7th Airport Run Berlin: second place and PB

Last Saturday, April 27th, me and other 3681 people had the chance to run (perhaps for the last time?) on the new landing strip of the “Berlin und Brandenburg” airport. The 7th Airport Run Berlin, this year started at 7:00 p.m., letting us to enjoy a beautiful sunset even if the clouds brought a little rain since the 5th km. The half-marathon participants went through two laps, while the 10 km course was made of a single lap. You can find the GPS track of my 10 km on the new cloud platform by SportTracks following this link.
A strong tailwind really speeded us up in the first 5 km, where I tried also to save some energies for the second part (what a headwind from 5th to 8th km!). After the good final time at the 24th Lauf in Britzer Garten, another PB has come almost unexpectedly, lowering my 10 km best time to 00:34:38.

Ready to go!


A few seconds after the start (© H. Winter).

The start (© Günter Wicker).


Pushing on the new landing strip (© H. Winter).

A wonderful view right after the start (© Günter Wicker).

It was an honour to join the podium of such a great race. The organisation (BERLIN LÄUFT) was, as usual,  perfect and the staff very kind assisting runners immediately after the finish line.

Medal and trophy for the second place overall over the 10 km race.

Below there’s an extract from the official results of the 10 km race. 
1
Krannich, Christian
GER
00:33:26
2
Santuz, Alessandro
ITA
00:34:38
3
Foth, Carsten
GER
00:34:45
4
Eisenreich, Christian
GER
00:34:46
5
Dr. Teifke, Nils
GER
00:36:50
6
Wünsch, Gregor
GER
00:36:53
7
Spohn, Oliver
GER
00:37:00
8
Eidhof, Chris
NED
00:37:03
9
Plaumann, Mike
GER
00:37:08
10
Lepers, Thomas
FRA
00:37:44
The official results of the 7th Airport Run Berlin (10 km course).

32nd Pankower Frühlingslauf

The 32nd Pankower Frühlingslauf (official website)was my eighth race this year. A beautiful cross-country course, 2.5 km to be repeated five times (12.5 km the total length), with a small uphill to increase the selection.
I classified second, with a time of 0:45:45, behind the (very!) fast Niels Bubel. Another good result after the 24th Lauf im Britzer Garten. The track season is ready to start and I can’t wait to join the first steeplechase race.
Below a picture of the podium and the final classification. Here the GPS-track on the new Sport Tracks cloud service.

The final podium of the 32th Pankower Frühlingslauf (Photo Niels Bubel).
1
Bubel, Niels
1987
DE
Die Laufpartner
0:41:07
2
Santuz, Alessandro
1983
ITA
LG Nord Berlin
0:45:45
3
Leidig, Holger
1969
DE
LEIDIG24 Tri.
0:46:17
4
Wiessner, Enrico
1985
DE
Pro Sport 24
0:47:22
5
Wollny, Hans Peter
1961
DE
Berlin
0:47:30
6
Kaschewsky, Sascha
1970
DE
Sisu Berlin
0:47:55
7
Schneider, Matti
1984
DE
FH Runners Berlin
0:48:20
8
Samzun, Gildas
1979
DE
Berlin
0:48:21
9
Spohn, Oliver
1969
DE
SCC Berlin
0:49:33
10
Neugebauer, Stefan
1982
DE
LG Pegasos
0:49:36

The official results of the 31st Pankower Frühlingslauf.


Garmin, Polar and WTEK: heart rate sensors comparison

Thanks again to Mark, head of the Centre of Altitude Training “himaxx Berlin” (www.himaxx.de), and to WTEK, I had the opportunity to make an interesting comparison between different heart rate monitor sensors.
Nowadays this kind of sensor is widely used in sports at every level, helping to track important parameters and to calculate some interesting stuff like training load. The leading actors of this post are the Garmin HRM2-SS, the Polar T31 and the WTEK, in its HS-2+ and HS-1C versions.
The three sensors tested: Garmin, Polar and WTEK (click to enlarge).

Apart from the well-known chest-belt technology (Garmin and Polar), I’d like to do a small introduction about WTEK sensor’s working principles. This interesting transducer is a photoplethysmograph, a complicate word for a simple function: it illuminates the skin and subsequently measures the changes in light absorption due to the pulsatile component of the cardiac cycle. In other words, it can measure the differences in blood volume, identifying this way the heart rate of the subject. This is an interesting feature, since the sensor can be applied to the forearm or to the forehead, simply using a sweatband as a support.

How to fit the WTEK sensor (click to enlarge).

 

While the WTEK HS-2+ sensor is compatible with all the ANT+ devices, the HS-1C just supports a specific communication protocol with a WTEK C100 watch. And since the C100 doesn’t have (yet) an internal memory, I needed to make a video recording of the HS-1C data in order to save them for analysis. However, I found easy to record HS-2+ data on my Garmin Forerunner 210 watch (even if the sensor must be fitted on the same arm of the watch, to avoid communication problems).

 

The altitude chamber, for the occasion set to sea level, before and during the test. I am wearing a wristband on my left forearm to support the WTEK sensor (click to enlarge).

 

The WTEK C100 watch, its charging station, a sensor and a wristband (click to enlarge).

 

The protocol was very simple: after a 4-minutes acquisition while sitting, I ran 36 minutes with some speed variations and some constant pace minutes. In the following graph the values are plotted (I registered WTEK data every 5 seconds).
Heart rate data (click to enlarge).
 The main WTEK problems, compared to chest belt sensors, are the following:
  • an initial period of 10 to 15 minutes is necessary to stabilise data
  • every sudden change in heart frequency needs 10 to 15 seconds to be noticed by the sensor
  • an overshoot (both negative or positive) always occurs when heart rate changes quickly, for example during interval training or hill repetitions.
The good points, however, are that:
  • the errors, after the stabilisation period, are almost always included in a ±5% interval (taking as “real” values the average between Garmin and Polar data)
  • correlation coefficients (degree of similarity between two sets of variables) are quite similar, being 0.9998 between Garmin and Polar, 0.9891 between Garmin and WTEK and 0.9889 between Polar and WTEK
  • mean registered heart rate values are pretty close (152.8 bpm for Garmin, 152.7 bpm for Polar and 157.7 bpm for WTEK)
  • usually the error causes an overestimation of the HR values (a dangerous underestimation happens very rarely).
Absolute percentage error calculated between WTEK and the average of Garmin and Polar values (click to enlarge).
Concluding, if we assume that chest belts HR monitors give “true” values (which is obviously not true), WTEK sensor is a comfortable alternative for people that can’t stand traditional sensors. The performances detected are sufficiently accurate for amateur sports people, especially for those who want to monitor constant-speed sessions.

 

The WTEK products tested (click to enlarge).
Here you can find a list of my running-related posts. Now shut down the notebook and have a run!

 

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