So I got this Garmin device that does GPS in hopes that it’d make me run more. So far it’s been successful. The GPS and Google maps mashups on their activity summary web app are super cool (see full example):
Over time, if you keep up with it you can see improvements in different categories:
- Distance – you can run more as you get in better shape
- Heart rate – peaks and average should normalize
- Time – you’ll improve your time (ideally!)
Since I’m not a running super-beast and I’m not very fast, I have been pretty interested in the heart rate! I’m also interested in it because the first few runs were pretty tough because I’d run for a bit (at the speed I remember running at) and my heart would go nuts and I’d have to walk for a bit. For a while I’d have to keep doing that, and my heart rate chart showed why.
On my first run in about 2 years, I was getting owned:
After waking up this morning at 430am and going for a crazy morning run (which, if you knew me, is something I never do), I was happy to see this:
I still have to walk a bit in the middle of a 3 mile jog, but while I’m running my heart rate remains constant and it never felt like it was going to explode. I’m now able to sustain for longer and I also have less movement between 180 and 200 bpm (Note that the top graph was 1.5 miles and the bottom one was 3 miles).
As I was writing a blog about browsing statistics and how they can improve how we use the web, it made me think of this little Garmin watch and how knowing more about my own body can help me improve my life.
Data is good, knowledge is good. By itself, not so much — but if you use it right it can make all the difference.
People who play pickup games often don’t know the rules. Unfortunately they also think they are right when they get into an argument with me about the rulebook.
Yesterday I got into an argument with someone over whether or not you can catch your own airball. Guy on my team threw up a layup and it barely missed the rim. He picked it up and layed it up. Traveling?
Surprisingly, no, it’s not traveling anywhere except the NBA. Though in most games at Rucker Park I’m guessing they’d call it a travel.
So this made me think of other rules that I commonly get into arguments with people over. Here’s the top 5:
- Catching your own airball is allowed if it was a legitimate shot unless you’re playing your pickup game according to NBA rules, which makes you a douchebag.
- The top and side of the backboard is not out of bounds, only the back-facing plane of the backboard is.
- Step-throughs are not traveling. An initial jump-stop with two feet makes either foot eligible as a pivot foot. Therefore the act of jump-stopping with two feet, choosing either foot to pivot and stepping through with the opposite foot is a totally legal move even though it may appear to be traveling to an idiot.
- The playground hesitation dribble is a fucking carry. You know that move that “all-star” ballers use on you? They bring the ball back, turn their hand over like they are going to shoot it and when you crowd them them resume their dribble and go around you. Well, that’s bullshit and it’s double dribble because they already picked up their dribble.
- A player can’t touch the ball until they’ve established legal position. If I’m out of bounds and I jump back in, touching the ball before my feet hit the floor, I’m still out of bounds and I just turned it over to the other team no matter how much I complain.
Of course, none of this matters, because in pickup games the person willing to be the biggest bitch about something usually gets their way. Doesn’t make them right, though.
If you’re wondering why we’re so good at tearing down our sports heroes and celebrities, you should read this article by Jeff MacGregor.