap): RM799 (Before discount)

Email the following to michelle.tan@distexpress.com.my

  1. Code: MIO 003
  2. Full name
  3. Address (for courier, free shipping
  4. Contact number
  5. Email address
  6. Product, colour & quantity

OR

You can drop me an email at adele.wlp@gmail.com with the above details.

Hurry! The discount is valid for 1 month from this date!


Where can you get Mio?
Connect Stores
– Fahrenheit 88, KL
– KLIA 2, Sepang
– Mid Valley Megamall, KL
– Pavilion, KL
– Sunway Pyramid, Selangor
iStore 
– 1 Mon’t Kiara, KL
– Publika, KLMachines 
– IOI City Mall, Selangor
– Mid Valley, KL
– Sunway Pyramid, Selangor
– Suria KLCC, KL
– The Gardens Mall, KLMac Studio
– Bangsar Shopping Centre, KL
– Jaya Shopping Centre, Selangor
– Paradigm Mall, Selangor

Optiprimus
– Bintang Plaza, Sarawak

The Marathon Shop
– Lot 10, KL (Coming soon)
– Sunway Pyramid, Selangor

– Gurney Plaza, PenangUrban Republic 
– Gurney Plaza, Penang

Baik Shop (Online)
http://baikshop.com/


If you are just getting started on your fitness journey, I highly recommend getting a heart rate monitor. We all start from somewhere. I never knew how important it was to be training in the right heart rate zone. You can learn from my rookie cookie mistake and train smart with a heart rate monitor!

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If you have been training hard but have yet to see any changes, give this a go! It is good to break away from your routine and try something new!

*Drop me a comment or an email for further enquiries!*

Keep Running!

Post-Race Report: Kiara Trail Run 2015

Pre-Race

Took a break from racing for the last 2 weeks before the Kiara Trail run.

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Spent one of the weekends at Penang with my girls. It was one of the most fulfilling trips with loads of good food, deep and meaningful conversations, time-out from the world and just pure relaxation.

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I love how I can be my crazy self whenever I am with them.

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Raw. Straight up. No judgements.

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Although it was an awesome weekend, there was a twist to what was supposed to be a happy ending. 3 hours after arriving home from Penang, I suffered a sharp pain to my stomach.

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I thought it was just the case of indigestion because we had a lot of food throughout our trip. I had diarrhoea and vomited a few times. I went to bed thinking I could sleep it off. It was 12 am at that time. I was wrong. The pain did not go away. I spent the next 3 hours rolling on the bed and enduring every random wave of stabbing pain. I finally gave in to pain and had to call my dad on his phone because I could not walk.

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I was wheeled into the emergency room, curled up into a ball, shivering and shaking. I had a very high fever and the doctors were concerned that it was more than just food poisoning. I remember having my blood tested, a few jabs and 2 packs of IV drip. Thank God the pain went away and it was nothing more than severe food poisoning!

I took a few days off from running to fully recover. I had a lot of rest (adding up the rest days in Penang and when I fell sick)! The first day back on the road was tough. It felt like I was running for the first time! It was mentally tough too. Everything was BLAH and it just felt like I could not do it anymore, it was a real stab to my confidence level.

I took it slow. Did a bit more of strength training and stretching to work on my flexibility. I was feeling tight all over!


Race Day

The Kiara park was closed a few days before the race because apparently 6 armed men ran off into the trails. Michelle and I wondered if the race would go on. Thankfully, the park reopened just 2 days before race day. But we were still concerned over the thought of 6 armed men being somewhere in there.

I woke up that morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I was feeling very tired and sore all over. That was because I was doing all sorts of running and strength training throughout the week. My left foot was hurting too. It had been hurting since last Wednesday. It hurt whenever I walked but seemed ok when I ran.

The race flag off was at 8am, so I had a bit more time to sleep. Dragged my 2 feet to the race venue.

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Source: ET Tey

It seemed as though Coach Mark photobomed a rather decent picture of us.

Put in a mini warm up before heading to the start line.The flag off was odd! We had 3 different “flag offs” because the runners didn’t know if they should start running! It was a mess! We were finally off after the 3rd sound of the horn.

I was told that the entrance to the trail was very narrow. Coach Mark said that we had about 700m of road before heading into the trails. To avoid being jammed up at the start of the trail, it was important to get a good lead during the first 700m.

I was following Michelle and Danielle during the first part of the race. We were just behind the lead pack and we entered the trail head with ease. After about 1KM, the crowd started to space out and there were only a few guys behind and in front of me.

IMG_5032Source: ET Tey

The guys were really supportive! They let me pass whenever I came near, cheered me on whenever I slowed down and asked if I was ok whenever I slipped. THANK YOU! I slipped and tripped quite a bit but thank God I did not fall or twist/break anything! My foot was already feeling a bit weak and the last thing I wanted was to twist it!

IMG_5066Source: EnAikAY

The body is able but the mind says no. Strengthen the mind and harness your will to succeed. Running sucks, giving up sucks too. PICK ONE!

I love trail running because it is both very challenging and technical. The techniques you use to steer your way through, up, down, shuffle from side to side, crawl, avoiding the mud and jumping over branches/rocks are all very different and not what you would encounter during road running. This was a pretty tough course with a good mix of uphill and downhill. The regular strength sessions and drills that I do certainly helped a lot!

Trail running is a lot harder to navigate because the route is not always clear. We got lost twice. Danielle was ahead of me and at one point a group of them were on the road shouting for the right way to go. Luckily the marshal saw us and pointed us in the right direction. I waited for her to come back up from the road and back onto the trail.

I saw all the route markers – 6, 8, 10 and 11. It felt like I had completed 10KM when I saw the 6KM marker. My legs were dead! There was definitely some crawling involved. I slowed down to a jog quite a bit and surged up the hills whenever I had regained my strength.

IMG_5071Source: ET Tey

The second half of the route had white picture markers all over the trail so I knew I was headed in the right direction.

There was another major turning where there were no marshals and I caught up with Danielle again (because she was lost). I think many people got lost here. During the first part of the race, Jessica was running quite closely behind me. I lost her somewhere after the 6/7KM marker. She appeared in front of me during the last stretch of the race. I was shocked and she was shocked too. She had the courtesy to let me pass :). It was not her fault if she took a wrong turn because it was not clearly marked! She was looking really good and strong at that point. Whoop!

After the end of the trail, there were a few meters of road to the finish line! Thankfully, that was the end of it and nothing more because my limbs were jelly-fied. I waited for Jessica at the finish line. We gave each other a pat on the back for surviving this race!

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Michelle conquered her first full-fledged trail run! Happy for you, twinny! But I think she won’t be joining another trail run anytime soon. She probably cursed her way through!

IMG_5078Source: Tan Tai Nyee

Managed to catch up with a few other runners. Bumped into some of the people from OBC too!

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Yes, Michelle carried pepper spray throughout the run to errrr, spray the 6 armed men in the eyes? Right…… (bahhaha!)

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After the adrenaline rush, my whole body felt like it was about to crash. Michelle and I just wanted to lie flat on the ground! Thank God the prizes were given out soon after. Overall, it was a good run. Relatively well organised and I enjoyed the tough route!

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BURN!

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Time for a good stretch and foam rolling sesh! AND SLEEP!

Hope you guys had fun at the trails! If you haven’t tried it before, GO!

Keep Running!

Post-Race Report: KL Towerthon 2015

“NEVER!”

That was my thought in regards to taking part in the KL Towerthon, or any other race involving a tower.

I’ve heard HORRIBLE stories about it. The worst of all would have to be stumbling upon a puddle of puke on the floor. Can you imagine slipping and falling into someone else’s puke because you were already too fuzzed up to look at where you’re landing?! *Shudders*

And the SMELL! Think – confined area, stuffy, crowded, humid, puke, sweat and other biological fluids…… It DOES NOT sound appetizing, AT ALL!

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So, WHY did I decide to take part?

Somehow (I don’t know how), Jeff managed to convince me to do it. He allowed me to curse him AFTER the race, so I knew it was going to be BAD. But then again, he was really helpful. Having done it before, he gave me a few pointers on how to tackle the race.

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Source

Pre-Race Preparation

I did not do any stairs training/workout prior to this race. To compensate, I did quite a bit of hills with higher knee drive. Not exactly “stairs” but at least I’m working the same muscles. Also, I do plyometrics (box jumps/burpees/jump squats etc) on a regular basis.

I gave the trial run a miss because I like surprising myself on race day. I’ve said this before, I don’t like knowing what I’ll be going through until the race itself. I don’t check race routes prior to ANY race.

I was feeling a bit nervous as race day approached. I am well aware that stairs and road running is VERY different. Being reasonably good on the road/track does not guarantee that you would do well for stairs! You cannot use anybody as a benchmark. So, I did not know how I would fair. I had absolutely NO IDEA what my timing would be like or how I would do.

As it was my first attempt, the only goal was to FINISH……in one piece!

Race Day

I set 4 alarms, not taking any more chances here.

Fuelled myself with some simple carbs because I’d be needing every bit of it!

When I arrived at the race venue, the Men’s Open category was already done and there was a prayer break for the Muslims. I bumped into Pei Leng as I was heading towards the starting area. She gave me a lot of last minute tips! THANK YOU! She went for the trial run so she could give me a rough idea of how it would be like. It was her first time too! According to her, it was hot, stuffy, wet…… it was everything that I was afraid of and not exactly what I wanted to hear, again!

I braced myself for the WORST!

I had about 45 minutes to kill before the flag off. Got a chance to catch up with Michele Tan and Kak Amelia. Kak Amelia told me that the Women’s Open category itself had 3 different waves! Thankfully, I was in the first wave!

IMG_4585Source: 2009tonton.blogspot.com/

After the Men’s Senior Veteran wave, we were allowed into the starting pen. I managed to squeeze my way to the front. We waited for about 15 minutes for them to clear the way.

IMG_4586Source: 2009tonton.blogspot.com/

Errrr… ok i was pretty close to the front.

The flag off – the starting area was really tight and I was running very close to the barriers for the first 15 meters.

After the first 20 meters, we were greeted by a hill! What a great way to kick start the lactic acid fest! I broke away from the crowd but I didn’t go full speed. I was hanging behind in 5th place. After the first turn, it didn’t get any better. It was a slightly steeper hill! Jeff had warned me about this before race day, so I was expecting it.

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See how I gradually made my way up to zone 5! I was being conservative. I am using the Mio watch together with the Mio Go app!

I slowly made my way to 4th place before the straight stretch leading up to the tower. The crowd was wild! I could feel the energy and it was nice to have people cheering for you along the way!

IMG_4594Credits to ET Tey

We had to go up the escalator, make a few turns before hitting the stairs! I was feeling pretty excited! As I didn’t push as hard, I felt ok when I went up the first few flights of stairs. By then, I managed to make my way to 3rd place.

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Credits to ET Tey

I was lucky to be in the first Women’s Open wave because I had the first half of the way to myself! I had enough “air”!

I wasn’t running up the stairs, more like fast walking? I used a combination of bending over and using mainly my quads and hauling myself up using the railing. The railing was relatively dry and clean (I would like to think that it is clean!). It was also not as stuffy as I thought! The floor was completely dry although I was half expecting to see a puddle of puke.

IMG_4591Credits to ET Tey

Nearing the top, I caught up with a few men from the other waves. Some were seated at the side and some were “enjoying” their way up. I greeted most of them, cheered them on and asked if they were ok! I was making my trip up a bit more tolerable.

It felt like forever! And I was a total blur case. I thought we had a LONG way to go. I had no idea that I was nearing the finishing line. When I reached the top (even after crossing the timing mat), I continued running until the lady told me to stop and I had to ask if it was over! It was funny and I laughed to myself.

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The journey back down was pretty smooth, no hiccups whatsoever.

When the results were out, I was pleased to find out that I came in 7th overall and the 3rd Malaysian with a time of 18:27. Pretty satisfied! Congrats to Kak Amelia and Michele for taking home the Gold and Silver respectively. And honestly, I had the BEST experience ever! I enjoyed every bit of it, even running up the stairs!

IMG_4554Conquered 2058 steps! Road running, half marathon, marathon, trail, adventure race, towerthon – CHECKED! What’s next?

If you’re thinking about attempting the KL Towerthon, take it from me – DO IT! Try it, at least once! You’ll love it…… I think!

Disclaimer: These are my thoughts and my personal experience. Please do not hold me responsible if your future towerthon experience didn’t turn out as good (HAAAA!). HAPPY CLIMBING!


Snippets from my 9to5 run!

I finished 4th. I actually took part in this race for the lucky draw but MEH, not so lucky!

 

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Credits to Rashid

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Keep Running!